Days after India batting legend Sachin Tendulkar sent out a tweet related to the ongoing farmers protests that polarised opinions, a group of fans gathered outside his house with placards and raised slogans in his support. Tendulkar’s comment on Twitter invited sharp criticism from users and political leaders accusing him of siding with the national government.

Pop icon Rihanna had posted the link of a CNN article that talked about internet access being cut around Delhi after violent clashes between farmers and police, writing, ‘why aren’t we talking about this.’ This was followed by a string of tweets from several Indian celebrities including prominent cricketers, actors, politicians among others urging their fellow citizens to remain united and opposed the interference of outsiders in internal matters.

“India’s sovereignty cannot be compromised. External forces can be spectators but not participants. Indians know India and should decide for India. Let’s remain united as a nation. #IndiaTogether #IndiaAgainstPropaganda,” Tendulkar had written.

On Wednesday, videos emerged of a crowd assembled outside Tendulkar’s home in Mumbai flaunting banners with one of them reading “Bharat Ratna Ka Apman Nahi Sahega Hindustan” which loosley translates to that India will not tolerate its Bharat Ratna being humiliated.

Tendulkar is the first ever sportsperson to have been conferred with India’s highest civilian award. He’s international cricket’s most prolific run-getter in history and is widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest players to have graced the game.

Not only Tendulkar, the likes of Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, head coach Ravi Shastri and former India captain Anil Kumble too had posted similar tweets opposing foreigners commenting on the farmers protest.

Farmers have been calling for the rollback of farm laws since last November. While the government maintains it will benefit them, resulting in the rise of their incomes, farmers say it will the law will end up helping big companies to push the prices down.