– by Salil Gewali
Any sports are for recreation, for the inner rejuvenation. It is intended to add joy and happiness to life. It is also intended to help build a sense of friendliness, to make everyone cheery. This automatically increases the warmth of kinship.
The sporty audience who enjoy the event should feel they are de-stressed and have become bouncy, not at all belligerent and hateful. Of course, every sport contributes to increase our efficiency as it lubricates the mind, and considerably helps us to be focused on a job we do. But these days, particularly by watching the never-ending cricket matches, we notice that the surge of negativity overwhelms many of us.
True, the cricket audience in India has for decades been so worked up by the media that a good many have become excessively obsessed with this game. Obsession with particular sense objects is itself harmful.
Needless to say, in favor of the cricket many others exciting outdoor games have been deliberately undermined. 90-minute brisk and lively football game is unjustifiably overshadowed. Just imagine how countless fans, particularly our youths, are wasting their precious times of their lives being only glued to TV’s screen to watch overstretched cricket matches.
Maybe over 80% of their minds are taken over by the “chitchat” and the attachment to the ceaseless cricket. One game ends and immediately another begins! Have they not adversely affected the academic pursuit or carriers of the millions of our youths? For many crazy fans everything is relegated to backburner during the cricket season. I, being an erstwhile cricket fanatic, consider myself as one of the addicted victims which I realized pretty late. It only fills me now with loads of remorse that what I gathered over the decades from this game are bubbles of nothing. It rather literally kept me far away from the realities of life and family obligation et al.
Very funnily, if one’s son gets sick or fails in the exam he will not definitely break the window panes in fury but when India loses the cricket match he might break the TV set into pieces, or rush for the binge drinking or get into a scuffle! Yes, you drink more and get high when India wins, and you also drink more and go wobbly when India loses! I guess, this a win-win game for you.
Excessive idling away of the precious time will certainly hit back at us later. Naturally, our inner being and situation demand from us more realistic and pragmatic engagements and perseverance so we are capable of facing the life’s misfortune and challenges head on.
The recent India-Pak match witnessed bouts of crazy hysteria and violence where some people smashed the TV sets, pelted stones, shouted the slogans of Moordabad/Jindabad. Is this what we should expect after a cricket match? Cruelty, enmity should not be the vocabulary of any sporty activities. No sports should be instrumental in making the audience into a frenzied mob! But due to addictive Cricket, a good many have become abnormal to a certain degree. Has BCCI ever kept an account how many sane persons become insane and act violently and sometimes become brutally hurtful to the people around? Alas, this body which can’t even “control” the cricket management how could it control the audience who are already overdosed with the hooking game?
Here is another bane of the cricket. One can’t overlook how the flood of money is ceaselessly gushed into this particular game, and how the corrupt practices find their best expression here? The secret nexus between the “bookies and cricket players” is no joke? How can the audience tolerate when the integrity of the game and the players are doubtful. Well, how many such unholy ties between the bookie and players and other felonies should break out to bring us to sense that we are well into the false game of illusion where our “faith” is merrily crushed into powder? The players whom we adore and call oh dear icons, are trading their own souls for petty money behind the pitch. I think no one disagrees that boom-boom farts of IPL stink to high heaven which its cheerleaders can’t suppress.
No wonder, the media often touts Virat Kohli as a role model for the youth and many fans highly idolize him. But soon after India lost the match to Pakistan some of his ardent admirers cracked in a rage — Kutta-sala Virat Kohli. I think it is never a fair game!
Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali