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Racism, Jingoism and Beyond

Yes, its been a while since I last hit up a blog. Just thought I'd say Hi again ! Taking some time off work to come up with a piece might seem difficult, but blogging is something I do not intend to give up all at once.

Racism is something that I want to be slightly tightlipped about. What has race to do with a batsman who just knows to tonk bowlers all over the park ? I think Sport is one place where only performances and results ultimately and eternally matter, not the origins, the color of the skin or for that matter your appearances. The Indian crowd certainly did not give this a thought, when they repeatedly abused Andrew Symonds for God-knows-what ? The crowd at Wankhede has always been a bit of a let-down, let alone the monkey-chants. Is Mumbai a racist city ? Maybe yes. Something in the 'Hitler' mode of Aryan-pride ? A South Indian wearing his "lungi" around the streets of Matunga and Chembur was denounced in the late 60s, and if that wasn't enough, the whole wave of anti-North Indian agitation in the last decade just compounds this theory. I mean, Mumbai, we aint racist bastards ! Oh, also imagine playing cricket behind closed doors, as what happened in Kolkata, after Shoaib Akhtar ripped India apart ! Do we want this, I hope not. Yes, Mumbai comes in with a tinge of rotten apples, but bringing it on a sporting platform, is a crime, maayte ! All said, Andrew Symonds might just be thanking India to give him the sort of treatment, and knowing the Ozzies, such experiences make them tougher than ever before. So, all Indians, expect a heavy summer with "Curry"-filled verbal diarrhea, as soon as India land in Austraaaya.

Jingoism is again something that I can let myself loose on. What exactly is Jingoism, the term sounds funny, but when practiced it is, to put it plain - patriotism taken to an extreme i.e. chanting India about 500 times during the match. Does one lose perspective if he/she is jingoistic ? Yes, they do. I don't know if this was a post-twenty20 phenomenon, but it is certainly uncalled for, especially when emotions are flying as hard as Roy Keane's tackles. But, thats what Indians are known for ! Yes, be a good fan of Indian cricket, wear that expensive piece of blue clothing, take your kids to the game, etc etc, but to live 24x7 on this whole thing, might just be dangerous to say the least. Cricket is a sport, where nothing is to be practiced in the extreme, thats where we differentiate ourselves from other rowdy sports like football and rugby. With Pakistan having arrived already, these 45 days will perhaps give jingoism a new name, or even a new-wave. What I dream of one day, is when Indian cricket fans would turn more knowledgeable than emotional, more welcoming than rude and indeed more enterprising than ever before. No one wants to see their country lose, but it isn't wrong to put two hands together and applaud the better ?

The beyond part is a bit vague, considering my Sri Lankan loyalties. Alas, we lose our frontline wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara for the first test against the Aussies at the Gabba. There will be certainly an air of expectancy when Murali does everything - be it breathe, bowl, bat, field. Twelve years and the man is back on Australian soil. He need not worry much these days, because PM Howard's election chances are diminishing by the day. He's got other things, including Mr. Kevin Rudd to worry about. Unfortunately, he might have to put up with some stiff chants like "You never bowl with a straight arm" or "The Chucka", or the Aussies might have come up with something even more lethal. The earlier he takes the 9 wickets, things might just settle down for the offie.

I will be back next week, hopefully (fingers crossed) and bring out some more interesting tit-bits on things related to the game, or rather going beyond the races and jingoism !

This post first appeared on The Cricket Journal, please read the originial post: here

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Racism, Jingoism and Beyond


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