Anushka Sharma’s Trolls Prove That India Can’t Handle Real “Power Couples”

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Anushka Sharma’s Trolls Prove That India Can’t Handle Real “Power Couples”

Illustration: Arati Gujar

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nother day, another round of troll wars on social media, and today’s victim is Anushka Sharma. The Bollywood star accompanied her husband, Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli, to the house of the High Commissioner of India in London, where she posed for a photo with the rest of the team. Because celebrities’ lives are much more interesting than a normal Twitter user’s, this photo became the latest storm in social media’s teacup, as people who think hashtags can make a difference asked Anushka Sharma who the hell she thought she was.

This is far from the first time Anushka has faced this kind of backlash. Her infamous takedown of a defenceless 28-year-old “boy” who “accidentally” littered from his car was met with an impassioned response by the manchild’s mother. And when Virat Kohli is not in his finest form, we believe blaming Anushka for existing is par for the course. Still, flouting the sacred BCCI custom where cricketers’ spouses don’t accompany them until the end of a series, was egregious even for a serial offender of Anushka’s calibre. And yet, she had the audacity to stand front and centre, right next to her own friggin’ husband. At this point, it’s clear that Anushka can’t seem to catch a break, considering she was mercilessly mocked for the grave sin of showing up at an event she was invited to attend.

What the online trolls have failed to realise, in between making sarcastic comments about how she’s a full-fledged member of the team and cracking tired jokes about WAGs that they ripped off from English football, is that the High Commissioner had extended an invitation to the whole team and their families, according to a statement released today by the BCCI. Classic internet. Trolls setting out to make jokes, and ending up being laughed at instead.

The anti-Anushka brigade would have a stronger argument if they could prove she negatively affects Kohli’s form, but he has even credited her with helping the team to victory during India’s recent ODI series against South Africa, claiming that her support kept him in the game no matter what. So if Anushka is the wind beneath our match-winner’s wings, why do cricket faithfuls view her as a weakness instead?

This year alone, we’ve seen the mom-police shame Kareena Kapoor for everything from going to the gym, to her sexed-up avatar in Veere Di Wedding – with nary a word on how Saif’s turn as Sartaj Singh must be traumatising Baby Taimur.

Perhaps the real issue is that we’re not yet comfortable with the idea of a truly equal power couple. This year alone, we’ve seen the mom-police shame Kareena Kapoor for everything from going to the gym, to her sexed-up avatar in Veere Di Wedding – with nary a word on how Saif’s turn as Sartaj Singh must be traumatising Baby Taimur. According to this tilted understanding of a couple’s dynamics, how is it that hardly anyone has blamed Virat? As captain of the cricket team and one half of the marriage, surely he has the final say in Anushka’s involvement in his career and in the team. If anyone should be taking flak for an unsanctioned appearance by Anushka, it should be the guy in charge.  

With the team trailing 1-0 in the series, and four matches to go, there are many more urgent concerns than who is or isn’t part of the team’s promotional photographs. Between the whimpering implosion of our famed batting lineup, and the tragic tale of Cheteshwar Pujara being dropped for the first match, Indian cricket’s got 99 problems, but Anushka’s pic ain’t one.

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