TODAY -

Who Cares About It Anyway

Maisnam Bomcha *

 11th Manipur Veteran Cricket tournament  at Luwangshangbam Multi Purpose stadium on 11 January 2012
11th Manipur Veteran Cricket tournament at Luwangshangbam Multi Purpose stadium on 11 January 2012



"The genesis of the whole drama over spot fixing can be traced to some English cunning grace. They wanted the game to be another tool to dominate and divide the Indians"

Ever since that cricketer named Shreesant who looks more like a B grade movie villain and his lesser known colleagues of club Rajasthan Royals were arrested in Mumbai, news channel TV and headlines of leading national English dailies have been all about the cricket spot fixing scandal. Hot and breaking news in India during the past two weeks or so have been cricket, solely. This, above the unabashed and tiring over coverage, in both the electronic and print media, of that drama of a sporting event called the IPL.

The TV news channels in particular has been doing a daily bout to outdo each other in repeating pieces of news of thieving and related farce connected to the game. At least two principal TV news channels claim uncovering the fixing scandal, each pulling every trick out of the bag to make the reporting and discussions more TRP friendly and making loud claims over the same pieces of new tit bits as their scoops. The butchering of nearly 30 people connected to the Congress Party in those jungles of Bastar, Chhattisgarh by the Maoists was relegated to the background; so strange is our news sense.

As endlessly huge is cricket's present media glare, so is my personal amusement; both in the comical, ever rising decibel levels in the reporting and discussions and the absurdity of the whole sordid drama. More than that; I even take an almost sadistic pleasure at each progress of the whole Tamasha. The murkier, the better. I don't like cricket.

I don't like a game whose shortest version even, last almost a whole day in which most players stand idle wearing sun glasses while a few of them run around predictably. I wonder why people love a game so much whose results are drawn in more than 70% matches after having played for full 5 days. I despise spectators who show an almost religious like allegiance to a game so overtly aristocratic. Didn't George Bernard Shaw call cricket, '...a game played by eleven fools and watched by another hundred fools'?

My personal answer to the question of the reason behind the national fixation on cricket is simple; the colonial hangover is yet to pass and Indians still love imitating the English Gentleman. Can there be a game which reflects an aristocratic decadence as cricket does? Much as I wonder at the strange phenomenon of sustained sporting thrills of a game which lasts 5 days, I find it increasingly hard to accept the adage of cricket being a Gentlemen's game.

Not anymore. Those Englishmen who played cricket in Imperial India more to intimidate the Colony they ruled, by way of impressing the locals by doing something exclusive, than for sporting leisure; were mostly people of authority in the Imperial dispensation, hence; all Gentlemen. In any case people, who were white in colour, wearing suits and neckties, were gentlemen to a subdued and exploited people. History has moved; notions, even wrongly evolved, have not. Cricket is not a Gentleman's game, cricket is an English game. Barring one or two, the game is played by former colonies of the British Empire.

The genesis of the whole drama over spot fixing can be traced to some English cunning grace. They wanted the game to be another tool to dominate and divide the Indians. So they condescended in 'gracefully' allowing a few local royals and brown Babus to rub shoulders with them playing cricket together. The commoners were not 'fit' to play the game. That super hit Hindi movie Lagan is a testimonial. During Imperial India and early independent India, cricket remained an 'elite' game. After independence the elitist element of cricket has been reinforced by a glamour quotient. And naturally a mass dream was thus born. Every child, every youth who is in the know of the game, in any form, any way, wants to play it. Americans are known to love watching movies wherein American soldiers win against their Vietnam counterparts. The bitter truth of the drubbing they received at the hands of the Vietnamese in those jungles was nearly impossible to swallow for the Americans. A false sense of an American heroism naturally became an elixir and thus John Rambo and a few other reasons which romanticised the great American debacle was lapped up and turned into a staple to soothe a hurt national ego.

A similar heady balm is provided by cricket to a huge majority of the public in a country where the distribution of wealth is so confined to a minuscule privileged layer, as seen rarely in other parts of the globe. Only, a better mix is being enacted out there in any stadium where matches of any form of the game are played.

Starved of opportunities to get rich honestly, Indians dive headlong into the world of vicarious glamour provided by cricket. And the rich, the powerful and the famous exploit the opportunity ruthlessly to the hilt. From the Royals to the Stars, gracing the game played at leisurely pace and a dreamy eyed spectator; the mutual complementation can't be more ideal.

The hoi polloi play out a dream and society's creamy layers further various unholy goals, all at the same time and centred on the same milk cow. Those sixes by a Sachin Tendulkar are thrilling but those who throng the stadium and those glued to the TV, more importantly get a sense of pleasure in imagining getting famous and noticed.

The present rut cricket is in, was waiting to happen. In a corrupt country like India; where there is abundant money, corruption is bound to creep in. And cricket is a very rich sports, in fact one of the richest in the world. The BCCI may have its own rules and a constitution, but it is the personal integrity of those who implement them which is a breeding ground for mismanagement and misappropriations.

I pity those millions who have been duped by those hooligans after having followed each and every ball of tournament after tournaments lasting six weeks as if dear life itself depends on leaving everything to watch it. Cricket, as it is in India, may not happen anywhere else. The estimated size of the betting on the just concluded IPL was a whopping 20,000 crore rupee. Cricket is big time money, top level glamour.

That explains why so many ex-players of the game are associated with it years after retirement. The administrators, the commentators; all are highly paid, all get very powerful. Saying that they want to pay back something to the game is tantamount to asking people to make one an MLA or MP to serve the people. I have not heard of any non-profit cricket academy run by good ex-players.

And our politicians. Functionaries of cricket administration in India, be it the BCCI, the State bodies or bodies which run tournaments read like a who's who of mainstream Indian politics. Cricket is one common ground of convergence for them. In Parliament or Assemblies they will not cut across party lines for the common good of the people, but in ensuring their weighty presence in those bodies, they are one: Politicians.Most politicians in India wear Khadi, thereby supposedly declaring their respect and love for things Indian.

I have nothing against Khadi or Swadeshi, but I hate the hypocrisy of our Netas. First, what you wear doesn't make you patriotic; second, most of them throw those Khadis the moment they are out of public glare. If our politicians care so much for Swadeshi, why don't we see any political stalwarts in the running of Swadeshi games like Kabadi and Kho-Kho?

More skeletons are tumbling out of the closet. After the eye wash enacted by the BCCI chief N Srinivasan and his cronies in Chennai, fresh accusations are being levelled, this time against none other than the Indian captain, MS Dhoni. He is reportedly a 15% stake holder in a sports company which controls 4 other national level cricketers.

A captain who has a strong say in the selection of the national team taking 15% of the profit earned by the company on these 4 players! Can the brazen loot being carried out by these venal goons get any further?

I don't have any committed locus standi on this absurd imbroglio. But certainly got a lot of amusement in the steadfast, call it shameless, stand of that Srinivasan fellow in, at least for once, not giving way to the pressure exerted by our electronic 'mediacracy'; particularly by a certain bespectacled loud mouth of an anchor.

Srinivasan refused to resign un-conditionally: thereby saving the TV news viewers of a childish gloating by him and his channel of 'yet another victory' as if he has just rescued the nation from a certain disaster.

Yes, to me, the cricket fixation of us Indians is indeed a disaster. The persistently frequent scandals in Indian cricket and and the unabashed mad following is a loud reminder of what Socrates once said, "The people get the government they deserve".


* Maisnam Bomcha wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao (English Edition) as part of "Different People, Different Places, Different Times "
This article was posted on June 05, 2013



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • A trip to Moreh #1 :: Gallery
  • 219th Death Anniv- Bhagyachandra:: Gallery
  • Breach of Privilege & Contempt of the House
  • Career option in History
  • Cry of a Dying River - 1 :: Poem
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand : Timeline
  • Condemn provocation against Pangal
  • Meetei Demand Of Scheduled Tribe @ Delhi
  • Resolutions adopted by NPF Central HQs
  • TSA-GHQ calls off agitation
  • Diverting filled cylinders from hills
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #6 : Ooba
  • History of Printing in Manipur
  • Hydro Electric Power: A must for Manipur #1
  • Why Total Knee Replacement is necessary
  • Self-styled godmen and mental darkness
  • The Dawn of Knowledge :: Poem
  • Consideration for Govt on UTLA camp attack
  • Bloody Phanek premiere in South Korea
  • Memo to Satywati College against Hindi
  • NE militant in Myanmar may face problem
  • Putting the limelight on O Ibobi
  • Bamboo - our green treasure
  • Jadonang: Indomitable faith of martyrdom
  • 12th Manipur State League #3:: Gallery
  • Cyberbullying
  • British rule in India: blessing or curse?
  • Candle light for Pravish Chanam at Delhi
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Concern over Cambodia media crackdown
  • Present crisis a blessing for NPF: MLA
  • Medical Camp at Tokpaching, Chandel
  • High promises, high expectations : BJP Govt
  • Traffic regulation still yet be improved
  • Traditional Ritual @Khurkhul #4 :: Gallery
  • Athokpam Tomchou :: Sahityabhusan
  • Kanglasha & Kangla Fort :: 360 ° View
  • Mapithel Dam: Tumukhong village's sorrow
  • Earthen Pots of Thongjao :: Poem
  • Protest Rally at Uchiwa on Pravish's death
  • Three former insurgents killed in Manipur
  • Frisking exercise intensifies along borders
  • Manipur await to deport Rohingya prisoner
  • Culturals @ Pineapple Fest #2 :: Gallery
  • Boisang, Yaronsho, Thangmeiso :: eMing
  • MSL: NISA Vs FC Zalen :: Gallery
  • Fund the Athlete: Support Sumanta Naorem
  • Carbon Sequestration Vs Agroforestry tree
  • PHYNYX changes name & going global
  • NEFIS reaches HM on Pravish death
  • SSP admits lapses; suspends 2 more cops
  • Expecting the expectation
  • Priyogopal : Senior Film Artist :: eRang
  • Ningtham Charei fashion catwalk :: Gallery
  • My Japanlan memoir after 4 score yrs- D
  • Candle light: Justice for Pravish Chanam
  • Science as a Christian vocation
  • Yesterday Today and Tomorrow :: Poem
  • Early Childhood Education Impact Study
  • Condemn the attitude of Noida Police
  • Protest at Noida SSP's office
  • A Child Cannot Decide Its Parent
  • Notification from COHSEM for Class XI
  • Threat to ban movement of non-local
  • Re-defining Mr. Clean perspectives
  • Hathei Phanit @Sirarakhong :: Gallery
  • Education in Manipur- reform & vision
  • Career option in Political Science
  • A Robe of Love :: Poem
  • Memo to CM regarding dead in Noida
  • Meghalaya edition of NH7 Weekender
  • Away from Imphal centric: Govt-Hills Bhai!
  • Panchayat election matters...
  • Reception for CM at CCPur :: Gallery
  • 239th Heikru Hidongba #2 :: Gallery
  • Buddha Said: The More The Govt... #2
  • R & R anomaly in Mapithel dam
  • Letting go :: Poem
  • Bedtime beauty hacks to look young
  • Warepnaba Meefam Saruk Yabiyu
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • Civil Sectt crawling at snail pace
  • Perplexity trends
  • Heitha Leithaba @Kekrupat #2:: Gallery
  • Ningtham Charei :: Fashion Show
  • ISKCON Temple, Imphal #2 :: 360 ° View
  • Remote Villages conditions remain same
  • General Meeting & Social Gathering of EMA
  • Leadership management
  • Karo Sambhav School Program at Tripura
  • Blood Donation Camp at RIMS
  • Another spell of cooking gas shortage
  • Parking paralysis
  • Manipur Univ of Culture #3 :: Gallery
  • Sub Junior Boys Basketball #2 :: Gallery
  • Binalakshmi Nepram: NE Excellence Award
  • Manipuri in Proto-Sino-Tibetan Family
  • Lamka: Urban character with rural admin
  • MUTA Colloquium : 3 decades of teaching
  • Vigil up in Manipur over influx
  • NPF removes Manipur state unit president
  • IIHEd Seminar : The Rohingya Conundrum
  • Inter Village Volley Ball at Chandel
  • Trafficking story from CCpur
  • Local body election matters
  • Pottery Crafts of Manipur #1 :: Gallery
  • Techniche, IIT Guwahati :: Gallery
  • Anger begets hope & constructive action
  • World's oldest Parliamentarian
  • Convocation of Assam Don Bosco Univ.
  • Times I Live In :: Poem
  • Sadar Hills District Demand: News Timeline
  • Date with Sep 11 : Setting new benchmarks
  • Angaoba Film Scenes #2 :: eRang
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • My Japanlan memoir after 4 score years- C
  • Flood & Ithai Barrage: A brief reflection
  • Indigenous people must be consulted...
  • When a Star Finally Dies :: Poem
  • Job openings at The Rice Company
  • Lesson need to learn from Gouri Lankesh
  • Sumi Hoho calls on Nagaland CM
  • #NeverStop Guwahati: fitness enthusiasts
  • Protests against Myanmar govt
  • Culturals @ Pineapple Fest #1 :: Gallery
  • 12th Manipur State League #1:: Gallery
  • Tete a tete with the Education Minister
  • Freak and frank job interview
  • Buddha Said: The More The Govt... #1
  • Dichtung und Wahrheit :: Poem
  • Protest: Myanmar for persecuting Rohingya
  • Subroto Football under 14 yrs at Delhi
  • Performance anxiety: and its election again
  • Heitha Leithaba @Kekrupat #1:: Gallery
  • Heikru Hidongba Definition: Bijoy Govinda
  • Shri Shri Govindaji Temple #2 :: 360 ° View
  • Era gone with Rishang Keishing demise
  • International Literacy Day, 2017
  • De-notify Disturbed Area tag & repeal AFSPA
  • Waiting for a Good Morrow:: Poem
  • Annual Fresher's Meet, MSAD
  • Clogged waterways: Plastics, plastics...
  • Life is to be lived, not to merely survive
  • State level Teacher's Day :: Gallery
  • MU Inter-College Basketball :: Gallery
  • Half Step Rock signs up PHYNYX, now 'LEN'
  • RIST Talk 31 : metal cholate hydrogels
  • Day 3 at Techniche IIT Guwahati
  • Response to "need male empowerment"
  • Condemns murder of Gauri Lankesh
  • Condemns murder of Bengaluru journalist
  • NPF on impersonation of its President
  • Pre-recruitment Training for Chandel Youth
  • Where are the Ojas in teachers ?
  • Another stunt, but things remain the same
  • Bhoot Ki Thoujal :: Funga Wari
  • 52nd Hunger Marchers' Day #3 :: Gallery
  • Global development agenda & local realities
  • Sita :: Poem
  • Career in Audio/Sound Engineering
  • Education for conflict
  • Bikram's Blog :: 10 Year on Web
  • 7th Pay & the fiscal reality of the State
  • Of Patriot and patriotism
  • 2nd Conclave of NEDA
  • Kang Tournament #2 :: Gallery
  • NE Fashion Week #2 :: Gallery
  • Beauvoir's Second Sex & Maam's teaching
  • Face to Face with Rishang Keishing
  • ...real fact nobody wants to tell naked truth
  • to whom it may concern :: Poem
  • Importance of yoga
  • 'Court Arrest Prog' on Teachers' Day
  • Recruitment drive at Globizs, Imphal
  • JCILPS back after a brief lull
  • Culture of respect
  • 239th Heikru Hidongba #1 :: Gallery
  • Oinam Doren wins award in Italy (Lessinia)
  • For Chester : Tribute Concert :: Gallery
  • Make Manipur 'Gateway' to ASEAN
  • For all plasti-zens
  • Sailing in the Troubled Waters :: Poem
  • CM's advisor interacts with students
  • Discussion: Scenario of Indian Politics
  • Catching up with former CM, former CSs
  • Id-ul-Zuha @ Hatta, Minuthong :: Gallery
  • Tribute to Rishang Keishing #3 :: Gallery
  • Heikru Hidongba
  • Result: 3rd Imphal National Photo contest
  • Japanlan memoir after four score years- B
  • NE needs moral guiding force like Rishang
  • STDCM na sougatli
  • Battling the cancer of corruption
  • First day of IIT Techniche 2017
  • Haipou Jadonang day :: Gallery
  • Sub-Junior Football for NE :: Gallery
  • Haipou Jadonang - The Martyr #2
  • NHPC's Loktak Project: Curse for Manipur
  • Of War and Peace :: Poem
  • Techniche 2017 kick starts in IIT Guwahati
  • Software Engineer @ Cobigent Tech
  • LPG cylinders sold like potatoes
  • Consistency containing nature vagaries
  • Xth Pineapple Fest @CCpur :: Gallery
  • Translation of "Puya" in English
  • L Devendro & Diana Chanu :: Reception
  • L Devendro : O Bembem :: Arjuna Awards
  • Ige KNliye kabita Ama :: Seireng
  • For Chester : Graffiti Work :: Gallery
  • Karong Children home wash away:: Gallery
  • State bids adieu to Rishang :: Gallery
  • Rishang Keishing : A profile
  • Tribute to Rishang Keishing #2 :: Gallery
  • Tamu, Myanmar- Moreh border #2 :: Gallery
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • Nungbi Khullen, Ukhrul #2 :: Gallery
  • Singcha Wuya Won (flower) #3:: Gallery
  • Landscape of Ukhrul District #2:: Gallery
  • Landscape of Manipur #7: Wallpaper
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #3 :: Gallery
  • SPONSORED ADS