As Sunday’s Pakistan-India world cup match was drawing to a close, something other than Misbah-ul-Haq’s valiant effort to save face was causing a stir on Twitter.
It all began when Rega Jha, Buzzfeed India’s 23-year-old editor, tweeted: “It’s so sad that no matter who wins, Pakistanis will continue to be way hotter than us and we’ll continue to be their ugly neighbours.”:
Jha’s tweet immediately went viral and indignant Indian cricket fans trolled her incessantly. The majority of replies to her tweet were outraged denials of the above statement. Fellow tweet-ers were merciless in their attack on Jha, and responses ranged from the unbelievably mean-spirited to the plain hilarious:
Rega Jha ✔ @RegaJha
it’s so sad that no matter who wins, Pakistanis will continue to be way hotter than us and we’ll continue to be their ugly neighbours
3:04 PM – 15 Feb 2015
And then there were a few people who kind of agreed with her sentiment:
Jha’s comment, though probably made in jest, struck a nerve with Pakistanis and Indians as the relative hotness of either nation has long been a matter of heated debate. For every Deepika India spits out, Pakistan responds with a Mahira. The two countries are certainly neck and neck in the race for the hottest ‘race’ — if there can be such a contest when two populations are ethnically so much the same.
This guy definitely gave the matter some thought:
Though Jha’s tweet quickly incited us-vs-them passion, some were quick to point out that this was a clever ploy on her part to get attention and direct traffic Buzzfeed’s way. As Newscrunch.in points out, “The internationally acclaimed media site Buzzfeed, which has been struggling to find traction in India, found some social media success on Sunday after its editor Rega Jha tweeted saying Pakistanis were hot and Indians ugly.”
Indeed, a few hours after her tweet, ‘Rega Jha’ was trending on Twitter in India. As commentary continued, a few twitterati called for a truce as the attacks on Jha were becoming increasingly personal and openly misogynistic:
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If you haven’t followed the debate closely yet, like this guy below, it’s not too late to hop on the bandwagon.