Harsha Bhogle is right: Virat Kohli needs to come out of his bubble
There has been a lot of controversy in the last couple of days after Virat Kohli responded to a fan’s ‘mean tweet’ with a shard-sharp comment of his own.
The ‘fan’ had termed Kohli an ‘overrated batsman’ and said that he would prefer watching 'English and Australian batsmen to these Indians'. Kohli had responded in kind, saying, “I don’t think you should live in our country.”
At a time when the Indian captain is seen as a role model by many for not only his astounding batting performances, but also his work ethic, such unsavoury comments about a fellow Indian do not come across as a show of his patriotism, rather an example of intolerance of a contrarian.
Kohli has rightly had to face backlash, though he has decided to term all of his critics as ‘trolls’. This is quite unfortunate. It’s true that some comments have been quite vitriolic. In a cricket-mad country such as India, top cricketers are worshipped as ‘gods’, but when they let the fans down, either through their lack of performances or their words, they also get their share of criticism.
The criticism they receive may seem disproportionate at times, but then the adulation that they get is equally disproportionate!
It is in this light that leading cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle’s comment about Kohli is a pertinent one. He has pointed out how the rich and famous sometimes tend to allow a comfortable bubble to form around themselves that isolates them from any critical comment or adverse criticism.
Only the sycophants are allowed inside this bubble. This eventually isolates the concerned person from ground realities and hence the moment the bubble is burst and an opposing view emerges, it is seen as adversarial – one that needs to be responded to and shot down.
Kohli must guard himself from such a bubble of comfort forming around him. Fame and glory are transient things. He needs to be measured in the words he utters, as every word of his is latched on to by millions of ‘fans’ around the world.
There is no point in telling the fans to ‘take it lightly’ as it is this excess – of both adulation and condemnation, in equal measure – that makes them such passionate fans in the first place.