ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Dark Underbelly of Stardom

Hardik Pandya in Koffee with Karan

In its obsession for staying politically correct, is the Board of Control for Cricket in India overlooking the opportunities that issues like those that emerged from the Hardik Pandya controversy provide for creating socially conscious cricketing celebrities?

The Hardik Pandya controversy has divided the country down the middle, and has raised questions about masculinity, stardom and its associated virtues and pitfalls, codes of behaviour associated with cricket and more. It is interesting, for there has always been a dark underbelly to stardom. The Indian Premier League (IPL) parties, for example, were proof of what Pandya has spoken about on the show. Yet, the parties continued unabated for a few years and there was hardly any outrage over them. So, why now? Why is it that some are suggesting exemplary punishments for Pandya and K L Rahul when most of what they have said has been known to the society at large?

Is it because these things were under a veil all this while and Pandya has dared to lift the veil and bring it all out in the open? Is it because he has blown the facade of gentlemanliness still associated with cricket? Or is it because a cricketer has never made such comments in public and he is the first foolhardy person to do so? Cricket and the whole ethos of ethical behaviour associated with it, even if it is a facade, has been destroyed as a result. Never before have things come out with such bareness in the public domain. And frankly, whatever anyone does in private is their business has been the accepted norm. No one can claim to or has any right over anyone else’s privacy. But, the moment such things are blown out of proportion in public, situations turn dire. In this case, it has brought the whole issue of masculinity, regressive masculinity to put it bluntly, in focus. And that is what explains the nationwide outrage.

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Updated On : 20th Oct, 2022
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