The Indian National Anthem was incessantly booed at SmackDown Live, one of WWE’s weekly live-televised events.
What Exactly Happened?
The reason behind all this fiasco and humiliation was Jinder Mahal, the current WWE champion and more importantly, a heel. For people who regularly watch WWE are aware of the fact that Jinder Mahal is disliked by the WWE fan army and is someone whose job is to antagonize crowds into booing and to portray himself as the villain.
As part of the promotion for Summer Slam, one of WWE’s marquee events, where he will face off against Shinsuke Nakamura, he celebrated Independence Day in a grand manner in the ring. After condemning the crowd, he proudly shouted,
“But for my people, today marks Independence Day of the greatest nation on earth: the great nation of India!”
Bhangra ensued after this vociferous statement. After the Bhangra, a lady draped in a purple Salwar kameez started singing the Indian national anthem abruptly without informing the public that she was about to sing the national anthem.
Watch out the video out here.
Thousands of Indian viewers got pissed off because of this act and started the movement of boycotting Smackdown. Expectedly, they hurled abuses all over social media and defamed the WWE community.
WWE is used to such antics which infuriates the crowd. It is all done to rake up the TV ratings. In the 1980s, a tag team of Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff waved the flags of Iran and the U.S.S.R in the WWE ring. Sgt. Slaughter, a one-time Patriot, switched his allegiance to Iraq.
More Recently, Rusev wrestled John Cena in a so-called “flag match”. Such acts tested the patience and were received with booing and abusive chants.
The underlying fact is that such stunts are pre determined and not performed to explicitly hurt anyone.
Why Jinder Mahal?
The WWE is looking to expand into India, a country where sports entertainment is already quite popular. That’s why the company has attached so much importance to Jinder Mahal.
Booing a country’s national anthem is absolutely wrong and degrading. Maybe Jinder Mahal overstepped the line by singing the national anthem on the ring but there is no need for any altercation between the Indian and the American communities. The audience probably didn’t know that the song being sung was the Indian National Anthem.
Image Credits: Google Images