AFI sorry for mocking Hima’s English fluency
Mumbai: On a day when India celebrated the historic achievement of Assam’s Hima Das, who became the first Indian track athlete to win any world event by clinching the 400m gold at the IAAF World U-20 Athletics Championship in Tampere, Finland, it was the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) that hogged the limelight on social media.
The AFI received severe criticism for posting a tweet that highlighted the 18-year-old’s lack of English skills in an interview she gave after her 400m semifinal victory on Wednesday.
“#HimaDas speking to media after her SF win at #iaaftampere 2018 @ iaaforg Not so fluent in English but she gave her best there too. So proud of u #HimaDas Keep rocking & yeah,try ur best in final!” AFI wrote on its twitter handle (@afiindia) after Das’s semifinal win. The tweet did not garner a lot of attention after her semis triumph, but once Das became an overnight toast of the nation, the AFI was not spared by Twitteratis for its comments.
Rohith Ram forced the AFI to respond with this tweet: “She has landed in Tampere for displaying her talent in track and not in English Its shame on you @afiindia for what you said.”
Post this tweet, the AFI realised that its thought process behind the tweet was being perceived negatively by the people, and posted a series of tweets defending itself.
“Also she comes from a very humble background & can not even speak Hindi fluently, we are applauding her effort to face journalists & trying her best to speak in English. Hope now you understand that tweet,” the AFI said.
“And the point from our end is this that we made that statement to highlight her confidence & her positive attitude. To tell those who do not know her well that even though she is not fluent, she is not shy to express her, & that is the reason in the first place to put this video,” the AFI added.
By then, though, the damage was already done.