There is nothing wrong with the Indian cricket team captain wanting to be beside his wife when she delivers their baby
Paternity leave is a serious issue even if we do not think of it much in India. In many developed nations, working men are given time off, time that is often mandated by law to be with their new-born children and share parenting responsibilities. This is where India’s patriarchal society actually counts against men as culturally they are not expected to be part of the child-rearing process as much as their Western counterparts. So much so that the concept of paternity leave is considered alien in all but a few Indian companies. Indeed even the Indian subsidiaries of many multinationals find extended paternity leave difficult to comprehend. And it is even tougher for many professionals. We even have women going back to work days after giving birth, let alone men.
Yes, many Indians do not have the luxury of taking maternity or paternity leave but in case they can afford that privilege, why do we bemoan it? So what if Anushka Sharma’s husband happens to be the Indian cricket team captain and will leave a tour halfway to be with her when she delivers their child. Virat Kohli has achieved huge milestones in his career and owes nobody, other than his family, anything. Those who have come out and questioned his professionalism and patriotism are talking nonsense. We do not talk like this of other athletes, even cricketers, in developed countries. Yes, it is apparent that Sharma and Kohli can afford the best help money can buy but why shouldn’t the two of them be together when they do the single most important thing that a man and woman do together, that is bringing a new life into this world? Kohli is assured of his talent and his place in the Indian team. However, if afterwards, he wants to quit the sport to be with his child, so what? He is unlikely to do that but we have to all grow up and understand that fathers have to play a bigger role in the child-rearing process. Maybe Kohli doing what he is doing will inspire other men to stand up and be a stakeholder in their child’s development. Sharing the first few months of a new-born’s life may not be remembered by the child when he/she grows up but will definitely be cherished by the father and mother for the rest of their lives. So let Virat do his thing.
Thursday, 12 November 2020 | Pioneer
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