Virat Kohli’s Decision To Take A Paternity Leave Is Sparking A Debate On Social Media. Why Must The Responsibilities Of A Child Fall Solely On The Woman?
A few months ago, cricketer Virat Kohli and his wife, Anushka Sharma announced that they were having their first child, due in January 2021. And while the only thing we love more than a celebrity wedding is a celebrity pregnancy, this one is doubly special. Virat is one of the most celebrated cricketers of our country and as we have all learned the hard way, cricket is a mad frenzy in our country. Which brings me to my question. Does that mean all the responsibilities that come with raising a child fall on Anushka because she is a woman and her career is dispensible while Virat’s is a “national duty”? No way. Then tell me why social media is treating Virat’s paternity leave like it’s a zombie apocalypse waiting to happen? I don’t get it, why is everyone so riled up that he will be by his wife’s side when she’s giving birth?
Alright, let give you some context. Virat Kohli will be absent from the last three test matches against Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. This was confirmed by a press release sent out by the BCCI. It stated that Viral would be back in India after the first match, just in time for his wife, Anushka Sharma’s delivery.
The press release read, “Mr Virat Kohli had informed the BCCI about his plans to return to India after the first Test in Adelaide. The BCCI has granted paternity leave to the Indian captain. He will return after the first Test against Australia in Adelaide.”
Well, well…this is huge news. Kohli to return after the 1st test in Australia to be there for the birth of his child. For the modern player, there is more to life than just his profession. But for the Indian team, the tour just got tougher.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) November 9, 2020
Now, from where I stand this is really good news because it means that not only will Virat Kohli be there to support his wife while she gives birth but also he will be there to help her in the early days. I have never understood why paternity leaves are such a debated topic. Clearly, Virat gets it. Why can’t men get time off from work to help their wife through the first few weeks after giving birth? It’s a concept that needs to be normalized in all fields of work.
However, here comes the twist in the story. When the BCCI announced that Virat Kohli would be missing for a few test matches against Australia, it sparked a debate on social media. While a lot of people are happy and supportive of his decision to be with his wife, others questioned his choice to be with his family over playing in the tournament. Calling his profession a “national duty”, they also compared him to MS Dhoni who chose not to take a leave during the World Cup when his wife, Sakshi, was expecting their daughter, Ziva. So clearly, all these people have never heard of a little something called a personal choice?
I understand that for a lot of people cricket is more than a sport but that doesn’t mean that netizens can criticise him for wanting to be with his wife when she gives birth. That’s just ridiculous. Besides, I don’t see the need for debate because parenting is not just a woman’s job. Maybe MS Dhoni had different priorities at the time. Is there a rule that says if one cricketer chooses the game over the birth of his child, all of them have to?
Also Read: A Video Of Virat Kohli Asking Anushka Whether She’s Eaten Is Stealing Our Hearts. This Is So Cute
Nothing imp than national duty, yet again Kohli proved he is not a leader
— Sunil Kalyan (@sunilguts) November 9, 2020
Just heard Kohli won't take part in 3 of 4 test matches against the aussies due to 'Paternity leave'. We will play without our best test batsman.
— Varun Garg 🇮🇳 (@IamV_Garg) November 9, 2020
Though I respect Virat Kohli and his paternity leave is very much genuine and he deserves it..
And that's why MS Dhoni becomes more special because his first priority was his Nation when Ziva was born.
It takes a lot of courage to become The MS Dhoni..!!#AUSvIND
— Ashim Prakash (@apjpsinha) November 9, 2020
Cricketers from all over the world take paternity leaves, and it's a matter of celebration. Here, it's almost like Kohli is being questioned for becoming a father.
Another reason why the whole concept of paternity leaves in India hasn't been rolled out like we would have liked.
— Sarah Waris (@swaris16) November 9, 2020
The bottom line is that paternity leaves need to be normalized. Raising a child should not just automatically fall onto the women’s shoulders. There is no scope of an argument here. Also, cricketers are not doing a “national service”. They too have the rights to be with their family on special occasions. It’s shameful that this turned into a raging debate in the first place.
We are glad Virat Kohli opted for paternity leave and is going to be there for Anushka. Maybe this will help normalize the concept across the board.