Saturday, March 24, 2007

There's a thing called sport!

Reading the scores of news articles on how the Indian fans are enraged at the team's exit from World Cup makes me repulsive.

I might be cynical, but in my world view cricket fans take out their frustrations, their losses and their own failures - and somehow see that in the failure of the Indian cricket team.  I have one thing to say - grow up!  Own up to your life - if the Indian team does well there is no reason to take national pride for that and make your own life seem colorful.  If they don't do well - let it go! It is just a game.

If we as a country are relying on something so mundane as a cricket match to resurrect our national pride, we are in dire straits!  Media has its own share in this whole thing - showing a scantily clad poverty stricken kid waving the Indian flag and cheering for India !  Is that how you generate positive feelings ?!

I feel utterly disgusted when people tell me that thousands are inspired by our team's performance - inspired to what ? To work harder in their life ? To be moral? To be sympathetic ?  I don't see any of these happening.  A warm fuzzy feeling, at best, which is lost in a day or maybe two.

We live in troubled times.  India is on the verge of a system wide break down due to an impending AIDS epidemic.  Millions of Indian children are impoverished, receive little or no education, women are abused in the name of marriage, and age old social customs stand in the way of a free and open society.   There are more important things than burning down Dhoni's house .

I hope times change.  I always wanted India to lose, so that millions lose their stupid obsession with the game and get on with their lives. It is high time, we realize what we are doing to ourselves.


4 comments:

aparanji said...

hello girish
Your blog is very impressive .I totally agree with you on this and i do have similar opinion on lot of things about which indian people get emotional about .
However I do not really think people attach their emotions to the game may not necessarily because that reflects nation's pride but I look at it as its a sport that every common/average man knows and enjoys in India But ,I completely do not agree with the over reaction towards failure
And also i thinks it partly comes from the culture where People are too sentimental about things that are insignificantly significant
Anyway ,Iam really impressed by your blog !!very well written ,Keep it up!!

Girish Mallapragada said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog!

Although many of my friends point out to me what you did, I still feel that Indians attach national pride to the performance of 11 guys who are playing for money (in most cases).
I do agree representing one's own country is a matter of pride, but that does not mean that failure implies responsibility of destroying that pride.
Failure of the Indian team in cricket is not our failure as a country or for that matter loss of Indian pride. The media chooses these words with utter irresponsibility.
No one makes any noise when we do not win anything in the Olympics - arguably a greater stage on the world sports arena!
Your point that we get emotional on insignificant things is very valid!

Anonymous said...

You are entitled to your opinion, but I hate to say that this blog makes no sense (for the most part).

"I have one thing to say - grow up! Own up to your life - if the Indian team does well there is no reason to take national pride for that and make your own life seem colorful."

Here is a good definition of national pride that I found on a website - "National pride is a matter of sentiment and love for what you hold dear about a particular country". If you search the web for what brings pride to people of any country, sports take the second place, only next to history and culture. There is nothing wrong in feeling good about it when Indian team does well. Just because you are not passionate about a sport, you cannot say no one should be passionate about it.

"showing a scantily clad poverty stricken kid waving the Indian flag and cheering for India ! Is that how you generate positive feelings ?!"

So, do yo mean only rich kids have the right to play or cheer for their team. A poor kid is not destroying his/her own life by just watching a game of cricket. And mind you, it does generate a lot of positive feelings. Someone who has been involved in sports at any competitive level will tell you so.

"A warm fuzzy feeling, at best, which is lost in a day or maybe two. "
Even when we loose a loved one in our life, we move on, but that doesn't mean we don't get upset or feel sad for a while. When you have high expectations on something that is so dear and something that happens only once every four years, its natural to get upset.

"There are more important things than burning down Dhoni's house . " This is the only part I agree with. But, every person reacts in a different way when he/she is upset. If someone reacts by burning Dhoni's house, it has nothing to do with being passionate about cricket, its entirely dependent on how that person is brought up.

"I always wanted India to lose, so that millions lose their stupid obsession with the game and get on with their lives. "

You always wanted India to lose?????? Why? just because you don't care much about cricket. Its analogous to someone in India saying I always wanted all Indians living outside India to suffer, just because he doesn't care about them.

"I still feel that Indians attach national pride to the performance of 11 guys who are playing for money (in most cases)."
This is totally baseless. Do you even know what it takes to play for India. How much hard work you have to put in to be in the top 11 among some 200 million. If they really wanted money, they would never take that risk. Its not as easy as getting an engineering or medical or mba seat. When they have put so much hard work and have taken such a risk so that they could do what they really love to do, whats wrong if they make money in the process.

"No one makes any noise when we do not win anything in the Olympics - arguably a greater stage on the world sports arena!"
I guess you should know what is considered as a national sport. This is what wikipedia says
"* The rules and objectives of the sport or game are known in fairly great detail in the country or nation.
* The game or sport is widely played or watched in the country or nation.
* The game or sport has a long history of popularity or extreme current popularity in the country or nation."
I guess its obvious why cricket is more important than any other sport.

Girish Mallapragada said...

dear anonymous,

All i can say is that I wanted to people like you to hear my side of the view!

My post was to highlight the part that media plays in creating the cricket hype. Cricket is played so that LG can sell more TV's.. and nothing else.

You say, "When you have high expectations on something that is so dear and something that happens only once every four years, its natural to get upset"
for this, I guess you just have to grwo up.. unless you have dedicated your life to cricket.

You say, "So, do yo mean only rich kids have the right to play or cheer for their team. A poor kid is not destroying his/her own life by just watching a game of cricket. And mind you, it does generate a lot of positive feelings. Someone who has been involved in sports at any competitive level will tell you so".
You are misinterpreting me, media chooses to do this because they want Coke to sell more.. not because they want to make poor kids feel happy.

Well anyways, I guess we come different worlds. I appreciate your comments. The very fact that you chose not to comment on serious issues in the post - about ignoring issues that our country faces, is testimony to how many of uss feel.