1983 World Cup Winning Indian Skipper Kapil Dev is in the news for making insensitive remarks on the mental health of the players representing the country at the highest level. Kapil Dev derogatorily dismissed the concerns regarding any mental pressures faced by the players. 

Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev is known to bluntly put forth his opinion

Kapil Dev was invited as a guest on the ‘Chat with Champions’ program organised by the e-learning platform AAKASH BYJU’S. He spoke about the changes in cricket in modern times and distinguished it from the times when he used to play for the country.

If There’s Passion, There’s No Pressure

Kapil Dev said that he was a farmer and played for enjoyment. The former skipper spoke on how he had the passion to play which is very different from the statements of modern cricketers that have come up with concepts of “pressure because of IPL”. 

The allrounder of Indian Cricket has suggested, the players should abstain from playing for the IPL if it is having any physical or mental effect on them. Dev emphasised that if there’s a passion to play and when one enjoys the game, there cannot be any kind of pressure. 

Dev Dismisses American Terms Like Depression

Kapil Dev opined, “I hear a lot of times on TV that there’s a lot of pressure on players to play in the IPL. Then I only say one thing, don’t play. If a player has passion, there will be no pressure. I can’t understand these American terms, like depression. I’m a farmer and we play because we enjoy the game, and there can’t be any pressure while enjoying the game”.

Kapil Dev admitted that he did not understand American terms like depression. He did not limit his comments to cricket but went on to say that students who sit in air-conditioned classes paid for by their parents have no right to complain of stress.

In the video, Saina Nehwal, an Olympic medallist was also seen laughing along with the audience at the comments on depression by the former skipper.


kapil dev depression

The blunt and controversial remark by Dev comes at a time when people have started conversations around mental health openly. There have been many instances where depression has led to deaths and the loss of loved ones.

Dismissing mental health and terming it an American concept cannot hide the huge numbers of patients in India suffering from mental illnesses.

kapil dev backlash

Also Read: Here Are A Few Instances Where The Indian Cricket Fandom Became Seriously Toxic

Were The Remarks In Good Taste?

This remark is also seen as a sly dig at Virat Kohli, former Indian captain, who recently opened up about his mental breakdown and how he had started faking his intensity. He got to know about it during the break he took after the England Tour. Kapil Dev’s harshness and the logic behind the remark cannot explain what Kohli was going through. 

According to DNA India, Virat Kohli said, “I came to the realisation that I was trying to fake my intensity a bit recently. I was convincing myself that no, you had the intensity. But your body is telling you to stop. Your mind is telling me to take a break and step back“. He also said that he did not touch his bat for a month which he hadn’t done in his life ever.

Backlash Kapil Dev Depression
Netizens slammed Kapil Dev’s remarks

The internet is divided on the opinions on whether Kapil Dev was right in his remarks or not. Some have blamed the generation gap between Dev and modern cricketers for the remarks whereas some have agreed with the concept that enjoyment and stress cannot co-exist.

Dismissing players’ and students’ mental health concerns in the post covid arena and highly competitive world and comparing it to life in the 1980s is undermining all the social, cultural, economic, and political happenings in all these years. The prime question here is – Why is depression still an American concept?

Image Credits: Google Images

Feature image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: Hindustan Times, Indian Express, Times Now

Find the blogger: Katyayani Joshi

This post is tagged under: Kapil Dev, Mental Health, Depression, American, Virat Kohli, IPL, Cricket, Passion, Pressure, 83, Captain, enjoyment, Indian Cricket Team, England tour, Saina Nehwal, Olympics, Indian Premiere League

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