Cricket, not just a sport

The after-effects of India’s defeat in the Champions Trophy is a sign of hyper nationalism

yoshika

Yoshika Sangal | June 22, 2017 | New Delhi


#ICC Champions Trophy   #nationalism   #cricket  
(Photo: Twitter/@ICC)
(Photo: Twitter/@ICC)

In this nationalistic age, sports seem to play an important role, and in India, this can be seen during cricket matches. For most, a victory symbolises prestige and supremacy.
 
On Sunday, India lost to Pakistan in the final match of the ICC Champions Trophy. The defeat was felt by cricket fans as something much more than the healthy rivalry we observed in our childhood school matches. While India had lost a match to Sri Lanka ten days before, the loss to Pakistan was felt much deeper.
 
India’s defeat triggered a social media storm, with people taking to twitter to vent their anger against the cricket team.
 
It would not be out of context to mention that in the midst of the Second World War, George Orwell, in his essay ‘The Sporting Spirit’, said that now “serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting.” He calls this “another effect of the causes that have produced nationalism”.
 
The hyper nationalism was quite evident when India lost the Trophy, with many Indians taking to streets, breaking television sets, burning posters of Indian players and chanting angry slogans against the team.
 
While we saw this among spectators (or the die-hard cricket fans), it was assuring to see that the players are unaffected. “I don’t understand why people relate cricket to patriotism,” said Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza at a press conference of the Champions Trophy. “What do we do? If I say it very bluntly – we take money, we perform. Like a singer or an actor, we do performing art. Nothing more”. 
 
But, most are not buying that line of thinking. Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi, chief of the National Commission for Minorities, said that all those in India who celebrated Pakistan’s Champion’s Trophy victory should go there, or better still “be deported there”. His comments were in response to reports of celebrations of Pakistan’s win in Kashmir. Furthermore, according to a report in the Indian Express, days following the Pakistan victory, 17 people in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka were arrested on sedition charges.
 
With sports being mixed with politics and, becoming an outlet for the feeling of ‘us and them’, one can’t help but wonder, has the idea of a sport changed?
 

Comments

 

Other News

On a personal note: DIVINE

An underground rapper who grew up on Mumbai streets, Divine spins his music around his environment and poverty. His breakout single, ‘Meri Gully Mein’, along with fellow rapper Naezy caught Bollywood’s attention. The Hindi film ‘Gully Boy’ is inspired by their lives and gr

The role model for an IAS officer

Anil Swarup, an IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre who retired in 2018, is a model bureaucrat who retained his optimism right till the end of service and exemplified dedication and commitment. His excitement at the opportunities that a job in the IAS provided is evident on every page of his new book publis

Reform of the civil services: At home and away

The question of reform of the civil services has been debated extensively at all levels at least over the last five to six decades after independence. Indeed, it was soon perceived that the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) may not be well equipped to deal with the problems of an emerging developing coun

The greatest challenge for any government

Shouting vengeance at all and sundry while wriggling out of holes of our own making seems to be our very special national characteristic. Some recent instances are illustrative of this attribute. A number of business tycoons with thousands of crores of unresolved debts have fled abroad with the government

The mysterious case of CBI’s legality

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) came into existence, based on a Resolution of the home ministry, dated April 1, 1963 – a sheer coincidence that it also happens to be April Fool’s day. Over the past few months, we have seen the CBI live up to its founding day with great zeal, being i

The Evolution of Modi

Gujarat was passing through a turbulent phase in the 1980s. The decade began middle class agitations against new reservation policies, and the caste friction turned communal under the watch of chief minister Madhavsinh Solanki, alienating majority of urban population on both counts. The ground was ripe for

Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter