Siddhart Malla, son of Indian business tycoon Vijay Mallya, has defended his father by hitting back at trolls on Twitter. Vijay has been accused of hiding out in the UK over huge debts to Indian banks and Indian authorities had his passport revoked on 25 April.
Thousands of Indians have demanded to know how the businessman was allowed to leave the country while owing £1bn ($1.4bn) of unpaid debts to banks, triggered by the collapse of his Kingfisher Airlines in 2013. Indian authorities have given Mallya one week to state why his passport should not be revoked as many turn to Twitter to target his son, Siddhart Mallya, over his father's actions.
Despite a number of messages from people, Siddhart appears to be relatively calm about the situation. As news broke about Vijay's passport being revoked, Siddhart hit back at angry Twitter messages with light-hearted responses to defend his father. Responding to a Twitter user who asked him to tell his father not to run away, Siddhart said: "Trust me, in 28 years, I've never seen my dad 'run' anywhere!" The Twitter user had said that Mallya should return to India and settle all loans.
Another person questioned Siddhart on where his father was, before saying that he would soon be behind bars drinking "neat water". Siddhart took the opportunity to joke about the user's choice of words, saying: "'Neat' water? Does that mean it's going to be bottled? Guess that's okay then."
Despite a number of angry messages, Siddhart also got messages of support that commended him for having a positive attitude during the situation. When one user told Siddhart that he was "the most positive human" that she had ever heard of, Siddhart responded by saying: "It's the only way to be."
Another user also lent his support for Siddhart, sarcastically tweeting: "Nothing much to do, let's try and troll @sidmallya. Abuse him for stuff he's not responsible for." Siddhart retweeted the tweet with a comment saying, "Seems to be some people's favourite pasttime!"
Earlier in April 17 banks in India, led by the State Bank of India, rejected a proposal by Vijay Mallya to pay 40bn Indian rupees (£416m, $600m) by September 2016 to settle his loans, saying that the offer was inadequate. An arrest warrant has been issued by a court in Mumbai and Indian authorities are believed to be considering his deportation from the UK.