The Big Bolt Bleep by BJP

Last Updated: Mon, Aug 29, 2016 15:39 hrs
Usain Bolt (Reuters image)

When Bharatiya Janata Party MP Udit Raj tweeted on Usain Bolt, he intended to inspire Indian sportspersons. He tweeted:

Raj invited a lot of flak for this move. He was trolled by twitterati who accused him of advocating the consumption of beef. Raj later issued a clarification stating that the Jamaican champion, Bolt – who retired after bagging nine medals at the Rio Olympics – did not let poverty and poor infrastructure get in the way of his sport. He added that people had misinterpreted his quote as an endorsement of beef consumption.

The parliamentarian's tweet on Bolt came at a time of intense scrutiny with regard to India’s performance in Rio, where 118 participants from the country secured just two medals – a silver and a bronze.

Some tweets also pointed towards the fact that eating beef was in no way connected to sports performance, besides the fact that it's a norm for sportsmen to follow a protein-rich diet. Others pointed towards a lack of understanding on the BJP MP's part that talent and training facilities were key to success, which he had overlooked in his tweet.

The BJP lawmaker clarified that Bolt hailed from a poor economic background, but he won nine gold medals. He said that he was not encouraging anyone to eat beef and that he was just stating the advice Bolt's trainer had doled out to him. Raj added that he used Bolt's example to convey that sportspersons should look for ways to win by working around their limitations rather than blaming their circumstances or the government.