The latest news about Indian star batsman Virat Kohli does not have much relevance from the cricketing angle. The controversial 'leave India' statement by Virat Kohli has sparked debates and various views from many cricketers, fans, media and virtually from everyone who follow the gentleman's game.
'The Leave India' remark from Virat Kohli:
Virat Kohli celebrated his 30th birthday last week and the fans wished 'The King' all success in the coming years. However, he was in the news very shortly as he remarked a fan to leave India on seeing the latter's comments, which is now called the 'leave India' statement.
Just after he had turned 30, Virat Kohli launched an app called Virat Kohli official and he had planned to read out some comments from fans and respond to those. One of the fans had mentioned: "There is nothing special about Virat's batting. He is a normal batsman. I enjoy watching England and Australian batsmen bat, more than the Indian batsmen."
This tweet certainly did not go down well with Virat as he read out the tweet and responded in his own aggressive way: "I don't think you should live in India, go and live somewhere else. Why are you living in our country and loving other countries? I don't mind you not liking me, but I don't think you should live in our country and like other things." He also added that the fan should get his priorities right.
This incident has caused an enormous uproar among the cricket fans and while many of them criticised Virat for his aggressive comments, there were some selected number of people who came in support to the 'leave India' remark by Kohli.
Almost everything in life has two sides to the same story, and this controversy is no different. Let us analyze Virat's 'leave India' comment from both the angles.
Now, let us first talk about the critical fans point of view. The fan expressed his opinion that there is nothing special in Virat's batting and he is just a normal batsman. He also added that he enjoyed watching England and Australian batsmen bat more than the Indian counterparts. Now, talking from the critical view of Virat's 'leave India' statement, the fan has his own freedom of expressing his opinion and there is nothing wrong in him doing it. Virat, being the busy cricketer he is, should have kept aside from these comments or at the maximum, should have responded in a lighter note.
It was quite evident that Virat became a bit emotional on seeing the message from the fan, and he asked the particular fan to leave India and live in some other country. Now, is Virat the real authority in India? Does he have the right to instruct someone to leave India just because the fan likes foreign batsmen? The answer is probably a strong no. India is a democratic country and each one living in India has the right to express their opinion on different topics. The fan probably expressed his opinion about him liking foreign batsmen, and Virat's remark was a bit too much.
There are some vital questions to be asked to Virat after this 'leave India' statement:
1) Where did he marry? It was not in India, but it was in Italy. 2) Which water bottle does he drink? Again it isn't an Indian product. Virat drinks 'Evian' bottle, which is a French product that costs a whopping 600 rupees/liter in India. 3) One of the brands that he endorses? Puma, again a German company. 4) Who was his favorite cricketer way back in 2008, when he made his debut? It is certainly not an Indian cricketer. His favorite was South Africa's star batsman Herschelle Gibbs. 5) In 2016, Virat mentioned that Angelique Kerber was his favorite women's tennis player, after her Australian Open victory in the same year. Here again, his favorite wasn't an Indian star but a German athlete.
Everyone knows the friendship bond that exists between Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, thanks to the IPL. Virat has high opinions for the South African batsman and has always loved watching the South African go about his business. Again, AB de Villiers is not an Indian.
These are some of the things that go against Virat Kohli's favor in his controversial 'leave India' statement. From this angle, it pretty much looks as though Virat is on the wrong side of this topic. But as always, there is a counter view to this opinion as well. We will analyze the story from that angle as well so that the entire controversy will be clear from both ends.
Many of the fans feel that Virat could have avoided such controversies or responded in a polite way to tweets like these. But the aggressive person he is, one can always expect these kinds of replies from him and hence, this was not altogether surprising. If the fan has the right to express his wishes, the same goes for Virat Kohli. As an Indian, he too has the same rights that the fan possesses and by that logic, there is nothing wrong in Virat's comments as he was of the opinion that a person should not admire foreign players by hating his own countrymen.
Moreover, the key point to be noted in this topic is, the fan not only mentioned that he loves to watch England and Australian batsmen bat, but he also stated that he likes them 'more than the Indian batsmen' which did not go down well with the Indian skipper. The fan also degraded Virat Kohli's achievements as a batsman, by saying that there is nothing special about Virat's batting.
Now, Virat responded in an aggressive way because he felt that the fan degraded the Indian batsmen and praised the foreign batsmen. The fan was indeed wrong. The fan has the right to respect and love foreign players, but he should also remember that giving respect to Indian greats is imperative as they bring so many laurels to our motherland. If the fan had simply stated that he admires England and Australian batsmen, there was no reason for Virat to respond that way. It is always fantastic to give due respect to the legends of the game, but not at the cost of degrading your country's star batsman or the entire set of players.
Secondly, there were so many questions raised about Virat after this 'leave India' statement. Right from his marriage, the water he drinks, the car he uses, the brand that he endorses, his favorite cricketer way back in 2008, his respect for AB de Villiers and the 2016 tweet on his favorite women's tennis player, Angelique Kerber.
In all the cases mentioned above, Virat never insulted the Indian culture or Indian athletes. Yes, it is true that he got married in Italy, but he never said anything bad about India. It is true that he drinks 'Evian' water bottle made in France, but he never said that Indian water is unhygienic. He does endorse Puma brand, but never did he insult any Indian brand for the sake of Puma. He drives Audi, but he never stated that he hates Indian cars. His favorite cricketer in 2008 was Gibbs, but he never said that at the cost of insulting any Indian player. He has high respect for de Villiers, but again, it has nothing to do regarding the downgrading of Indian players. Critics questioned that he liked Angelique Kerber instead of Sania Mirza. It was indeed true that he liked Kerber in women's tennis, but he never gave bad remarks about Sania Mirza. He had his own wishes and likes but without insulting his country.
The major point that one should note in this topic is, one can have their own preferences, likes and dislikes, but not at the cost of downgrading one's own country. Virat would have probably meant that admiring foreign legends at the cost of Indian greats is wrong but he did get emotional by saying the fan to leave India, which was a bit too harsh. But the major point that he tried to convey was valid but only that, he was not able to use the right words in his statement. He should have stated that loving foreign players by insulting Indian players is wrong. So, the mistake lies in Virat too, for not using the proper words. And again, asking the fan to leave India was a harsh call that could have been avoided by the Indian captain.
By analyzing both the critical and counter views, one would be, in all likelihood, tempted to agree with the counter view but again, it all depends on the way people think. The fan was in a way right, as respecting foreign players is not a bad idea. But he was wrong in praising foreign players by comparing them to Indian players. Virat too was right in his thinking, and it would have been better, if only he had used the right words to convey the strong point of his statement.
Some fans are not too pleased with Virat's statement while some justify his remarks through different logics. But, overall, Virat's 'leave India' remark is certainly a big debate that is doing the rounds in the cricketing fraternity.Published 14 Nov 2018, 22:28 IST