“It's 2020 and things still don’t change for me.”
These are the words from actor Anushka Sharma’s latest statement on her name being linked to her husband Virat Kohli’s match performance. While these are Anushka’s words for herself, sadly, the statement holds true for the state of women in general in our country.
It is 2020 and nothing has really changed for women. We are still quick to pass ‘casual’ comments on women. While sensitivity and compassion are rare on social media, it is particularly deplorable when legendary figures, who are followed and worshipped by millions, indulge in casual sexism.
The latest incident happened yesterday, as cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar made the following remarks on Virat Kohli’s underwhelming performance during the IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab.
“Kohli knows he will improve based on the way he practices. During the lockdown, he practiced only against Anushka’s bowling. We all saw the video. That wouldn’t help at all.”
The casual remark said during the commentary didn’t go down well with a lot of people and outbursts are rising on social media. Anushka also shared a statement expressing her disappointment at Gavaskar’s choice of words.
Ever since the actor has come out with her statement, many people have accused her of over reacting and misunderstanding the legend’s comments, saying that he was merely referring to their viral home practising video.
However, the point to note here is: why name Anushka at all? Why even talk about Anushka in reference to Virat or Cricket? Do we hear Virat being blamed if Anushka’s films don’t do well? Or do we hear Anushka being applauded when Virat performs well?
Even if Gavaskar didn’t mean to sound sexist, doesn’t the fact that he took Anushka’s name in his commentary show how casual we are in our approach to sexism?
Nobody has to put up with it when their name is dragged into mud, not even if it is done by the Sunil Gavaskar. Trolls on social media have already begun defending Gavaskar’s statement and berating Anushka for the response. Despite the online abuse that was bound to follow Anushka’s response, it is commendable that the young actress responded to the situation. Because, as Maya Angelou says, each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women.
(Edited by Athira Nair)