Hardik Pandya Has Apologised, But Does It Mean Anything?
Cricketer Hardik Pandya may have apologised for his insensitive and misogynist comments on Koffee With Karan, but is that enough? It is not the first time that a celebrity lost his bearings with fame and access to a popular platform. In a bid to project a ‘cool’ image, Pandya ended up coming across as a juvenile talent who got too much too soon. Such is the power of popularity. We make gods out of men, but these gods are often unable to handle all the love and adulation which come their way. Some develop arrogance and attitude, while others like Pandya become delusional. They strive to live up to the popular idea of a sports star and end up believing that seeing women as trophies makes them look glamorous.
- Cricketer Hardik Pandya has apologised for his crass remarks against women on Koffee With Karan, but is that enough?
- Pandya seems to be struggling to handle all the fame and adulation coming his way. Though he may not be the only one.
- Perhaps BCCI needs to coach these young men we are pulling into a world of glamour and indulgence to handle it well.
- As for Pandya, he has lost all the respect he earned for his game and it will take more than an apology for him to earn it back.
We make gods out of men, but these gods are often unable to handle all the love and adulation which come their way.
Pandya was on the popular chat show with teammate K L Rahul and when Karan Johar asked him, “Why don’t you ask women’s names at nightclubs,” he replied, “I like to watch and observe how they move. I’m little from the black side so I need to see how they move.” Pandya is also earning a lot of flak for bragging about hooking up with multiple women and how open he is with his parents, saying he had told them after losing his virginity, “aaj mai kar ke aaya.”
However, we don’t know what is more infuriating here. That our young cricketing icons think disrespecting women is cool? Or that Koffee With Karan, a very popular talk show, not unknown to controversies, into its sixth season chose to air this episode and not censor Pandya’s offensive comments? Or all the apologies and show-cause notices that are flooding our timelines only after a backlash?
Did the boys feel the need to justify their invitation on Koffee With Karan by bragging about their conquests in bed? The conviction in Pandya’s voice, that it was okay to objectify women on national television hints that such an attitude is not uncommon. The glamour and money, which has flooded, especially this sport in the last decade has filled boys with a sense of entitlement.
Pandya doesn’t have any idea what he is selling to young boys.
As commentator Harsha Bhogle wrote in his tweet, there is a need to get these young players out of the bubble that forms around them. We are pulling young men into a world they are not conditioned to cope with. Today it is just wannabe cool comments on a talk show, who knows where it would end. Clearly, Pandya is at fault here, but so are people who failed stop him from becoming a racist and sexist loud mouth, both on and off-screen.
Pandya doesn’t have any idea what he is selling to young boys. They are pitching misogyny, arrogance and bratty behaviour. Certainly not the fantasies we want young men in this country to harbour, in times when we are trying so desperately to squash objectification of women. So instead of issuing show cause notices after boys turn rogue, perhaps BCCI should take initiatives to coach young players into responsibly handling all the money and attention that comes their way.
We are pulling young men into a world they are not conditioned to cope with.
Pandya for sure isn’t the only one infatuated with the bad boy image. Many young cricketers are at risk of walking the same path. Judging by the outrage on social media, it will take more than an apology for him to redeem himself. He has lost all the respect that he had earned for his game. But that is how cruel fame is in times of social media. Hopefully, both he and BCCI will emerge wiser and humbled from this entire episode. But above everything else, we expect that BCCI refuses to tolerate such frivolous attitude among young players and reclaims Indian cricket’s reputation outside of the field.
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.