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'Be Responsible,' Mumbai Police Tells Shobhaa De After Tweet

'Be Responsible,' Mumbai Police Tells Shobhaa De After Tweet

A tweet by Shobhaa De, seen to be making fun of what she thought was an overweight personnel of the Mumbai Police, has triggered a storm of abuse and criticism on Twitter. The well-known author and columnist was accused of cracking jokes in bad taste and body shaming. Others pointed out that the photograph was even not of a Mumbai Police personnel, but someone from the Madhya Pradesh Police, as was indicated by the shoulder badge.

Even the Mumbai Police weighed in, saying they "expect better from responsible citizens" like her.

Mumbai voted yesterday to choose the team that will run the country's richest civic body -- the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. As a record number of voters turned out, in the evening, Ms De had tweeted:

The responses piled up swiftly:
@DeShobhaa if I zoom in the photo, I can see M.P. police written on his badge.Don't keep tweeting nonsense. N yes, it amount to body-shaming

@sandygrains @DeShobhaa Actually doesn't seem like the uniform donned by Mumbai Police. Might be from some other city/state

We love puns too Ms De but this one is totally imisplaced. Uniform/official not ours. We expect better from responsible citizens like you. https://twitter.com/deshobhaa/status/834033020080443392 

A few, though, came out in her support, arguing that it was part of a policeman's job to keep himself fighting fit.
@crashhgate @2emkay Lol it's not body shaming agle ka kaam fit rehne ka hai.

Ms De's tweets last year during the Olympics - especially those on badminton star PV Sindhu -- had also upset many on Twitter. Ms Sindhu had been assured of a silver medal, and had the chance of winning a gold, after winning her semi-final match against Japan's Nozomi Okuhara. But Ms De's tweets after her semi-final win was greeted with scorn by other Twitter users, especially those who read her first two tweets, as concluding that she could only bring home a silver.

The trolling had come after this tweet soon after the Olympics started:
Goal of Team India at the Olympics: Rio jao. Selfies lo. Khaali haat wapas aao. What a waste of money and opportunity.

It had triggered a huge torrent of criticism spread over several days, from Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, actor Amitabh Bachchan and cricketer Virender Sehwag. A few people, from actor Sonam Kapoor, had spoken up in her defence.

Today, someone could not help taking another dig:

In 2013, her tweets demanding a separate state of Mumbai following the Centre's decision to create Telangana had upset the political parties of Maharashtra.

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