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Why Can’t We Let Virat Kohli’s Decision To Take Paternity Leave Just Be That?

Posted: November 11, 2020
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Virat Kohli’s decision to take paternity leave has been met with social media’s wrath. What is so wrong in wanting to take the leave?

Indian cricket team’s captain, Virat Kohli recently announced that he will be taking paternity leave from India’s tour of Australia. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) informed media that the cricketer will return to India after the first of four test matches in Adelaide for his paternity leave. Kohli and Anushka Sharma are expecting their first child in January 2021.

https://twitter.com/ICC/status/1325757723619823617

While people supported his decision, there were others who had issues with it and even went on to say Kohli was shirking away from his ‘national duty.’ A number of people were unsupportive of his decision and even compared it to India’s former cricket team captain MS Dhoni’s decision to not take the leave.

In 2015, when Dhoni and his wife were expecting their first child, he had chosen not to take the leave and serve the team, instead. He had missed the birth of his daughter Ziva as the team was playing in Australia then.

The wrath of social media

After Kohli’s decision became public, people started comparing it to Dhoni’s decision and called him out for ‘running away from his national duty.’

https://twitter.com/heyoncar/status/1325794749811286016

Dhoni deciding not to take the paternity leave was his choice. While Kohli deciding to take it is his. It doesn’t make him any less professional or dedicated to his game. However, had he chosen not to take the leave, people would still have criticised him for not taking leave at such an important time for his family.

Both the cricketers have proved their dedication to the game, time and again. It is time we realise their decisions are personal and we need to let them live their lives the way they want to and without the constant scrutiny.

Why not be inspired by him?

Ours is a society where the mother is supposed to bear all the responsibilities of the child from the moment it’s born. And in such a society, Kohli’s decision of taking the leave to be with his wife should only serve as an inspiration.

A decision like this from a person as influential as Kohli might just go on to leave a mark on younger generations to take care of their families at crucial junctures. And also to not let only the women bear the burden of childcare.

Picture credits: Anushka Sharma’s Instagram

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