These days we are witnessing a lot of hue and cry around cricket.Recently Bombay High Court asked BCCI and cricket associations whether IPL matches are more important than the people who are reeling under severe drought conditions in the state.While many arguments can be given for and against court’s comment,but one question is,had it been about any other sport,would anybody care?
There are thin chances,I guess.Cricket in India has the power to attract the attention of masses and invokes emotional ties with it (be it positive or negative).While many see it as a mere sport and consider a waste of time watching it,for others,it is nation’s struggle for glory and support for the national team is quintessential for every Indian.
This brings us to another incident ie; ruckus in NIT Srinagar.Many Kashmiri students celebrated the loss of India against West Indies which non-Kashmiri students didn’t like.This lead to clashes and apparent police excesses on “outsider students”.A section is accusing police of being anti-national.I think we are stretching the nationalism debate too far.
At the end of the day, cricket is just a sport.While I would feel bad if Kashmiris celebrate India’s loss,there is no rationale for a fight.Everyone has right to support any team.How do you explain,bookies in “nationalist” part of India supporting some other team?Are they patriotic?Has anyone asked them about their nationalistic credentials?
The real purpose of any sport is to unite the people by developing team spirit and urge to struggle for the team.We should use cricket in its true spirit and bring it down from its divine pedestal.