Teen Who Threatened to Rape Dhoni’s 5-Yr-Old Daughter Shows What’s Wrong With Our Boys’ Upbringing

Gender

Teen Who Threatened to Rape Dhoni’s 5-Yr-Old Daughter Shows What’s Wrong With Our Boys’ Upbringing

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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