Dinesh Karthik: For some reason, Indian men find it very difficult to impress other men without passing crass, objectifying remarks on women. One can scroll through a random WhatsApp family group and easily spot at least one middle-aged man trying to make it big in life with his "harmless" sexist remarks on his wife, his neighbour's wife and possibly all the wives in the world. But let's not ruin the fun by calling out misogyny, okay?
Apparently, such jokes inspired Dipika Pallikal Karthik's husband and a star cricketer of the Indian team as well. Former Indian cricketer-turned commentator Dinesh Karthik seems to think it is clever commentary to compare a batsman's relationship with bats, to a man's relationship with wife. The 36-year-old player tried to put together an analogy while he presented the England vs Sri Lanka ODI match on Thursday as a commentator. Talking about how batsmen always like other players' bats, he said, "Batsmen and not liking bats, they go hand in hand. Most of the batters don’t seem to like their bats. They either like another person’s bat. Bats are like a neighbour’s wife. They always feel better."
What his next conversation with his wife would have been like, we can only guess. The commentary obviously was in bad taste. For someone who still doesn't get what all the fuss is about, here is something for you to understand: Dinesh Karthik said "bats are like neighbour's wife". He compared a non-living object used to play a game to a woman. It is 2021 and we are tired of screaming that women are not objects, they are not a means to get men popular in their "bro circles", they are not a commodity. They are human and would like some respect.
When a man, such as Dinesh Karthik who enjoys wide popularity and fandom, says something that derogatory on international television, it is not only shameful but also disappointing. Sure it was said as a joke and jokes apparently "don't have to be politically correct to be funny". Well, that is the issue and people who think like that are part of the problem. This is not the era in which you make such "jokes" without having to apologise for passing off disrespect as a hilarious "observation".
The thing about famous people coming into the limelight for the wrong reasons is that they will always have people to defend them. Celebrities and public figures have the influence and that is why basic accountability is expected of them. While there are people criticising Dinesh Karthik for disgusting commentary, there must be people who laughed at his joke. These people too need to check themselves. Seriously, do better. Read this too.
Views expressed by the author are their own.