“In India, cricket is religion, and Sachin is a God”

Just as Mahendra Singh Dhoni permanently fixed India’s name in the annuls of cricketing history on the eventful night of April 2, 2011, a huge, overwhelmingly euphoric and uncontrolably exuberant outburst took over the nation. Thousands of people, who sat in front of the television sets biting their nails for the ultimate moment suddenly jumped up, shouted, screamed and hugged each other. They came out on the streets, with or without the tricolour, enthusiastic and absolutely crazy about the national team’s success. As the team lifted the Cup, the BCCI announced huge rewards for all the players, and the President of the country invited the players and the family for a dinner. In simple words, in every nook and corner of the country people went mad. Absolutely mad. At this time of pomp, certain questions come to the mind.

My first question is, what is the reason or rather the origin of such madness regarding cricket? What incites this unprecedented burst of nationalism, which is rare in any other sector of society? Why don’t we see cent percent polling in the country? Why don’t we see constructive initiatives in a large scale on occasions such as Republic Day, Independence Day, or any other significant occasion? And even talking about sports, why didn’t the country cheer like this when Abhinav Bindra secured a Gold medal in Olympics? Were his efforts less nationalistic? Why doesn’t the government take drastic undertakings to uplift football in the country?

Secondly, is the creation of this mass hysteria concerning cricket, completely devoid of any market forces, the brain-children of several strong multinationals, which make abnormally large profits by sponsoring the matches, putting umpteen numbers of ads in between the live telecast of matches, and of course making you drink coloured carbonated water! I mean to ask if somehow our nationalistic feelings regarding cricket are merely a planned outburst of the commercial viability of our feelings. And again bringing in sports, why do we Indians, even though we don’t have a national team playing in FIFA world cup go mad about the cup and buy Adidas and Nike t-shirts officially made for this occasion. Is it because, it is somehow “fed” into our brains by the media that getting involved in the FIFA world cup is the next best thing in the world than attaining Nirvana! It simply emphasises once again the profit making hub that our country is in the hands of the big powerful corporate companies, in this world of corporate monopoly. On one side of the fence are the average Indian people, poor, middle class, who come home early from offices, ladies who complete their household tasks beforehand and prepare to watch the matches, children who bunk schools and colleges, unemployed youth who have nothing better than to follow match analysis, and old men who are too tired do anything other than sit on the bed and watch a match. On the other side of this fence you have greedy corporate crocodiles who make full use of these sentiments and lap up their profits from this fertile market.

And thirdly, why on earth was Poonam Pandey, a model who promised to strip for the Indian team if it wins the World Cup finals against Sri Lanka, dragged to court on the grounds of “showing Brahmins in poor light”? Do the people who registered the FIR, mean to say that keeping all other circumstances same, a strip tease is justified if performed by a girl of lower caste? And yes, does this lady want to say that our cricketers are lusty dogs who will fight and win the match to see her skin? Shouldn’t someone question her on this?

Perhaps the trouble with us is that we lack a definition of the good and the bad. We are a nation lost and torn in between certain identities and decisions. We have developed as a nation where people who don’t know anything about the nation’s freedom struggle will comment on the differences between Gandhiji and Bhagat Singh, compare Nehru and Jinnah, where a novel is only judged by its “lightness” and of course the rank in the best sellers list and a movie by the box office rates, where the study of arts has taken a back seat and a historically and artistically blank generation is coming to the fore and of course where you find people who don’t know the full terms and condition of the Lok Janpal screaming out their ignorant support for Anna Hazare. The common man has suddenly become so busy in materialistic pursuits to make ends meet, that ethics, morality, values and the thinking nature have taken a back seat.

Perhaps what we need is a social awakening. Perhaps we need to start thinking. Perhaps we need to start taking a stand, and Stand Up, for ourselves.

24 thoughts on “CRICKET AND BEYOND IT!

  1. trisha says:

    Your finest blog…excellent.The satire hits the face very hard.The language is fresh, crisp n very precise.No beating around the bush at all.A lot f ppl in my vicinity need to read this;)

  2. Man!! u r really a dark horse… What a blog yaar….amazing…u never told me about dis..i m new into dis thing,,,check mine… 🙂

  3. My journey says:

    That was really awesome man, really need to think more than just cricket, but the thing that gives joy to billion eyes is also worthy to be appreciated !

  4. snuggles says:

    Well thought, and well written

  5. AYUSH DINKER says:

    In the face of all the net savvy young Indians. Breed less children, we don't need mindless billions but some mindful millions. During Anna's fast, the fb page 'India Against Corruption' would yield hundreds of comments on each post, mostly they were slogans of long live India and Anna. Needless to say none knew what the bill is all about. Now, for a single post there are hardly 10 feedbacks. The zest is good but momentary zest is bad.

  6. Anonymous says:

    your article might have been nice,as others say, but I found it very boring and couldnt even read first para. Nice try, atleast!

  7. Anonymous says:

    "perhaps you need to get awake and realise what u r doing is just a waste of ur parents resources." better give those to the poor.

  8. 1. cricket and celebration of cricket dates back to days of colonial regime. and it binds the nation irrespective of what religion or political affiliation one has2. well, it began devoid of market force. but when the corporate world realised the dedication of people towards this sport, they just invested and made it more "glamorous". So the trend is very difficult to set but i dont think it is the market which made this game popular but the game invited the market to come in and work hard3. Poonam Pandey is just Rakhi Sawant in the making. Just to be a lil less cynical, i think the crowd just didnt give a damn about her. Apparently her nude body is thereaupeutic …4. Well, as far as materialistic pursuit is concerned, common man is right now loaded with too much source of information and is expected to keep himself uptodate with everything. the pressure is so high that he chooses a short cut and merely follows trend. PS: I may or may not believe everything that I typed above. I was just trying to see the other side of the coin. And thought of sharing it with you 🙂 The post is highly negative but nonetheless an opinion that needs some thought. Indeed! 🙂

  9. Utsav says:

    where is d "like" tab…searched d whole doc but ws nowhere 2 b found…ha ha…poor joke na… d way wonderful creation man…it ws worth sparing tym on this with assignments burden on shoulders….keep it up…

  10. Gary says:

    hard hitting and precise…………really appreciate your points. you r right about the role of ruthless corporatisation and extremely aggressive marketing to some extent are responsible for the mass hysteria surrounding cricket but i would like to add that this arises partially due our social ignorance and partially as we Indians tend to base our choices on social trends rather than our likes, dislikes and needs. corporates merely cash on these factors via cricket. scintillating use of words saha. will look forward to your blogs from now.

  11. Anonymous says:

    who in this world has got time to read so loooong im sure most comments are …. b'cos they are…keep things short and simple.

  12. Nitesh Kumar says:

    Wow!what an article.Can't ask for much better.Nicely composed and excellent selection of words.Come out with more such articles.

  13. nice one. Is it only blogging or you wanna do something for this as well? 🙂

  14. Anonymous says:

    nice but superficial , an attempt to nicely frame obvious questions , it would really help the country if u concentrate on the answer instead of the questions !!do u think your post is unique in content ???NO, but yes at least u tried and hats off to your straight forward and precise writing skills .!

  15. Saurav says:

    Nice read boss.. everything looks funny when you look it in perspective..!we need a renaissance man…or else we'll all become mindless american wannabes..!

  16. Awesome piece.Hard hitting and thought provoking.It was so intriguing, that I couldn't help but think is it actually so? I really loved it though. But I'll like to add that I didn't agree with all of it. I mean:1.Cricket isn't a sport made popular by market, infact I believe the popularity is direct consequence of India winning the 1983 WC which was when Television and more importantly radio invaded a lot many Indian homes. 2.There is a lot of emotions associated with sports more so with the one's we get to see and read about often. So Indians going crazy over FIFA was very natural.3.Poonam Saxena isn't the most intelligent of the lot and hence thought her striping would be doing her bit for the country, but since we are a democratic country she has all right to support the team whatever way she wants to. ( Really loved the line – " Is a strip tease is justified if performed by a girl of lower caste?" ) 😀 … All i could think of was 'WELCOME TO INDIA'!!4.I believe people coming out in support of Anna Hazare even when they didn't really know what Lok Pal Bill was, was very positive. It tells us that India is united for things that help towards uprising of the country with no qualms.( I myself read about the bill and the man when I saw the community on facebook). And finally I'll like to ask people who have posted anonymously-'Why use English as a medium when you are not very good at it? I mean'you need to get awake',hahaha, dude you are one witty guy. I couldn't stop laughing. Also if you were bored and couldn't go through the article why bother commenting.And why are you guys so ashamed of your identity, I mean Saha wouldn't mind constructive criticism but you scared pigs.

  17. Anonymous says:

    pathetic way of looking at things…very pessimistic,unreal and out of a sadist who wants to show happiness in grim light..whatever the form may be…

  18. Anonymous says:

    1 number likhe ho bhai par dobara mat likhna plzz

  19. Anonymous says:

    blog ws nice no doubt abt it,bt all i cud find aftr gng through it is dat man u r a big hypocrit n trust me smday u wud luv to b a part f those money makin crocs!! its always nyc to write wht s supposd to b writtn bt try follown it too.

  20. abhik says:

    First, it's not that cricket is the only game people cheer. the fact is it is a game which comes into news often. Do Olympics come every month in the television. That affects the psychology of people.Second, The game is famous because everyone has the chance of playing that. Popularity arises because each individual tries to be any of the iconic players and relate them to their game play. Same can't be done with football, hockey, shooting etc.Third, the other games are not popular not because they are not hyped but because they are costly. Hockey need more number of sticks, football is costly,shooting is beyond reach.Whatevr it is whether hyped or not but people know all the player be it Gagan Narang,pankaj Advani, Saina Nehwal, Vijender singh or any other player.Hope you didn't mind receiving such a big comment.But the way you wrote was excellent and do keep writing. One suggestion, Don't keep too many question, keep too many answers. But it was worth reading 🙂 God Bless

  21. the last thing that the world demands is a COWARD CRITIC. Healthy criticism is always welcome because it has a sane cause and a sane effect and as long as it falls under the category HEALTHY people don't need to be ashamed enough to hide their identities…..Hope people get my point.

  22. Anirban says:

    Throughout my school life ,I have always read in books that India is a poor country .But whenever it came to cricket the word 'poor' seemed nowhere close to describe what was happening around! Millions and millions are spent in a time span of few minutes for those who may not even require it! I loved the way you put together the pieces and finished creating a lucid and compact picture of what is happening around!Best wishes for the future 🙂

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