Before the four-match Test series against Australia, a video showing Team India cricketers Mohammed Siraj and Umran Malik refusing to have Tilak (vermilion) applied on their foreheads in a hotel reception in Nagpur has sparked a row on right-wing Twitter.
In the video, the hotel employees can be seen applying Tilak to the players’ foreheads as they welcome them, together with head coach and former cricketer Rahul Dravid. When it was Siraj’s turn, he politely declined. Also, Umran Malik did.
Despite the fact that even batting coach Vikram Rathour and one of the support staff members declined to put the tilak on them, Siraj and Umran appear to be the only cricketers who are the target of online trolls for being Muslim.
Editor-in-chief of right-wing news outlet Sudarshan TV Suresh Chavhanke tweeted the video and said, “Mohammad Siraj and Umran Malik did not get tika applied on their foreheads at the reception. He is a player of the Indian team, not Pakistan. Even after becoming an international cricketer, he is staunch towards his religion.”
मोहम्मद सिराज और उमरान मलिक ने स्वागत में माथे पर टीका नहीं लगवाया। वह पाकिस्तान नही हिंदुस्थानी टीम के खिलाडी हैं। अंतरराष्ट्रीय क्रिकेटर बनने के बाद भी वह अपने धर्म के प्रति कट्टर हैं। #Jago
— Suresh Chavhanke “Sudarshan News” (@SureshChavhanke) February 3, 2023
Jai Krishna Pat, a Twitter user said that the duo “followed own Muslim agenda than country.”
This is a tight slap on @imVkohli @Jaspritbumrah93 @BCCI @ImRo45 who preach Hindus on Hindu festivals. Both of these @mdsirajofficial & @umran_malik_01 are deceitful, for them their religion is superior than nation. #siraj #MohammedSiraj #UmranMalik #shami siraj umran सिराज pic.twitter.com/o5jqfKqztk
— darksoul🇮🇳 (@iam_darksoul) February 3, 2023
Another user said that Umran and Siraj are not Muslims and not Indians.