Madhya Pradesh Police Inspector Daulatram Jogawat on Thursday asked if columnist Shobhaa De would pay for his obesity treatment, after the columnist posted his photo with a description that read “Heavy police bandobast in Mumbai today” on Twitter, The Times of India reported. Jogawat said he will consult his lawyer about sending a notice to De, who has been accused of fat-shaming the police officer on February 21.
“It hurts when I see my photo on social media or when people tell me about it. India is a democratic country and people have freedom to express their views, but it should not hurt or shame someone,” the officer from Neemuch told the daily. The 58-year-old officer said his obesity was because of an insulin imbalance and not caused by overeating.
“Shobhaa De is a big personality and people of such prominence should write responsibly. I am not fat since childhood. I became fat when my gall bladder was removed, as it was infected. She posted my picture on her account, but will she pay for my treatment.”
Jogawat also said the photograph, taken by an unidentified photographer, was an old image. He is scheduled to retire in 2019.
On February 21, the Mumbai Police responded to De’s tweet with a rebuttal. “We love puns too Ms De, but this one is totally misplaced. Uniform/official not ours. We expect better from responsible citizens like you,” a post by their Twitter account said. The author responded with another tweet that said, “No offence intended. MP police, consult a dietician, if it is an asli (authentic image). Doctored image doing the rounds.”
De’s tweets have been the subject of controversy in the past too. Her post mocking Indian sportspersons for clicking selfies in Brazil and claiming that the money spent on them was a waste had attracted ire on social media. When the formation of Telangana state was being discussed, the columnist’s tweet that “Mumbai has always fancied itself as an independent entity” had also drawn criticism from the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. Her tweet criticising the Maharashtra government’s decision to make it mandatory for multiplexes to screen at least one Marathi film between 6 pm-9 pm every day led to a Shiv Sena MLA moving a privilege motion against her in April 2015.