Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mercurial

Ever wondered when did the phrase “India-Pak match” became synonymous with a “fierce battle between two groups perceived as radically different from each other, where defeat is unacceptable, and even if the victory is Pyrrhic” ? When did it become a symbol of the clash of the arch-rivals, mortal enemies, of friends and foes ? Since when did it symbolize aggressive conflict, violent and red ?

It is most interesting , that when an actual India-Pak match does take place, even the most apathetic person to this game turns into a cricket-is-my-religion type super patriotic fan who swears by the game. In all likelihood, they have never played, they don't know much about it , they don't give a rat's ass usually, and yet, you find them at the edge of their sweats, jeering the other team more than cheering their own. For this brand new fan of this sport, it is no longer a war of the bat,ball and human spirit; but of pride and religion. Winning is of the utmost importance because it wounds the pride of the other. It is no longer a game but it is War between the very Gods they worship. If you have heard the crass jokes on it , you would know what I am talking about. For them, their religion comes before the nation. For they cannot conceive the notion that both were a part of a larger nation. They shed blood through halaals and jhatkas for a victory .

I guess, it was their kind, who could not see beyond their “own”, and in their short sightedness , upset the equilibrium established by time and fate. All they ended up with was a deep rift , ever widening . And just imagine how much more colorful life would have been , if there were more pieces in this picture, more characters in this play, more nations carved of the old one, a multi-national tournament of blood and feud .

Leave them aside, the actual fans of the sport, living for the next match, practicing their yells. Those who think of themselves as patriot-cum-jingo's, where in fact , all they are capable of is shout harder,swear sharper and burn more fat and blood. They are the ones whose “patriotic feelings” disappear like some cheap,fast vaporizing deodorant, drowning gradually, in the stench of sweating over the contest. When the match gets over, it fades out of existence. From “Go India Go” to “Who cares , as long as it doesn't affect me directly” . You might say, why the pretense to be so overly patriotic , when they actually aren't ? Because deep down , they know the truth , but to drown the voice of their conscience with their pretentious over enthusiastic screams , which gives some gratification . The heat of their passionate cries warms them up somewhat, for sometime.

When the match gets over, they go back then to their lives, back to their squabbles. They look for a common enemy to unite them , rather than accepting differences among their own. They go back to surviving and profiteering, the real fans and the fake ones . Living as they do , till the next Indo-Pak match , or whatever pumps them with their periodic dose of Patriotism .

18 comments:

Charakan said...

Good post. The enemity between the ppl of India and Pakistan was deliberately cultivated by political leaders of both countries (may be more by Pak leaders due to historical reasons) for attainig power. Patriotism among spectators of a sporting event is needed to an extend but should not go overboard. One should also be able to appreciate good play by foreign teams.

hitch writer said...

I dont know... about this post of yours...

I am a fan of cricket ...

I love my country...

but I have always wanted India to put one across Pakistan... in cricket

is it wrong ??

However for my generation there is a greater joy in beating Australia.. and it has been like that long before Symonds or the racial abuse happened... it was coz they are the best... and we must beat them...

True cricket fans would always value India Beating Australia.. that too in Australia... more than Pakistan...

but somehow I dont know your post ... i think a lot of things are being mixed here...

Charakan said...

Hitch, It is natural for us Indians to support India vociferously when they play.But we should also be able to appreciate good play by other teams. What you said abt Australia is very true I loved this recent Lords Test result. May be we all want Oz to loose not only because they are the best but also because of their arrogance.Did not feel the same when windies were the top team

Kislay said...

@Dhiru Bhai
You answered your own question . My post is about those , for whom a victory over Pakistan is the greatest because it is an Islamic Republic , and our enemy . And about those Pakistanis who think the same way . And yes , I absolutely concur with you on beating Australia . Because they are the best .

And , it is about those , who are patriotism lasts for just one cricket match .

@Charakan
Thanks .

indianhomemaker said...

I agree Kislay, and love this post!!!

I also think patriotism has little to do with sports and cricket.

But have you noticed how the same Indians side with Pakistan when the match is against Pakistan and any other country?

vimmuuu said...

I hate cricket and I hate pakistanis. Now relate :D :D :D

Chrysalis said...

I dont watch cricket and don't view Pakistan as poison (maybe the politics but not the people) but kinda understand what you are saying. Fast disappearing patriotism or one of a situational kind....what a relevant point you have raised.

BK Chowla said...

I do not understand cricket except one must score greater runs than the other team.I really do not know about Indian team except Dhoni is the captain and Tendulkar normally has shoulder problem.
But ifIndia was to lose..i will hate Pak more and more and could teach India cricket.

indyeahforever said...

loved the post...:)
when do I not?:)

and will be back to write much more tmrw...



reading this at half past two at night so mind's not functioning at peak capacity:))

indyeahforever said...

Yes Kislay Patriotism while necessary to keep a country united( no matter what so many say about it so condescendingly)is also def NOT the kind of patriotism which the Pakistan Hating Indians spout during cricket matches...or any other...

When did it become a symbol of the clash of the arch-rivals, mortal enemies, of friends and foes ? Since when did it symbolize aggressive conflict, violent and red ?
when you ask?
ever since this was hyped up in the media as a clash between arch enemies (which they later changed to arch rivals after protests )
after all this is what gets their TRP's soaring...

I dont know when exactly it was that the artificial enmity(atleast as far as sports was concerned) spilled on to real life too and we started blindly believing in the drama...

Adlai Stevenson had this to say on patriotism
What do we mean by patriotism in the context of our times? I venture to suggest that what we mean is a sense of national responsibility ... a patriotism which is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.

and somehow cant help but think of this one by MArk Twain.

Mark Twain:
The nation is divided, half patriots and half traitors, and no man can tell which from which.
true for most of us I think...

indyeahforever said...

also a point:)
from what I know of Dhiren he would fit the category of those who applaud good play be it any country to a T :)

Kislay..the kind of patriotism you have written about is the worse kind and I can so understand your frustration and anger directed at such people..

the kind of people who indulge in jingoistic patriotism..

they are the very worst and the most dangerous too..in my opinion..

hitch writer said...

Two exceptions i would like to bring to your notice...

Remember Chennai test we lost excruciatingly.. when Sachin had back cramps and got out with 17 to win... the most painful defeat ever after the Sydney Test...... but the Chennai crowd showed the brighter the better side of India when they gave a standing ovation to a team that played well....

Also the tour to Pakistan the way we were received when Sehwag scored the tripple hundred... that test series and one day series the way our team was received and the way our people were hosted... unbelievable...

there is a friendliness too.. only for marketing the hype is most necessary... so blame the media...

Crafty said...

kislay??
HUGS! u said it man, u really did!

that's what it reduced to...no wait, that's how its been right from i remember....the sport is extended to being this inane desire to "put them down n be proud" and it has nothing whatsoever to do with the sport in itself!
:(

personally, i too look forward to and Indo-Pak match, but not coz of the religion...

i agree its an adrenalin rush, and tempers flare n colourful language is a given factor, but don't u feel, even for the players themselves, it's more than just "winning", even with them, there are traces of a specific enimity that we do not see when either team plays other countries?

its a sad reason for unity n patriotism, i agree with u!
as if we didn't have bigger social evils to unite against....

Solilo said...

Agree with you, Kislay. We bring patriotism to anything. We want to wear it on our sleeves.

Having said that I do support India when it plays with any country and I don't care how good the other team is..all I care is a win for India. Anyways, that was then. Now I am least interested in the game and don't care for win or loss.

quirkyindian said...

Patriotism is such a sham....why don't the people who feel so patriotic actually try and do something - however small - to make India a better place?

A couple of months ago, a newspaper columnist wrote about how offended she - and everyone else in that pub - was because some English girls decided to "loudly" support England during their match against India.

So? It's their team. Why shouldn't they support their team? Just because they're visiting India?

That's how stupid sports patriotism can get.

Cheers,

Quirky Indian

destinationinfinity said...

I think, like what Hitch writer says, after those two incidents the emotions has reduced and it is more of a game now.

@Indeyah: Nice quotes on patriotism. I have added them to my collection, thanks.

Destination Infinity

writerzblock said...

Hi !!

Pardon my duh-ness, but I felt this was a little confusing post...what were you trying to get at?

Are you for 'patriotism' or are you for the 'true spirit of the game' or simply about 'people not being able to see the BIGGER picture'?

Talking of patriotism, this is basic human nature. Even within India, if there was a match between Bombay and Chennai, the people of each state would cheer (tooth and nail!) for their respective teams. So what is wrong in Indians and Pakistanis goading their own teams on? Its good to stand for SOMETHING, right?!

Cheers..
Pal

Winnie the poohi said...

hate has always been more potent than love.. isnt it ?