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Does Religion in India alone serve as backbone to the society? Read Here!

Indians burst crackers at Diwali, hug each other during Eid, sing carols during Christmas and the same crowd goes to Gurudwara to enjoy the meal of Langar

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“In religion, India is the only millionaire… The one land that all men desire to see and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for all the shows of all the rest of the world combined”.   
– Mark Twain

Sept 08, 2016: India is a vast reflection of the diverse culture, different languages, myriad discovered and unknown talents and therefore religion is not alone the standing foundation or backbone of the country.

Religion is an inseparable part of every society and is more of a social system that can be understood if one delves carefully into the practices such as- common faith, worship, rituals, customs, as well as traditions.

While Hinduism is the most practiced religion in India; there are large believers of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism as well in the society. According to the 2011 census, more than 80% of the population of India practice Hinduism and 14.2% adheres to Islam, while the remaining 6% adheres to other religions (Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism and various indigenous ethnically-bound faiths).

If we trace the history of religions in India, we are likely to find that Hinduism is the fundamental root of Indian culture. Not just that, it is one of the most modern and well as the world’s third largest religion. Indian philosophy, architecture, cuisine, festival, standard of living are somehow greatly influenced by Hinduism. Islam first came to the western coast of India with Arab traders as early as 7th century AD to coastal Malabar and the Konkan-Gujarat. The Arab merchants and traders became the carriers of the new religion and they propagated it wherever they went.

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Indians are free spirited. We burst crackers at Diwali, hug each other during Eid, sing carols during Christmas and the same crowd goes to Gurudwara to enjoy the meal of Langar.  The difference in our beliefs unites us more than creating barriers. The cultures and customs that include gathering and the idea of celebrating together help to know every community in the best possible way.

Food is also a great unifying factor in India. Indian cuisine is a beautiful blend of delicacies that different communities and each of them hold a story within it. It is quite interesting to know the history and improvising of the dishes over time. There is more, the Indian clothing is popular not only in India but worldwide. The interesting patterns and vivid colours will leave anyone hungry for more.

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There is more, the Indian clothing is popular not only in India but worldwide. The interesting patterns and vivid colours will leave anyone hungry for more. Needless to say that India’s tribal culture have also affected clothing over time and the designers are going back to history to create something new in their collection.

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Where the dissimilarities that our Nation is built of- fascinate us, it also gives rise to conflicting mindsets! History bears evidence that how religion has influenced politics and how decisions were made by great people not by rational thinking or logical reasoning, rather being completely blinded by faith.

There has been a consistent clash among different religions since the partition of India. The religions though always spread the message of love, peace, and brotherhood but the way the idea of religion was projected by us among the society, it gave birth to religious differences and therefore the seed of hatred prevails somewhere or the other.

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The politicians have used the name of God and religion to create discrepancy among the peaceful mindset of the preachers of the same. Vote bank politics and the so-called messenger of the Almighty influence people against other religions and sometimes the heterogeneity within the different communities in India leads to hatred, violence, fights and disturbances.

A lot of political observers and philosophers of India are often surprised that India still stays as a single nation as many of them have predicted India to fall apart immediately after Independence and the Partition. They were too taken aback by the diversity. And that is what we need to understand that India is an enormously unique and incredible country just because of the unity that we possess despite the rich cultural and religious differences.

Although, religion affects every aspect of our life and society in some way or the other and it solely depends on us that whether we let the beauty of this uniqueness separate us or unite us!

– by Arya Sharan of NewsGram. Twitter: NoOffense9

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Copyright 2016 NewsGram

  • Nagpal Singh

    A great piece by an optimist nationalist …

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Cricket madness in Chicago

People sacrifice other chores just to enjoy this beautiful game and to keep it alive in countries outside India where cricket is not a major sport.

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Cricket has become a popular sport in Chicago. Around 900 people play the game in the windy city.

WLCA Working Committee

Hari Mohan, Harshavardhna Hedge, Kunal Tembhurne, Niranjan Kulkarni, Saurabh Nigam, Shreenidhi Bharadwaj, Shekar Reddy Palla, Shwetabh Gaurav, Sunil Saini, Vivek Sarkar

About:

Cricket is more a religion, less a sport in India. People are obsessed with the sport and magnitude of love cannot be defined in words.

In the United States, Baseball, Basketball and Soccer are obviously more popular. However, Cricket has a strong presence due to the passion and love of Indians for the game. The Indian community in USA avidly plays and promotes cricket and, in the process comes closer to each other.

The passion for the game is unreal in USA too. Working men enjoy the sport in their free time. They even book grounds (baseball/soccer grounds) to practice and conduct tournament matches. The players are from all backgrounds – students, businessmen, lawyers, IT professionals to doctors. They all take out time out of their busy schedules and come together to rejoice the gentleman’s game in the windy city.

Cricket
The tournament played between Chicago Centaurs and Arrigo Avengers.

Tournaments in Chicago

As cricket has a strong presence in Chicago, many friendly yet competitive tournaments are conducted by cricket fanatics to keep the game alive.

Chicagotwenty20 tournament

Chicagotwenty20 is the oldest cricket tournament that was conducted in Chicago. It’s first season took place in 2009 and the tenth season was played in 2018. The league is played in 20 overs format. 56 teams participate from Chicago and are divided into groups 4 with 14 teams in each group.  Each team has a squad of 16 players with 11 playing and rest 5 as extras. Each team has a home ground. 7 matches are played at home ground and the rest at the opponent’s ground. The top eight teams from each group are qualified for the quarter finals. The tournament is almost four months long. The best player of the winning team is awarded the man of the match in every match. Best Batsman, Best bowler, MVP ( most valuable player) awards are given at the end of the season.

The 2018 season was won by team Yorkers. The Best Batsman, Highest score and the MVP award was given to Mr Pavan Shetty of team Yorkers, who scored 418 runs. The best bowler award was given to Sivakumar for taking 27 wickets.

WLCA Super 8 tournament

WLCA (West Loop Cricket Association, Chicago) was formed by four IT professionals in 2016 with the sole objective of promoting the game of cricket in Chicago City area. Based out of vibrant and affluent Chicago West Loop, WLCA is an assemblage of 300+ cricket players. These cricket enthusiasts come from different walks of life being corporate professionals, UIC/IIT students and local businessmen. There are hundreds of followers across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Cricket
This is the team who connected via the meetup link which has more than 300 members.

WLCA mainly involve in:

  • Organize annual cricket tournament
  • Coordinate weekly cricket games in different Chicago City park locations
  • Coordinating friendly games with other known Chicago Suburban teams
  • WLCA team represented Chicago City in other Chicagoland tournaments including Chicago T20 League and Soha Cup
  • Maintaining and making available Cricket Equipment Kit free of cost to playing group

The WLCA hosts Super 8 Cricket tournament which started in 2017 by the West Loop cricket association (WLCA). It is played under the format of 8 overs and 8 players in each team. This concept of tournament was the first to be launched by WLCA in Chicago. This is the shortest time-consuming format (2 days) and the played at the heart of Chicago Downtown. The first season was extremely successful (12 teams) and participating teams called out as the best organized cricket tournament amongst many happening in Chicago.

Season 2 played in 2018 organized by WLCA had 16 teams divided into four groups with four teams in each group. The semi-finals and final are played with 10 overs. There is a man of the match, best bowler, best fielder award for every match

Here is the fixture and schedule of Season 2:

There are 16 teams participating in this short format cricket tournament.

16 team is divided into 4 groups.

Group A Group B Group C Group D
Winter Wolves (A1) Chicago Wild Kittens(B1) Arrigo Avengers(C1) Super 9s(D1)
Dark Knights (A2) Challengers(B2) Cook County(C2) Chicago Super Kings(D2)
Chicago Centaurs(A3) Hunters (B3) Westside Wolves(C3) River City (D3)
International Khiladies (A4) Ballers(B4) Knights(C4) CSK+(D4)

Each team in the group will play only two matches with the other two teams.

From each group top two teams will be qualified for the quarterfinals, then semis and finals.

Chicago Centaurs were the Champions and Super 9s were the runners up.

Female cricket players
Female cricket players. Pixabay

The tournament has become a big deal in no time. It was sponsored by big names like USBank (thanks to Susan Brown), Lodha Group (this group was also the associated sponsor of Ind vs, Eng Test Series in 2018) and Metra Spice Mart (Only Indian Grocery Store in Chicago Downtown). The tournament has gained momentum in no time and is likely to do so in the years to come.

Keeping the game alive overseas

Cricket has become a huge deal in Chicago. Around 900 people play the game in the windy city. Tournaments like above help in maintaining healthy competition and something to be excited for.

People sacrifice other chores just to enjoy this beautiful game and to keep it alive in countries outside India where cricket is not a major sport.

“My favourite sport and always loved to watch and play the game anywhere in the world anytime. Always loved to organize these kinds of tournament from childhood so continuing the same thing outside the country”, Says Harshavardhna Hedge, Organizer, WLCA super 8 tournament.

The Indian Cricket Team
The Indian Cricket Team

“Well I love the sport and love my country. We get to relive our childhood and impart love for the game to the next generation. The community comes together and enjoy, and we also return to the society through charity”, Says Hari Mohan, Organizer, WLCA super 8 tournament.