Television

Star Plus salutes Moms through Dhoni, Kohli and Ajinkya in promos

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MUMBAI: Moms are what make each one of us who we are. That’s something we all acknowledge in private, and sometimes in public. The Twenty First Century Corop subsidiary Star India has roped in India’s cricket superstars MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane for a TV campaign for Star Plus in which the trio has dropped their surnames or their own names from their jerseys,  replacing it with their respective mom’s names.

The campaign (part of the Nayi Soch initiative) – sure to warm the cockles of many an Indian heart and possibly bring a lump to our throats - rolled out on TV screens just as the one day series between India and the Kiwis commenced.

The intent: Star India says is to push forward the agenda for Indian women, something which it has been doing through its entertainment TV shows and promos. A press release issued by Star India says that the three promos are supported by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)  and that it (as the Indian cricket team’s sponsor) along with the cricket board is seeking  to break the stereotypical societal notions around lineage and identity and the role of women in all our lives.

In the promos, Dhoni, Virat and Ajinkya proudly acknowledge that they derive their identity as much from their mothers as their fathers.

“We at Star India are very happy to partner with the BCCI for an iconic brand initiative of Nayi Soch. Star Plus has been a lighthouse brand for women,” says Star India managing director Sanjay Gupta. “We have always put women first, told their stories and are now set to take it to the next level by challenging orthodoxy and stereotypes that come in the way of progress for women.”

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In the MS Dhoni short film, a journalist questions him about the fact that he has put the name of Devki on his jersey. Dhoni responds with the usual calmness and smile on his face:

“Main itne saal se, apne pita aka naam pahen raha tha, tab to aap ne kabhi nahin poocha, ki koi khaas vajaah.”

(“For so many years, I wore my father’s name on my jersey, you never asked me if there is a special occasion.”)

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Ajinkya Rahane, in his film,  says

“Log kahante hain, baap ka naam roshan karo, lekin mere liye ma (Sujata) ka naam roshan karna itna hi important hain.”

(People say make your father proud and renowned, but for me making my mother proud and well known is as important)

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The Virat Kohli film has him saying:

“Aaj mein jo bhi hoon, Mummy ke vajaah se bhi hoon. To zaher si baat hain meri pehachaan bhi, sirf papa ke naam se kyon? Mein jitna Kohli hoon, utna Saroj bhi hoon.”

(Whatever I am today is because of my Mummy. Then the question is why I am known only by my father. I am as much a Saroj as I am a Kohli)

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