With a Capital K – updated

Sidhartha Mallya, royal high commander of Royal Challengers Bangalore, is a singular individual. Heir to a brewery fortune, apparently beneficiary of a fine overseas education, he would seem the epitome of upwardly mobile nouveau Indian youth, exuding an air of success and self-confidence every time he steps out onto the RCB balcony for maximum camera time to support his boys.

He maintains a connection with the unwashed masses through, of course, Twitter, where he Tweets as @sidharthamallya, ‘Business Boy’, looking out at the Twitterverse with an off-camera-directed smirk over the collar of, naturally, a business suit. Through this platform he expresses loyal support for his team, praising, cheerleading, and, where necessary, defending, as is his right and responsibility. It doesn’t make for particularly scintillating discourse, but that, of course, is beside the point.

Last night, the news broke that RCB batsman Luke Pomersbach had been involved in an altercation with a couple at his hotel, and was the focus of an investigation after the woman involved accused him of assault. Very few facts were disclosed, which hardly mattered because there were plenty of rumours and speculation to fill that particular void. I’m no PR expert, but I would still assume that, with one of their players facing a charge of assault, even an as-yet-unproven one, RCB would issue a brief statement, reassuring their fans that the matter was being looked into and that any offense committed by one of their players would result in decisive and appropriate consequences for that player. It’s a fairly obvious reaction. You don’t want to commit one way or another because nothing’s been proven yet, but you certainly don’t want to publicly condone assault, especially on a woman. Especially given the horrific global and local figures showing the prevalence of violence towards women, and the absolute necessity for public figures like sportsmen to display their fervent opposition towards such violence. Of course, there have been cases of spurious accusations by women of rape or assault where the accused men have actually been innocent, but those cases are so incredibly few in comparison to the millions of cases of actual terrible assault, where the perpetrators have been allowed to walk free, or even where the women themselves have been blamed for having brought their own assault upon themselves, that surely, surely a statement from a prominent figure in the RCB wouldn’t be an assumption that the Pomersbach case was a spurious allegation? Surely a prominent RCB figurehead would not misogynistically and crudely proclaim, in the early stages of investigation into the incident, that the woman was a whore and a liar? Surely he would not use the ‘oh, and also she was totally hot for me and that’s how I know she’s a lying slut’ line? Surely not?

Let’s throw it to Sidhartha, shall we?

Yeah. In the interests of full disclosure, ol’ Sid then went on to clarify his statement by explaining how ‘everyone wants their 15 minuets [sic]’  (I can only assume he means ‘minutes’ since I can think of very few people with a burning desire to dance an old-school French ballroom dance exactly 15 times) which, of course, he knows all about. He then finished up by plaintively wondering why everyone couldn’t just focus on the cricket instead. Because seriously, when Chris Gayle scores 128 off just 62, who the hell cares if some lady might have been beaten up by a professional sportsman, amirite?

You know, Sidhartha, I have to give it to you. In a world where we are slowly, painfully, struggling to recognize and rectify things that have been swept under the carpet for centuries, like the frequent denigration and systematic oppression of the female gender, you dare to stand alone with views that were good enough for the 18th century so, dammit, they’re good enough now! Where others strive to bring to light the horrible truth that the vast majority of women are routinely exposed to horrific bodily violence, many unable to even tell anyone what they’re going through, many with no recourse for justice because of the established mindset that women must accept and indeed deserve whatever treatment men see fit to give them, many accused of being whores and bringing their pain upon themselves (the men who beat and rape them being, of course, blameless), you staunchly live in a world where the first assumption on hearing a woman accuse a man of assault is that she’s a lying slut who by the way wanted your body too, you stud you! You’re quite something. And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that you’re exactly the touch of class RCB needs in their wheelhouse. Classy with a capital K. That’s you.

UPDATE:

RCB player Dirk Nannes tweeted about how happy he was to see Mallya “coming out in support of his players.” This made me sad, because I like Dirk Nannes, and because what Mallya did wasn’t “coming out in support,” or defense. A defense would have been, “I’m positive the allegations against Luke are untrue and that he is innocent. We believe that the accusers are not being at all truthful.”

Exactly how is it a defense to bring in the woman’s sexuality? How is that relevant at all to her accusations? What Mallya has said is this, ‘The woman said Luke hit her fiance. She’s a whore who was all over me and not acting like a wife-to be.’ Nothing other than that to indicate that the accusation was false. That was the entire explanation. She’s an unwifely whore, so clearly she’s lying. Would Mallya have used similar rhetoric if it was the male friend making the accusation? Would he have said, the guy was coming on to every woman in the room, he’s clearly a liar? No, of course not, because to the Mallyas of the world, it’s only OK to judge and condemn women with the label of promiscuity. Not only that, but it’s the only condemnation necessary! No need to actually address the actual allegations, whether Pomersbach actually did what he was accused of doing. Nothing about Pomersbach at all actually.

For the record, Pomersbach may well be innocent. I believe it’s entirely possible that the allegations against him were completely fabricated. It doesn’t matter, this isn’t about him.

It wasn’t Luke Pomersbach’s actions, innocence or guilt that Mallya was talking about, which would be necessary if he were, in fact, “supporting his player,” Dirk. For Mallya, it was enough to condemn the woman with the oldest, ugliest way possible. Brand her a whore. What other evidence could anyone need?!

That’s misogyny for you, folks, ingrained and ugly and, of course, completely unquestioned.

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  1. #1 by madhanra on 18/05/2012 - 4:00 pm

    Excellent! Well done!

  2. #2 by Rishabh Bablani (@CricketNerdist) on 19/05/2012 - 12:51 am

    It seems RCB is a frat house, not a cricket team.

  3. #3 by Wes ~ PFCNFS ~ on 19/05/2012 - 1:46 am

    I think people need to share this more, but many will feel caught.

  4. #4 by Deepak David (@deepakdavid) on 19/05/2012 - 11:30 am

    i dunno why Dirk Nannes is blamed here he said he is happy about Sid coming out in support for Luke that doesnt mean he liked what Sid said about branding Zohal something and i support Dirk totally because as a foreign player caught in such a situation and he is yet to be proven guilty and the whole media and all the supporters bad mouth a player here should be someone to support the player until he is proven guilty. Right for Sid to come out in support because Luke part of his team RCB and why isnt anyone digging about who this Zohal and Fiance are ands so on….

    • #5 by reina on 19/05/2012 - 3:23 pm

      I’m not blaming Nannes. I said that I was sad that he seemed to be publicly supporting Mallya’s horrible Tweets, since I would have expected a more enlightened mindset from him. Also, please note that this post is not about Pomersbach or his guilt, it’s about Mallya seemingly thinking that calling the woman a whore and a lying slut is the same as “supporting” Pomersbach. That’s not support. Me arguing that that is not support is the subject of this blog post. Nothing you’ve said is relevant to what I’ve written about.

  5. #6 by fckingblog on 19/05/2012 - 12:23 pm

    I feel the players believe Luke’s version of the events but are missing the point that he did molest the girl and did assault the fiance. They feel that being a set up him getting physical is validated. It’s NOT. Hope they see this point soon.

    Besides that I’ll pray the investigation happens properly and fairly considering Delhi police are proven sexists.

  6. #7 by Deepak David (@deepakdavid) on 19/05/2012 - 7:23 pm

    @reina how do you know/come to a conclusion that Nannes is talking about Sid’s tweet there. There can be other things that happened inside RCB that Sid did to support Luke…

  7. #8 by Manoj on 19/05/2012 - 10:13 pm

    @reina : Like the way you have written the blog with lots of humor surrounding it.. Accept that Sid shud ve been more mature in his tweets and shud think before he inks.. but ur illogical stuffs about Nannes is as stupid as Sid mallya’s tweets…

  8. #9 by Amita Bhalla on 20/05/2012 - 1:12 pm

    It appears Sid Mallya’s Mouth and brain work in sequential order.FIRST he talks and then (if at all) he THINKS about what he has said.How ever he also says,he “Never takes back a comment”.How filmy can he get? BUS BOL DIYA TO BOL DIYA?.Of course there is never any need to.After all the wise man hath spoken!!!..He should seriously reconsider that.
    Seriously this guy has a serious ATTITUDE problem and specially with women.The way he spoke about Deepika on national TV channel in an interview with Simi Garewal!!Even the usuallly diplomatic Simi was driven to point out how disrespectful he was being towards Deepika.Then there was Ayesha Takia whom he dissmissed as “Actress of some sort” and to “PIPE down love”because she complained about the high handed behaviour of a Kingfisher staffer.
    Ayesha Takia and Deepika Padukone /were/are both hardworking self made women trying to make an honest living.
    But what would Siddharth Mallya know about such things?
    In his mind,
    a)Women who make advances towards him(if they do) should by DEFAULT be available to the entire male population to do with as they see fit.
    It is like,If you are having a dinner party and have invited a few people then anybody and everybody must feel entitled to come.
    b)SUCH Women who voice their grievances are IDIOTIC.But of course” IF luke has done anything wrong all sanctions will apply”It is however unclear as to HOW THE WRONG DOING CAN BE ESTABLISHED WITHOUT THE woman’s IDIOTIC complaints.
    There are three (known) clear cases of Disrespect towards women.,Zohal Hamid-A guest,Ayesha Takia-A client and Deepika Padukone-A girlfriend.I suspect he is generally disrespecful to everybody.
    What is intruiging is there seems to be nobody rational, who is guiding this insufferable young man in the right direction
    He is seriously SCREWED UP in the head.

  9. #10 by Ravindran on 20/05/2012 - 2:20 pm

    Clearly, this guy knows nothing about the world that we live in.. he knows the world that he lives in… Booze..Parties and shitload of money (which his father and grandfather earned). One word of advice to Vijay Mallya… If u have hopes of saving your empire.. do something abt ur son sir… ur bottles of beer are more sensible than him!!

  10. #11 by stephenworthing on 28/07/2012 - 10:35 pm

    Thi sounds interesting, but fo rmore intrigue between men and women and cricket in UK . Try this link. It is explored in a fictional account in an ebook cricket novel in

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Guile-and-Spin-ebook/dp/B008FBZPHE/

  11. #12 by Stuart Larner on 28/08/2012 - 1:03 pm

    Hi Reina
    nice site, and a pretty balanced and knowledgable exposition of this affair.

    I am also taking this opportunity to tell you that I have recently published a cricket novel, an ebook, and wonder if you would like to review it?
    It is about a man who doesn’t like cricket who falls in love with a woman cricketer who tells him to resurrect a defunct cricket club. He is assisted by an Indian coach. I can gift it to you complete with synopsis and author interview material.
    Please let me know.
    thanks
    Stuart Larner.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Guile-and-Spin-ebook/dp/B008FBZPHE/

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