Very rarely do we see Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly being trolled in India. They have been in the last few days. Their fault — why have they, Virat specifically, not announced if they have donated for Covid-19 relief and if they have, then what’s the amount of donation.
Sachin and Sourav have both contributed to the cause and yet both have been abused. Why have they, who are both worth several hundred crores of rupees, donated only Rs 50 lakh each? Every cricketer has faced the wrath of the social media police for not coming out in the open and stating if they have donated and how much they have donated, if they have done.
Virat Kohli (L), Sourav Ganguly (M) and Sachin Tendulkar (R) don’t need their nationalism to be validated on social media by the so-called moral police. (Photo: Reuters)
First, we don’t need our nationalism to be validated on social media by the so-called moral police. Why is it that we have to announce if we have donated or not? It is entirely a voluntary call and if someone wants to, he or she is every bit welcome to do so. But if someone doesn’t want to make things public and donate in a discreet manner, even then he is welcome to do so. This doesn’t mean the second category of people is any less nationalist or patriotic than the first.
Second, and this is a seriously dangerous trend, that people have started to compare the amounts of donation and troll the donors. For example, Sachin was trolled for donating Rs 2 lakh less than Suresh Raina, and Ajinkya Rahane was trolled for donating Rs 10 lakh only. While this is outrageous and vulgar on one level, it is alarming on the other. It shows the deep anxiety and anger that people have for the successful, and it is as if they need to donate because they have earned money and have the means to do so. None of them has earned money at anyone else’s expense. They have done so at their own merit. What they give and when they give is an entirely personal decision and not one that social media police has any say in.
Finally, not giving money to a designated fund doesn’t mean someone hasn’t contributed. There have been industrial houses who have built hospitals, for example. Their contribution is no less than any other company or house which has donated a few hundred crores to a designated fund.
This is, after all, a war for humanity and by humanity, and such trolls go against the very grain of what we stand for - the idea of India. My idea of India deserves better from my fellow Indians and in this day and age of crisis, that’s the least we can do for our countrymen. If I donate but decide on not announcing it, I am no less Indian than anyone else and the sooner we realise this, the better.