First up a question. How would you react if your daughter were subjected to a brazen threat to her life just because you, her father, failed to perform in a cricket match or two? Just how would you react knowing well that none other than a cricket fan - the very audience for which you wield the cricket bat, time and again - had leveled the threat?
Next up some hard truths.
In an age that was supposed to have empowered the voiceless, why’s it that there are voices that are rendering the other powerless?
Wasn’t social media supposed to have given a platform for the fans to do more than speak up; but belong to the very game that they so unfailingly had served all these years?
Furthermore, wasn’t social media going to be that place where views would be expressed and ideas exchanged? How did it become a zone of rancor, brash opinions and ceaseless vitriol?
Is this even helping those who come up with a needless thing or two to say in the first place?
With these questions and a lot more, one has come to either despise social media or come to suffer, for no fault of one’s own, the ramifications of the fact that whatever one feels to say, one ends up saying in this day and age.
Whether it is through Facebook or Twitter.
And a recent episode on Twitter, where none other than Virat Kohli’s daughter - imagine the spinelessness of such a thing was said - mean things from a Twitter handle that should never have said what it did in the first place.
Allegedly, a Twitter user by the name of @criccrazyygirl decided to break all norms of normalcy and integrity by sending out rape threats to the daughter of India’s multi-format captain, Virat Kohli.
In an age where cricketers continue to strive for the fans much like they tire themselves out for the country, in some cases, breaking backs, injuring bodies to a point of no return to normality, the fan must remember a fact.
And it’s that the same responsibility with which one walks out to the cricket field with the aim to perform for the country, there’s responsibility onto the cricket fan as well to not cross the boundary of integrity whist expressing views and opinion on one’s performance.
Not to forget to practice abstinence from falling from grace in one’s appraisal of cricketing talents.
Never before has self-expression been ever so vivid and potent as it is now in this age of Twitter trolls, Facebook ranting and whatnot. That wasn’t the case in 2006 or so. The past decade and a half has seemingly blurred the boundaries between the fan and his idol.
The hero can be reached, communicated praise to, sent a message to and expressed love for.
But at the same time, as seen in the undesirable and rather shocking episode of Kohli’s daughter - who’s a newborn - the same cricketing idol can be threatened and shocked to the core.
Those who are responsible, whether this crazy Twitter account or some moronic force in the veil of Twitter user or timeline filler with hate existing alongside pure genuine fans.
They must understand the depth of the damage they can cause and do cause after all to cricketers, who are humans, at the end of the day behind the batting helmet and the multiple guards.
There’s responsibility on the fan just as much it is on the practitioner of gorgeous shots and remarkable cricketing talent.
Why make things bitter when they can be made better especially with everyone having a platform from which to express.
Are these fans, who end up trolling the other with unfailing enthusiasm, sure they too wouldn’t have failed on occasions? Moreover, in cricket, will there not be that odd day where you’d underperform and not be your best that you so wish to be.
Ultimately, how are such fans going to be regulated depends on the length to which Twitter or Facebook goes in showing the way, a way that can set the precedent for other hate mongers.
That is something that mustn’t be taken lightly before further damage takes shape. It’s terrible what happened to Virat Kohli and family. But chin up champ. And keep battling!