For most people, becoming well-known is a pleasant experience, but that hasn't been the case with Deepika Ghose – dubbed the RCB Girl after she caught the eye of the cameraman during Royal Challenger Bangalore's last league game – against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Bengaluru.
The young lady had caught the fancy of fans after being seen on television and was searched for on social media. Eventually, her Instagram account was traced and her following on this platform grew exponentially.
This sudden burst of popularity and recognition also led to unwanted attention and commentary which has left Ghose feeling despondent and maligned. In an Instagram post that she uploaded recently, the girl gave vent to her troubled emotions.
"My name is Deepika Ghose & that is probably the only thing that is being said about me which is 100% TRUE," the resident of Bengaluru said while beginning the story of her ordeal. "It all started on the Saturday of the RCBxSRH IPL match. When we went for the match on May 4th, I did not expect it to be different. I did not want any recognition or realise the number of times that I was on camera. I did nothing to warrant the kind of attention that ensued after the TV images appeared & I certainly did not seek it," she continued.
Ghose, about whom there exists great curiosity, described herself and her achievements and asserted that her professional accomplishments are more valuable than the celebrityhood she has attained of late. "I have much to be proud of - I am a kind, artistic & hardworking woman. I am well educated, well-travelled and well loved by my friends and family. I have many talents and have excelled at my work as a stylist and as a dancer/teacher/entrepreneur. I do NOT consider being seen on TV at an IPL match an achievement," the young lady wrote in her Instagram post.
But then came the disturbing part. She talked about the negative aspects of her attainment of recognition and how it has severely afflicted her. "While I am grateful for the love, I am disturbed by the unnecessary negativity. It has been an extreme case of abuse, trauma and mental torture. I am confused as to how people found my name/profile. My identity, privacy & life have been hacked in an instant. A lot of the overnight followers are men who have used this platform to be crude, vulgar, vicious & entirely disrespectful."
But it isn't just the men who have harassed her. She narrated her tormenting by women thus: "Even more shocking is the hate I have received from women. How quick & cruel you have been to say mean things to & about me without even knowing me. I AM ONE OF YOU! The world desperately needs more women supporting & uplifting each other. I am appalled by how I have been judged & condemned instead of being given a compassionate hearing. Stop & think about how it is as a girl to have been subjected to this unwanted attention."
Responsibility of broadcasters
It leaves one stunned to read all this as it means that this youngster had to undergo all these ordeals without having done anything wrong. In fact, she didn't even promote herself. It were the cameramen at the stadium who kept panning the camera to her.
This also shows how dangerous the present-day cyber world has become. While it may be a means to bring people closer, it could also be used for such harassment. Furthermore, it's about time the tendency of cameramen and producers of cricket matches to focus on pretty faces at the ground gets scrutinised. Isn't it blatant ogling in the name of cricket coverage? Cricket broadcasters have tried to make their coverage more gender-sensitive by bringing in female commentators but the inclination to pander to male gaze remains intact. Time for the channels and production companies to also do some soul-searching.