From childhood, we are taught ‘winning and losing is part and parcel of the game.’ When two teams play, one is certain to win and the other loses. It has been the rule of nature ever since sport was played. However, in the modern era, there are many people who refuse to accept these two phrases. They consider the game of cricket as a war between two nations. They consider players as the medium through which their ambitions and wishes are fulfilled. It is perhaps this extreme reaction that is getting manifested through social media. The trolling is venomous; emotions cannot be controlled. It is acceptable that one can get angry if their favorite team does not win. However, when the anger reaches levels of personal insult, then the line is crossed.
Narrow, patriarchal mindset
Recently, there was a disgusting and shameful event on social media regarding MS Dhoni. When Chennai Super Kings lost the match to Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, there was trolling on Dhoni and his wife Sakshi Dhoni’s Instagram account. However, the level of trolling stooped to a disgusting level when certain users threatened to rape MS Dhoni’s six-year-old daughter Ziva and they blamed her for the loss.
The trolling did not represent anger. It reflected the narrow, patriarchal mindset that is still plaguing society and is manifesting out in the open every single time. This is the same patriarchal mindset that targets Anushka Sharma whenever her husband, the Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli fails. This is the same patriarchal mindset that raises questions on Kangana Ranaut’s character only through her clothes.
Yes, it is accepted that Chennai Super Kings have struggled in IPL 2020, having lost four matches in six games. The three-time IPL champions, known for their consistency, have not met expectations from a cricket public that has put them on a different pedestal. Even MS Dhoni has struggled. But, is this a reason to target MS Dhoni’s daughter? There can be no justification.
Fithy, narrow-minded thinking
Today, the entire country is angry over the incidents that have taken place in Hathras. There is massive demand for stricter laws and punishments against rapists. Last year, Nirbhaya’s rapists were given the death penalty. Despite all this, the fact that a rape threat was issued to Dhoni’s six-year-old daughter Ziva shows that implementing stricter laws needs to be fast-tracked.
The unfortunate thing is despite making progress in the modern era, our narrow-minded thinking has only increased. Women and children are the primary targets of this thinking. This thinking is used to express resentment, fulfilling vengeance and showing off the rampant chauvinism.
The classic example is Anushka Sharma. She has become a subject of online trolling whenever Team India or Virat Kohli fails. The modern-day trolling of women is like the story of the Mahabharata, in which the Kauravas disrobe Draupadi in front of individuals. At that time, society cannot conveniently hear, speak or listen.
Yes, disagreements will crop up. People will get angry. It is human nature. But, as long as the lines are not crossed, it is just fine. The time has now come that people who issue such threats should be put behind bars and given rigorous imprisonment.
If the trolls in social media are like the ‘Kauravas’ of Mahabharat, then any sane individual must be like Krishna, who stands up for justice and righteousness. If people can awaken the Krishna within their conscience, then all these heinous acts of threatening to rape will be stopped. It is only if one understand the words of Lord Krishna, then every ‘Draupadi’ in this country can be saved. Otherwise, the actions of a few ‘Kauravas’ will end up tarnishing every male in this country.
-Abhishek Mehrotra is the Digital Editor of Zee News Hindi. Views and opinions expressed by him are personal.