India

Indians troll BA over Sachin Tendulkar row

Sachin Tendulkar gestures at an event Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mess with "God" and face the wrath of a nation

British Airways has incurred the wrath of Indian cricket fans over cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar.

Tendulkar had tweeted the airline, complaining about poor service and what he referred to as a "don't care" attitude by staff.

The airline responded, apologising for the inconvenience and asking him for his full name and address.

Indian fans are livid British Airways did not know Tendulkar, and declared social media war on the company.

Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image caption The offending tweet from BA

The reactions to the tweet from Indians have bordered on the hysterical, with some people even going so far as to call upon Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to call off his UK tour.

Tendulkar has since tweeted that British Airways had "expressed deep regret" and offered to look into his complaints about customer service.

He thanked Twitter users for their "love and support".

British Airways is currently the top trend on Twitter in India, with even politicians like the former chief minister of Indian-administered Kashmir getting in on the act.

Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter

Indians are particularly sensitive over Tendulkar - widely acknowledged as one of the greatest batsmen the sport has ever seen - and often refer to him as "God".

There are even temples that are dedicated to him - one village in the northern state of Bihar made headlines after they erected a life-size white marble statue of the cricketer "amid the chanting of Vedic prayers" and a religious pandal was once dedicated to him during the most holy festival in Kolkata (Calcutta).

Special "puja" or prayer ceremonies would often be held for him ahead of matches where India was due to play.

When he retired in 2013, people travelled to Mumbai from across the country to watch his final test match, with emotions running high.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Special "puja" or prayer ceremonies would often be held for him ahead of matches where India was due to play
Image copyright AFP

And this is not the first time that Indians have taken offence en masse on behalf of "God".

In 2014, the Russian-born tennis player Maria Sharapova was pilloried on social media by Indians after she admitted that she had no idea who Tendulkar was.

Some people however, defended Sharapova given that she did not come from a cricket-playing nation.

British Airways unfortunately, have no such excuse.

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