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Cricket is considered a ‘gentleman’s game’ but anyone who watched Cricketer Hardik Pandya on the Koffee with Karan show would be in for a shock. Hardik Pandya could hardly hide his chauvinism and rather, even seemed proud of his ideas about women.
Hardik Pandya doesn’t like to ask the name of ladies in a night club but likes to observe and “watch them move”. Most of the interview was about women, what he felt about them and how he treated them and – his views were cringeworthy. The entire episode had questions and answers that were demeaning to women but were passed off as “cool“ stuff that could be aired. The host and the other guest (KL Rahul) were laughing and enjoying his answers, with none showing any regret about what Hardik was saying.
What is more disturbing is that Hardik has millions of fans, who admire him for his cricketing skills and also perceive him as a role model. These young fans who watched this episode would definitely be influenced by his misogynistic views; some wouldn’t even realise how wrong he is and how contemptible his views are. Chauvinism packaged as uber cool sells fast amongst celeb struck youngsters leaving a lasting impression on their own thinking.
Mocking girls and checking out girls like objects, judging them for their looks and stalking women on social media are now cool things propagated by such celebs. And then we appear shocked when girls are stalked or attacked. Many fans tried to underplay the interview, blaming Hardik’s lack of any formal education but this an unacceptable excuse; lack of formal education can’t be a reason for disrespecting women. There are many others with little or no formal education who are free from misogynistic views.
It is also deplorable that Karan Johar entertained his views without any attempt to call him out – clearly, anything goes in the name of entertainment. All the three men enjoyed each other’s views and jokes displaying camaraderie and bromance. It is even more disheartening that these views came from a cricketer; in a country where cricket is a religion, one of its most famous stars proudly flaunting his sexist views is strongly condemnable.
Cricket has given us many true gentlemen like Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Mansoor Ali Pataudi and Anil Kumble to name a few but sadly, the views of Hardik Pandya reflect badly on the game and the men who support it blindly. Celebs from Bollywood or the cricket world should be held to high standards simply because they have a huge fan following who literally worship their idols and in such circumstances sexists ideas will be easily propagated and ingrained in the minds of young fans.
Ideas which should be called out will now be normalised as cool, which will only add on to woes of young girls and women. These sexist ideas should be nipped in the bud before it is too late. Celebs need to be more responsible about their opinions and views and the people interviewing them even more cautious about what they are showing on their shows. One can’t simply pass off sexist ideas as cool only because it is shared by a young cricketer or film star.
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