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

“Practise ‘mental distancing’ to keep calm amid epidemic”

Half way through the year 2020, it has been a tough time all around the world: Covid-19 epidemic, loss of lives, economic hardships and also numerous other problems – natural disasters and political protests. Coming together, it all has mental health under immense strain. To discuss this and othe

Understanding immunity: How to boost it during Covid-19

In a first, the Department of Home Science, Sri Padmavati Mahila Visvavidayalam (Women’s University) Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, recently organized an international webinar on “Nutrition and Immune System Support during COVID-19 Pandemic”. Speakers included eminent national and internationa

Covid-19: India’s recovery rate improves to 59.43%

Even as Unlock enters the second phase, the number of Covid-19 infections continues to rise to record levels and India remains No 4 in the worldwide list, yet there is glimmer of hope: its recovery rate is also rising in tandem. There are 1,27,864 recovered cases more than the active Covid-1

Coming soon at a station near you: private trains!

A long-debated idea is finally coming to fruition as the Indian railways has decided to join hands with the private sector, in running some train services to begin with. The ministry of railways has invited ‘request for qualifications’ (RFQ) for private participation for operatio

A place of local democracy in pandemic governance: The case of Mumbai

Democracy in India is now taken for a fact, with an unstated assumption that all our institutions are democratic and hence often our successes and more often failures are attributed to ‘democracy’. However, a key frontier where democracy remains a challenge is that of local governments and that

Why TikTok, other apps were banned: “Engaged in anti-India activities”

India, facing China’s aggressiveness at border, has banned 59 smartphone apps, including TikTok, as they were indulging in activities harmful to India’s sovereignty and integrity. The reason cited was: “in view of information available they are engaged in activities which [



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter