Who got the bird from M.I.A.?
113 million viewers around the world saw a fuzzy screen when Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam, better known as M.I.A., flipped the bird during her part on Madonna’s Superbowl halftime show. Though M.I.A. does not often speak publicly about her religious beliefs, it’s on record that she is a proud Tamil of Sri Lankan Hindu origin. She is also an outspoken critic of the Sri Lankan government on the ethnic cleansing of over 40,000 and displacement of 300,000 Tamils, mainly Hindu, during the civil war that ended in August 2009. M.I.A. denounced the Tamil Tigers in an interview with Tavis Smiley, but said the Sri Lankan government’s war with the terrorist group has been used as an excuse to wipe out the Tamil population from the island country. She wants the world to understand that Tamil civilians are completely distinct from the Tamil Tigers. She said to Smiley, “If you wanna fight and kill Al-Qaeda you can, but you can’t wipe out Afghanistan.” So perhaps she was venting her frustration to the world for ignoring the Tamil civilians who were caught in the crossfire.She could have conveyed her message more eloquently, however, and not upset Madonna, NBC, and the NFL in the process.