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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bleeding Blue Billions, Ain't Just Cricket

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Posted by: danish Ahmed 5:13 PM

Dhoni's sixer in the 49th over taking India to victory against the Sri Lankan team in the ICC World Cup 2011 was nothing short of a fairy tale ending to a grand epic. Lately, it seemed Providence did not intend to give India both the World Cup as well as Sachin Tendulkar at the same time. But then again, it wouldn't have been fair that the team for which the greatest cricketer ever played,never won a World Cup. So it was only fair that Sachin's captain and teammates win it for him, as they had promised to before the tournament began. And this is exactly how it happened. Sachin Tendulkar deserve a separate post, which lies in my drafts and which I will be posting soon,GOD-willing.

Team India's magnificent victory in the final demonstrate why cricket is a religion in India. Though moments of individual brilliance were strewn along the entire match, the final outcome  was undoubtedly a well coordinated team effort. Team India truly reflects the multicultural triumph of the Indian State,most likely it is the only team, with players who come from so many linguistic and ethnic groups. Of course language is not at all a barrier now as it used be in the past (according to veteran experts) it still maintains the symbolic value.


Division on the lines of castes,classes,religions,languages,ethnicity run deep in the Indian society,but not enough to threaten national integrity. On the contrary,these differences only help color the rich tapestry that we call Indian culture. However, most of our political leaders, exploit these differences for petty political gains. There are volumes written/published on this topic, I will not add to it. Cricket has also served another purpose,eliminating the differences between India and Bharat, where the word Bharat is associated with the rural India. Most of India's new found wealth and opportunity are concentrated to prominent cities while the rural population,including those belonging to small towns live in a time warp if not in poverty. It is in cricket that players like Munaf Patel,coming from remote villages can still become far more popular and successful than their slightly less skilled urban counterparts may not be able to achieve despite being in advantageous position.



Further,it is not just success but also the character,aspiration and confidence that need to be compared and in this context Mahendra Singh Dhoni passes with flying colors. Dhoni is every bit what a columnist, whose name I regrettably forget :( , said, a strong headed,robust, mofussil man who makes his own way. Hailing from Ranchi, Jharkhand, MS Dhoni is a beacon of hope as well as representative of the rural and small town  population.

  Thus the Men In Blue in many ways represent our aspirations and our triumphs,sans the myriad obstacles every Indian faces in every day life. Hence, for decades now cricket has become one of those very few occasions when an average Indians get to set aside their petty differences, uniting to support under a single banner and asserting the national identity. In India, and after this World Cup victory, cricket has become a phenomenon much different from a religion, a phenomenon in itself 

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