France defeated Croatia 4-2 in the title clash of FIFA World Cup 2018 in Moscow on Sunday night. Understandably, fans of Didier Deschamps' side were elated beyond words and scenes of celebrations were seen in cities across Paris as well as among fans elsewhere in the world.
While Puducherry too celebrated the victory with fans coming out on the streets to cheer, it was a tweet from the Lieutenant Governor of the union territory though that became a party pooper for many. Kiran Bedi, known to make statements that grab headlines more often than not, bolted out a message on the micro-blogging site that left most netizens rather puzzled and quite perturbed. "We the Puducherrians (erstwhile French Territory) won the World Cup. Congratulations Friends. What a mixed team-all French. Sports unites," she wrote.
For the record, India - ranked 97th in the world - did not play in the tournament. And for the record, Puducherry - then Pondicherry - merged into the Indian Union after being a small French colony in 1962.
There are other ways to celebrate a French victory than to be so servile
I'm a born Pondicherrian, I don't feel I've won at all
France won, and it's a game and I love the game.I don't need the crutch of a colonial mindset to enjoy
Please do consider pulling this tweet down.
— Alo Pal (@AloPal) July 15, 2018
We the Puducherrians (erstwhile French Territory) won the World Cup.
???????? Congratulations Friends.
What a mixed team-all French.
— Kiran Bedi (@thekiranbedi) July 15, 2018
Netizens sought to remind Bedi about these as they made their views clear on her tweet.
Shame full for an Indian to remember and Glorify its Colonial master
On second thought This mentality of yours not new it was there about 100 year old tradition of yours
— Ravi (@scrapravi) July 15, 2018
what if England in final and won then you would say..we indian erstwhile British territory won final..stop it please..
— Avanish Kumar (@Avanish__) July 15, 2018
Mam u support colonial ideology ..its not a good way to support #francevscroatia match.
— Lokesh Rathor (@lokeshrathor007) July 15, 2018
— Arya Gangopadhyay (@AryaGanguly16) July 15, 2018
Not expected this kinda Tweet from u ma'am.....
We r indian not french any more slavish attitude still exist there in ur mind
— Being_Me?? (@myselfpramo) July 15, 2018
While such messages inundated Bedi's feed, there were also voices of support for her with people commenting on the rich cultural heritage of Puducherry and its people.
To the people who are trolling here. Lot of French people live here with us & we r like brothers and sisters. We just shared & celebrated their victory..No doubt we r proud Indians,still French people are like family. Maybe u guys should learn from us to spread love! #Pondicherry
— United We (@TrueFactsIndia1) July 15, 2018
I don’t see anything wrong when she said ex French colony. There is a lot of French influence right from buildings to cuisine.
Also note the emojis which clearly shows that it is said in lighter vein.
Everyone should have a humorous streak !
So don’t preach unnecessarily.
— Gautam Dey (@gdey) July 15, 2018
On Monday morning, Bedi herself clarified what she had meant with her post from the previous night.
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
Bedi was appointed as the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry on May 22 of 2016.