He is known as Captain Cool but on Wednesday, after India beat Bangladesh by a solitary run in a crucial match in the ongoing T20 World Cup, Mahendra Singh Dhoni seemed to be angry in the post-match press conference.
When reporter asked Dhoni what he felt about the narrow win, Dhoni shot back at teh former saying he knew that he was not happy with the final outcome of the match. He was also seen getting upset with the media ahead of the Asia Cup after a journalist asked him about his retirement plans.
Did Dhoni rightly lose his cool on Wednesday after the journalist said "India won a match which it almost lost"? On the other hand, was it apt for the reporter to ask a question in a tone that the captain found irritating?
There is no offence in asking questions but it is also true that in our culture, the media people often take their power of questioning as an absolute one and end up irritating those in news---be it cricketers, politicians or filmstars.
Dhoni was right in saying that cricket is not about a script and hinting that analysing from outside is an easy thing to do. It can't be denied that the media in this country loves more the act of unjust criticism than any constructive review. It was understandable if the journalist expressed his pressimism had India really lost the match.
But since the end result went to India's favour, then the question could have been put across the tired captain in a better way. "Do you think India could have done better," could have been a better question to ask.
Dhoni's tragedy is that despite having a rich past as a captain, it is his present which always comes under the scanner. May be that is a problem that all public figures face but we can always give Dhoni a benefit of doubt for his consistent good show as the captain. Last year, a major television news channel blasted Dhoni's team after they lost the semifinal against Australia, the eventual champions, in the semifinal of the 50-over World Cup. It was the only match that India lost in that tournament but yet the media carried on with its witch-hunting.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is another top leader of the country today who has faced a similar situation. Modi, in fact, has faced the mainstream media's flak since the Gujarat riots of 2002 and did not have a open relationship with it even after becoming the PM in May 2014. He prefers the social media more to connect to the common man. It is true that the PM and his party leaders meet media representatives on occasions but that is more an exception than the rule for the Indian prime minister, thanks to the trust deficit.
Media tries to make the most out of Dhoni & Modi's charisma by targetting them
Modi is always being scrutinised by the media and the Opposition for whatever his government or party does and even if there is a good work, issues like Dadri lynching, suicide of Rohith Vemula, JNU fiasco or Smriti Irani controversies overshadow it because of the media's one-sided presentation.
When the BJP loses in Delhi or Bihar, the media finds a great joy in show the PM in a low light just like it indirectly raises a voice seeing Dhoni's ouster when India loses a series against Bangladesh after making the World Cup semifinals in Australia.
The media's untrained activism or vested interests---whatever it is---has done a big disfavour to the images of two of the biggest leaders India has currently, even from different fields. It needs to be stopped at the earliest. We can't really make ourselves look so shallow in front of the outside world.