Yesterday, in a rather interesting match, France defeated Croatia to lift the FIFA world cup. While the French celebrated and the Croatians got applauded for a series well played, here in India, Kiran Bedi, ex IPS officer, BJP politician and the current Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry courted controversy.
After France’s win, Kiran Bedi tweeted some bizarre comments congratulating Puducherrians for France’s victory.
We the Puducherrians (erstwhile French Territory) won the World Cup.
???? Congratulations Friends.
What a mixed team-all French.
— Kiran Bedi (@thekiranbedi) July 15, 2018
She also tweeted about the “memorable and historical bond with France” and how Puducherry “wanted France to win”.
We in Puducherry wanted France to win d #WorldCup as d UT of Puducherry has a very memorable historical bond with #France.
Thousands of Puducherrians have maintained close ties with France. France also generously supports Puducherry in several ways @ANI pic.twitter.com/02o8zJ3l4S
— Kiran Bedi (@thekiranbedi) July 16, 2018
In 1674 French East Company set up trading centre at erstwhile Pondicherry and has colonised the Indian Union Territory. Their exit came after massive civil agitation. For example, In 1787 and 1791, farmers of Karaikal agitated against the heavy land tax imposed by the French.
For an Indian Governor to now celebrate France’s victory owing to the illegal colonisation of Indian Territory did not sit well with Netizens who sharply called out Bedi’s stand and her ‘colonial mindset’.
One netizen reminded her of the deeply anti-Hindu legacy of French colonialists in Puducherry.
— Vanara (@AgentSaffron) July 15, 2018
Some also shamed Bedi for celebrating colonialists as it insulted the ones who fought hard to free Indian territory.
Yuck! Madam, lets not start cheering for colonialists just to sound relevant. This tweet insults all those who fought against French colonization of Puducherry.
Let the game be a game, lets not make it an excuse to cheer and relate to the colonizers. https://t.co/ysAzCbYL1A
— Neha S (@neha_aks) July 15, 2018
Others reminded Bedi that the French not only colonised Puducherry but also collaborated with the genocidal Tipu Sultan.
M’m ‘momorable’ historical bond with #France was of colonialism & collaboration with genocidal Tipu & celebrating ‘occupation’ is obsequence. #FifaWorldCup2018 saw world celebrate #footbal where #Croatia was a strong contender but France played better & https://t.co/v8Oox4YZHd? https://t.co/sTSmQ11BVq
— Lalit Ambardar (@LalitAmbardar) July 16, 2018
She was also asked if she was celebrating a French victory because they were the colonisers of Puducherry, would she have celebrated if the British had won, considering they too illegally colonised India.
— Abhijit Majumder (@abhijitmajumder) July 15, 2018
Seriously! What the hell is this Tweet! India should celebrate 4th Place of England too? https://t.co/LKI6SZmfdZ
— Suresh N (@surnell) July 16, 2018
It was indeed shocking to see the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry celebrate the colonisers who oppressed and illegally occupied Indian territory. It would bode Indian politicians well if they choose their words wisely and retract when they goof up. Something Bedi had not done till the time this article was published.