By Arré Bench Oct. 12, 2020
Following a Chennai Super Kings loss, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s 5-year-old daughter was placed in the line of fire by vicious trolls. One rape threat issued at the young girl went on to create a storm on social media. The Gujarat police have now traced the source of the threat to a 16-year-old from Kutch.
When Indian cricketers fare poorly on the pitch, the brickbats are usually reserved for their wives, who are often blamed for their husbands’ poor performances. Last week, however, following a match between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders, which CSK lost, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s 5-year-old daughter was placed in the line of fire by vicious trolls.
One rape threat issued at the young girl, in particular, went on to create a storm on social media, with several prominent personalities also lashing out in disgust, and demanding action. The vile threat, targeting the 5-year-old, was left in the comments of an Instagram post put up by Dhoni’s wife, Sakshi.
Dhoni’s 6-year-old daughter Ziva is getting rape threats because he didn’t play well in IPL
Do you see the future of this country for women? where they’re normally giving a 6 year old rape threats because her father didn’t play a game well?
Makes me sick
— Noor 👼🏻 (@noorzayyubi) October 9, 2020
The Gujarat police have now traced the source of the threat to a 16-year-old from Mundra in Kutch. The boy, who is in Class 12, was taken in for questioning and has apparently confessed to the crime. Following his threat, the Dhoni family had beefed up security at the family’s Ranchi farmhouse, where Dhoni’s daughter and wife are staying.
— Hindustan Times (@htTweets) October 12, 2020
Disgusted and shocked to hear that Dhoni’s five-year-old daughter is getting rape threats because he didn’t play well enough in some match.
This country is too comfortable threatening women of any age, at any time, for anything… even if it has nothing to do with them.
— Andre Borges (@borges) October 9, 2020
The threat was posted following last Wednesday’s IPL fixture between CSK and KKR, when while chasing a target of 167 runs, Dhoni managed to score only 11 runs from 12 balls. The fact that his team went on to lose by a mere 10 runs had irked several fans, who trolled Dhoni as well as his teammate Kedar Jadhav.
What’s wrong with this nation??https://t.co/CjAb7vPUrG
— Lavanya Ballal | ಲಾವಣ್ಯ ಬಲ್ಲಾಳ್ (@LavanyaBallal) October 9, 2020
Still, the country was left in shock by the 16-year-old’s disgusting threat. While fans have often lashed out at cricketers in the past by pelting stones at players’ homes, hurling abuses from the stands, and burning effigies, a rape threat issued at the daughter of a player was previously unheard of.
This is the sickest thing I have seen on social media. A 6 year old baby getting a rape threat. A baby.
— Rohini Singh (@rohini_sgh) October 9, 2020
What’s more surprising is that this threat comes from a young man, even as immense media coverage of the brutal rapes that have taken place in Uttar Pradesh over the last month floods our timelines. As several have pointed out, these incidents of rape will only reduce once young men in the country are taught some sensitivity, and taken to task.
Teenager Detained For Issuing Threats Against MS Dhoni’s Daughter: Police Great job .. time to clamp down and put the fear of law and god on these faceless monsters who think they can do and say what they want on the internet. Even if they are teens.😡😡 https://t.co/mu9jR5tnQt
— Ranganathan Madhavan (@ActorMadhavan) October 12, 2020
However, the fact that the first thing a young fan thought of doing following his team’s loss, was to issue a rape threat against a 5-year-old is both shocking, and once again proves that India is heading down a dangerous path. How long before we stand up and take notice?