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You're Nasty: Tennis Legend Martina Navratilova Runs Into Indian Twitter

FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2012 file photo, former tennis player Martina Navratilova, arrives for the Laureus World Sports Awards in London. Navratilova will be among the 12 celebrity contestants on the next season of the ABC dancing competition, premiering March 19. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, file)
FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2012 file photo, former tennis player Martina Navratilova, arrives for the Laureus World Sports Awards in London. Navratilova will be among the 12 celebrity contestants on the next season of the ABC dancing competition, premiering March 19. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, file)

Tennis icon Martina Navratilova got a taste of being on the wrong side of India's 'right' on Twitter yesterday. However, she responded with spunk and logic when BJP's fans tried to accuse her of being a meddlesome outsider.

Yesterday, Navratilova tweeted out a link to an New York Times op-ed on the JNU standoff. The op-ed has been written by Indian columnist Nilanjana S Roy.

What Passes for Sedition in India, -ultra nationalism easily turns into violence at worst, bullying at best. https://t.co/U5V6nvENFn

— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) February 22, 2016

As expected, BJP followers and fans of the Narendra Modi government didn't take too kindly to a 'foreign' tennis star commenting on India's issues, that too in agreement with criticism against the present government.

So a slew of comments asking her to mind her business and focus on her own country followed.

@Martina you seem to be more worried about India than Indians themselves. Pls don't advice unsolicited.

— Deepak (@dvji) February 22, 2016

@Martina trust me, you cannot care about India more that patriotic Indians. RW is not an Indian category-each Indian is both LW & RW.

— Deepak (@dvji) February 23, 2016

@Martina who r you to interfere in my country's internal affair n less said about NYT d better. We beleive in..1/2 @SeemaSapraLaw@nytimes

— Vivekanand Gupta (@vivekanandg) February 22, 2016

Diyar @martina! Only Yummerikans have the right to be patriotic & nationalist? No wonder, America - land of the stoopid & the ignorant!

— Marut (@Marut_) February 22, 2016

Some asked her to mind the businesses of countries other than hers, as long as it was not India she was talking about. (Or perhaps they didn't know which country she belongs to.)

@Martina You should preach this to Putin. From India with love

— Tushar Shukla (@TusharS70034123) February 22, 2016

However, Navratilova engaged with most commenters on her timeline with patience, grace, wisdom and logic. She explained why slogan-chanting is not anti-national, admitted to the lapses in American's own political narrative and resolutely batted for free speech. Here are some of her responses.

@Dyslexicon@sanjayausta but how is disagreeing anti nationalist? Nobody is talking sedition, are they?

— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) February 22, 2016

@BisenSaurabh@Dyslexicon yes, same NYT that unfortunately quoted and supported our then president.

— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) February 22, 2016

@dvji and these days RW extremism seems on the rise. I could be wrong. And I love India btw- if I didn’t care I wouldn’t speak…

— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) February 22, 2016

@Aravind8 once again- it is not anti indian to disagree with a particular party. You just proved the point of that article…

— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) February 22, 2016

@pliersnwires I am not supporting violent anything - left or right wing. Hate communists, hate white supremacy jerks etc.

— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) February 22, 2016

And when the tweets defied both reason and decency, the tennis legend had the perfect answer.

@meonsky123 not lecturing anyone- but you are just nasty- bye.

— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) February 22, 2016

The last international tennis star, who had gotten a taste of India's Twitter nationalism a while back, was Maria Sharapova. Back then, her admission that she didn't know who Sachin Tendulkar is, earned her a lot of grief on social media. Navratilova here sums up what Sharapova must have felt about Indian Twitter trolls - 'nasty' it is.

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This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost India, which closed in 2020. Some features are no longer enabled. If you have questions or concerns about this article, please contact indiasupport@huffpost.com.