As a captain of two World Cup-winning teams and one of India’s biggest cricketing heroes, Mahendra Singh Dhoni perhaps thought he had done enough to earn the admiration of the nation and its people. Most of India would tend to agree, except for some faceless bigots who masquerade as trolls on social media these days.
The once ‘captain cool’ is no stranger to social media trolls, and some may recall the horrific threats against his then five-year-old daughter in 2020 in the wake of CSK’s poor performance in the IPL. If recent history is any example, he will simply keep calm and carry on, as he has always done.
Nonetheless, there has been an outpouring of vitriol from these trolls over the last few days since the reclusive Dhoni failed to make himself available for the consecration ceremony of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya on Monday, despite having received an invitation.
The gathering otherwise boasted the who’s who of India’s sporting fraternity, along with with a strong Bollywood contingent, with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble, Venkatesh Prasad, Mithali Raj, Saina Nehwal, and Baichung Bhutia present on the occasion.
Regardless of his presence at Ayodhya, the normal cricket fan would attest to the fact that Dhoni’s patriotism has never been in question — right from his admiration for the Indian Army to when he refused to take a break to head back to India during the 2015 Australia tour to see his newborn daughter. ‘’I am on national duty, so everything else can wait,’’ he had famously said.