Idols- Built up and smashed  

Posted by Praveen


India-the best and worst place to be a celebrity. Its the land where even a not-so-great fat actress like Khushboo got temples in her name and used to get milk abhishekhas. Its also the land where the very same actress was attacked for making some simple statements on sex. The same people who poured milk over her idols hounded her, baying for her blood. We like the extremes. Either we worship or we hate to the core. We just don't like to tread the middle path. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Indian Cricket team captain is the latest victim of this 'God one day, enemy next day' affair which is becoming common in India.

Some years back, around the time when Dhoni arrived on the scene with his explosive batsmanship, many Indians were busy making a public enemy out of its greatest cricket captain till then, Sourav Ganguly. From the heights of adulation that he received after conquering Aussies at home and almost winning the world cup, he fell down suddenly to be demonised by the media and blasted by the masses. The fact that his replacement Dravid also didn't do much to speak about made it a team that sorely missed a great leader. The captaincy was thrust on Dhoni, not because the bosses at BCCI had some foresight but simply because there was no other option. But, he along with the young team built up by the Sourav and mentored ably by Sachin, went on to conquer previously unreachable frontiers. In between, the underdog team won the inaugural T20 world cup too. Suddenly, Dhoni was the toast of the nation. Every critic worth his salt made epic comments on his coolness, his composure, his tactics and even his style. Awards like Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna were presented to him a little prematurely. Youth all over the country copied his hairstyle. When he cut his hair, it became front page news. He took it all in his typical professional and cool manner.

And then the inevitable happened- The media's U turn, a phenomenon not even the peerless Sachin Tendulkar has managed to escape from. They cooked up stories of rift inside the team and they asked such irritating questions to him that he was forced to shed his coolness and talk harsh. And to top it all was his bad form and the team's early exit from the tournament. The daggers were out. Sports journalists like Boria Mujumdar, who once sang such high praises for him blamed him as the one and only reason for India's exit. The reason they offer for this highly personal attack is that he took credit for all the victories, so he has to take responsibility for the loss too. My question to these 'responsible' media houses is this- 'Weren't you the ones who showered on him all the credit for the wins? Did he ever make a statement that he was the one who won it all singlehandedly?' The same guys who once proudly flaunted their Dhoni style haircut were burning his effigies yesterday. Am not in any way supporting some of the 'blunder' decisions that he took yesterday or the incompetent way in which he batted all through the tournament. Am just asking- 'Why we are overdoing it?'

I am not surprised because this comes from a set of so-called die hard fans who won't show even an iota of shame in asking Sachin to prove himself all over again, even now. The media and the fans have got their new victim now in the form of Dhoni. They've just replaced the bouqets with heavy crosses and have already started crucifying him. Yes, its tough being a celebrity in India. Only very few have managed to enjoy the good side of celebritydom all through their life in India. Many of us forget that the high expectations this time around from the team was only because they won the cup last time when we didn't have any hope in them. How can we call ourselves true fans if we ditch our team when they are down? We all are playing the roles of those friends who keep their friendship with somebody only when he/she's having a good life. I really do hope these meek fans grow up one fine day. Its not just about cricket, its a malady that has affected the common man's psyche. A kind of thought process governed by extremes. To put this disturbing trend in simpler words, 'Either I die for you or I kill you'.

image courtesy-kirkbytimes.co.uk

PS- Net was down for past 3-4 days. So give me some time to drop into your latest blogs.

your crusader Praveen

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at Tuesday, June 16, 2009 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

8 comments

This is actually a global phenomena Praveen. I'd say the Western media are even worse.

I saw a full reel of Dhoni-bashing on Star News just now, it was freaking ridiculous. Im no fan of the man, but this is no way to treat a sportsperson, rather anyone who sweats out for the nation. As you said, its hero one day, villain next. Sachin is a glorifying example, yes.

As it says in the Batman movie, you die a hero or live long enough to see you become a villain.

4:08 AM

yea ...we indian waste all our energies in such useless activities instead of doing something constructive ....

media is to be blamed but then media gives us what we want ...

good post !!

3:12 PM

Veryy true.. india has always seen love and affection to the extremes. Bt its also sad to see that its crossing all the limits that they ready even to kill the person..

3:36 PM

Its very contradictory right how people are loved and hated, all at the same time!

Such is life! Full of opposites!

6:40 PM

we are the most culturally spoilt country.. and we call ourselves culturally rich.. we are diverse and narrow minded.. never ever rich...

poor ganguly
poor dhoni

4:26 PM

it reminds me of Hrithik Roshan's debut actually. at the time of Kaho Na Pyar Hai he was hailed as the best thing to have hit the Hindi film industry since, say, SRK. It took another 4 flops for the media to turn against him and write him off.
It took another 4 years before he came back as the autistic character in Koi Mil Gaya and after then he was back on a roll again. It was his golden time after that for quite awhile... until again, recently the Barbara Mori incident rocked his clean image.

Yep, being a celebrity in India is tough. There are always ups and downs. Both media and fans need to grow up. But I guess this is how it works... be it here or in the west. Take it or leave it.

12:08 AM

Indians are Indians. Speaks volumes in itself. ;)

And Indian celebrities? :D

Good one, man!

Peace.

5:28 PM

reminds me of sourav. sigh.

11:37 PM

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