Suresh Raina, who enjoys a legendary status at the IPL team Chennai Super King had courted controversy on social media while he was asked about embracing the south Indian culture during the opening match of the TNPL season 5. Responding to a question during the special interaction, Raina ended up drawing flak on social media with his comment as he took pride in his Brahmin identity and culture.
Raina has been an important part of the Chennai Super Kings franchise since its inception and is popularly known as ‘ChinnaThalla’ in the south. One of the commentators during the stint had asked him regarding how he embraced the Chennai culture that involves wearing a ‘veshti’, dancing and whistling.
The ‘ChinnaThalla’ while responding to the same, said, “I think, I am also a Brahmin. I have been playing in Chennai since 2004. I love the culture here. I love my comrades. I have played with Anirudh Srikkanth. Subramaniam Badrinath and L Balaji are also there. I like the culture of Chennai. I am lucky to be a part of CSK.”
The comment created a storm on social media. Raina’s twitter handle was flooded with hate comments as accusations were being slammed against the batsman.
One Twitter user said that Raina had actually never embraced the real Chennai culture despite playing for the CSK franchise for years. Another user tweeted, “So watched the video, I once liked Raina very much and now I’m sad how ignorant or he has been hiding all these days. Lost it! No more respect.
The infamous twitter user @MissionAmbedkar said, “You can glorify your Dwij caste. It’s a glorification of the Varna System. But how would a Shudra& an untouchable glorify their Varna?”
Hi Raina and Ravindra, you can glorify your Dwij caste. It's a glorification of the Varna System. But how would a Shudra & an untouchable glorify their Varna? @ImRaina @imjadeja pic.twitter.com/X9Xe331eAf
— Mission Ambedkar (@MissionAmbedkar) July 21, 2021
However, Raina found support for taking pride in his identity. Many called out the abusers who were attacking Raina over a harmless remark that got the masses so heated up. Kirti Azad the cricketer-turned-politician took to Twitter to support Raina. He tweeted, “I am also a Brahmin, what’s the objection’.
, #मैं_भी_ब्राह्मण हूँ….
आपत्ति कैसी भाई?????
— Kirti Azad (@KirtiAzaad) July 21, 2021
A twitter user in support of Raina said “I think, I am also Brahmin” while doing commentary. It drew a major backlash on Twitter. Wow, Indian left is certainly more leftist than Karl Marx.”
Suresh Raina said "I think, I am also Brahmin" while doing commentary.
It drew a major backlash on Twitter.
Wow, Indian left is certainly more leftist than Karl Marx.
— Aaj Ki Taza Khabar (youtube channel) (@AKTKadmin) July 22, 2021
Another user in support tweeted, “People who carry caste certificates in their wallets have an issue with Suresh Raina knowing he is a Brahmin.”
People who carry caste certificates in their wallets have an issue with Suresh Raina knowing he is a Brahmin.#मैं_भी_ब्राह्मण
— Eminent Intellectual (@totalwoke) July 22, 2021
The hashtag #मैं_भी_ब्राह्मण started to trend on twitter as users supporting the Raina pointed out the hypocrisy of those calling out Raina for wearing his identity on his sleeves.
Suresh Raina who is a Kashmiri Pandit, from Rainawari, Srinagar takes pride in him being a Brahmin. While athletes around the world are glorified for uniting towards Black Lives Matter, Indians talking about their cultural heritage creates a huge controversy.
Anti-Brahmin hatred is very much prevalent and institutionalized. Raina taking pride in being a Brahmin should be celebrated. On the other hand, people who are hurling abuses at the cricketer are in fact propagating reverse discrimination by spreading hatred towards a particular community.