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    March 21, 2007

    War minus the shooting, but plus the brickbats

    There've obviously been enough references to George Orwell in various comments/articles about the disproportionate response to India and Pakistan suffering shock defeats at the World Cup. So I feel compelled to offer a different take, in the title of this post, on what he wrote about sport in 'The Sporting Spirit'.
    Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting.
    On my personal blog a couple of years ago, I wrote that there was far too much emphasis on sporting achievement. I still stand by that statement, despite being a fan of the game and running a blog devoted to cricket.

    No-one asked those who vandalized property/burnt effigies etc. to follow the Indian team's cricketing fortunes. They did so of their own free will. That does not certainly give them the right to demolish property, public or private. The Indian team does not play well just because there're a billion-odd people hoping for a win. Those who go berserk at the team's wins or losses do so primarily because they wrongly believe it is their right to do so since they've invested so much energy/money etc. in supporting the team. In what way do they claim a right? A lot of them do so as a publicity seeking exercise. They may not even go to the stadiums, when there are opportunities to do so, to watch the games, preferring the confines of a living room.

    The best way to register their protest would be to ignore/boycott watching the games on television, for that is pretty much the most important factor for international cricket now. It would initially register a barely visible dent in terms of viewership for the companies which produce/own/telecast the content. Eventually though, TRP ratings will be impacted. Then these companies would wake up and stop having headlines reading 'World Cup dream dies' or 'World Cup campaign back on track'.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 9:39 AM |
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