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
  • Kachai Lemon Fest @Ukhrul #1: Gallery
  • Gaan Ngai @ Ragailong #1 : Gallery
  • Kachai Village: An Abode of finest Lemons
  • Cry Of A Dying River...14 :: Poem
  • Conflict: A pre-requisite or stumbling block
  • How was the sun formed & emit light
  • Training & placement by Jettwings
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Rohingya Crisis: Lecture at Indonesia
  • The haunting shadows
  • Announcing poll date for Nagaland
  • Women's Polo Tournament #1 : Gallery
  • Fashion Show: 'Handloom' #2 : Gallery
  • Reporting in Conflict Situation #1
  • Treatment schemes of RIMS, Lamphel
  • Home remedies for skin pigmentation
  • NE Chapter of ICSI inaugurated
  • Media credibility matter to uphold its sanctity
  • Setting down Jan 31 deadline : SC
  • Tangkhul Zingtun Longphang #1: Gallery
  • Wungramphy, Khamgonpou: eMing
  • NEROCA FC Vs Indian Arrows #3 : Gallery
  • Career option in Human Rights
  • Water conflicts over the Brahmaputra
  • PAC against Killing of Pravish: 17 Jan
  • Neiphiu Rio resigns from NPF
  • NPF-BJP Relationship : NPF clarifies
  • Consolidating the sporting heritage
  • Rising air and noise pollution
  • Kukis have equal right... : Neiphiu Rio
  • Rajnath reviews security in NE
  • Lafoi Shamda puthorkpa #2 : Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Commercial Stalls #3: Gallery
  • The joy of living :: Poem
  • Bamboo a tree or grass ?
  • SELF Workshop on Leadership & Fulfilment
  • Fight against corruption; we need Lokayukta
  • Hailing the role of drivers
  • Nangna Helli Nungshiba #2 :: eRang
  • Pung Chollom : Gallery
  • Wakhal Seireng :: Book Review
  • Imphal Jamboree by Global Shapers
  • Importance of regular health check-ups
  • Meetei demand for ST is Constitutional.. #2
  • Weapon Display organized at Moreh
  • Ex-Servicemen Rally organized
  • AR helps Orphanage & Old Age Home
  • Search of comprehensive culture & identity
  • List of MLA (Jan 2018) #1 : Gallery
  • Manipur Gas Today :: Android App
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #3: Gallery
  • GNRC media fellowship announced
  • The Meiteis- Festival & celebration maniacs
  • How to make bridal mehndi long lasting
  • Governor's attention drawn to RIMS
  • Scientist develops prototype of electric car
  • Stereotypes about NE make people living..
  • Light Show at Loktak Lake #5 : Gallery
  • Candlelight vigil for Pravish : Gallery
  • Imbroglio of ethnic identity of Ranglong
  • Foundation For Excellence scholarship
  • Time Table - Class XII Exam 2018
  • Mail spoofing- Trickery by deception
  • Trial by fire
  • Call for solution before election
  • Villagers along Myanmar border get pass
  • Meetei Chanu 2017 #3 : Gallery
  • Art and Artist, A Creative Space
  • NEROCA FC Vs Indian Arrows #2 : Gallery
  • Ode to Thy Mellow Light :: Poem
  • Xmas with Meitei eche at Phaijol
  • Time Table - Class XI Exam 2018
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • IMC , now another hurdle to traffic mgmt
  • Setting aside two days for the people
  • Maring: Kummui Chaa-um : Gallery
  • Miss Manipur 2017 #5 : Gallery
  • Statehood Day Women's Polo Tournament
  • Time Table - HSLC Exam 2018
  • Bananas: Beauty's best friend
  • DPC for Follower at Manipur Police
  • Job Openings at JCRE Skill Solutions
  • The lost treasure
  • Nagas' Interests : Stand of NPF MSU
  • Nagaland polls on schedule: HM
  • Mukna Kangjei Tournament #2: Gallery
  • Keisham Manihar : Natyabhusan(Leela)
  • World Tourism Day #3: Gallery
  • Responsibility of protecting the environment
  • Phishing vs Vishing: The Verbal Challenge
  • BNHS Bi-monthly Program for Jan-Feb
  • Managing weight for preventing diabetes
  • Making democracy peoples' participatory
  • Progressing from media to SC
  • Manipur to set up modern food lab
  • Gaan Ngai @ Kakhulong Khun: Gallery
  • A trip to Moreh #2 : Gallery
  • How long catchy slogans keep hopes alive
  • Recycling of hospital waste-water
  • I am sometime or somewhere : Poem
  • Angami Zapu Phizo's Surreal 2017 AD
  • Film "Legacy Of King Narak" awarded
  • Of PM and our CM
  • Patronising the killing machines ?
  • Deferment of polls unlikely: Ravi
  • PM may visit Manipur in March
  • Emoinu Khoiramba @Koubru #2: Gallery
  • NEROCA FC Vs East Bengal #2: Gallery
  • Transform Colleges into Innovation Centres
  • New Delhi: World Book Fair 2018 :: Review
  • Cry Of A Dying River...12 :: Poem
  • Workshop on National Pension for NE
  • Law enforcers action - Well & good
  • Final pact yet to see light of day
  • Cold wave hits Manipur
  • Take out the cymbals, Manoharsai to stay
  • Indo-Naga Peace Process :: Articles
  • MaiOn - Scenes #2 :: eRang
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #2: Gallery
  • Miss Manipur 2017 #4 : Gallery
  • Is Global Warming Natural or Anthropogenic
  • Prof Gangmumei Kamei: Legendary hero
  • Common Education System rally organized
  • DAMMS launched 2018 calendar
  • Chorus for 'Solution Not Election'
  • NEROCA FC Vs Indian Arrows #1 : Gallery
  • Gaan Ngai @Moirangkhom : Gallery
  • I was born healthy, I wanna die healthy
  • Practice peace & change the life
  • TSA Moreh Block installed
  • Cycle Rally: common education system
  • Ethics, medical profession & soaring fees
  • Meetei Chanu 2017 #2 : Gallery
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Meira rally for Pravish : Gallery
  • Accelerate momentum to endTB for SDGs
  • The call that can't be turned down
  • Live@MDU: New act with same old vibes
  • 1st Centre of Excellence- Electronics Skill
  • LED Lights installed by Loktak Station
  • NE tragedy: Policy failures & influx
  • Angaoba - Scenes #3 :: eRang
  • 51st Mr Manipur Contest 2017 #3 : Gallery
  • Result: Manipur Sangai Intl Digital salon
  • Use Swachhata App to Make Imphal No. 1
  • Career @ events and celebration
  • Night nourishing
  • Indo-Nepal Friendship: 25 yrs of Don Bosco
  • Understanding the indices of life
  • Poppy cultivation & drug cartels
  • Emoinu Khoiramba @Koubru #1: Gallery
  • Day 10: Closing of Sangai Fest #4 : Gallery
  • The creation of the universe, matter...
  • Mumbai: The city of dreams
  • Let this new year kill your new fears
  • Asian Waterbird Census: Count waterbirds
  • Looking for a better inclusive alternative
  • Coaching & commercialisation of education
  • New Year picnic @ Singda Dam : Gallery
  • Miss Manipur 2017 #3 : Gallery
  • Despite Stolen Dreams :: Book Rvw
  • Handloom Training @Hojai : Gallery
  • The Perfect timing
  • IGAR (south) meets Chief Minister
  • Communique from Neiphiu Rio on NDPP
  • Discussion on 'Rohingyas' at Delhi
  • In the process of making change- Manipur
  • Looking ahead from vantage point 2017
  • NEROCA FC Vs East Bengal #1: Gallery
  • World Tourism Day #2: Gallery
  • Immediate Manipur
  • Easter Peace :: Poem
  • You are what you eat
  • Goals for Girls: Leadership Summit @Delhi
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #1: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Front Page Photo #6: Gallery
  • LUCIFER-X released debut EP
  • ..on the ocean of despondence :: Poem
  • Happy new year to State lovers
  • New year, new me: Re-designing self
  • Quiz Competition & Career Awareness
  • Calendar for the Year 2018 :: e-pao Tools
  • Gaan Ngai : Zeliangrong festival :: Flash
  • 51st Mr Manipur Contest 2017 #2 : Gallery
  • Crowd @ Flower Festival @Mao #4: Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai Festival of Zelianglong
  • Goodbye 2017, welcome 2018
  • Cry of a dying river- 11 :: Poem
  • Free Heart OPD & Echocardiogram
  • Peoples' mandate: what next?
  • Understanding Manipur and its history
  • Kwatha (Indo-Myanmar Border) #2: Gallery
  • Thang Ta @Parlimentary : Gallery
  • A Hymn for Goddess Emoinu
  • Flower Festival @ Mao #3 : Gallery
  • Why the Ngamu Fish ?
  • Restricted Holidays 2018 : Govt of Manipur
  • Lourembam Bedabati : Sangeetbhusan
  • Culturals @ Mera Houchongba #3 : Gallery
  • List of RIST popular talks during 2014-2017
  • Christmas eve @ CCpur #2 : Gallery
  • Public Holidays 2018 : Govt of Manipur
  • Pui Thangamliu #2 :: eRang
  • Christmas Carol @ Lamphel : Gallery
  • Royal Crematorium at Bangkok #2 : Gallery
  • General Holidays 2018 : Govt of Manipur
  • Nupilal Ningsing Lamjen : Gallery
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #7 : Ooba
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2018 : Download it
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS