Cricket Mania And Its After Effect

Parmanand Pandey

Entire country has been in the grip of cricket fever for more than one and half months. It reached its peak at the time of semi-final with Pakistan and in the final against Sri Lanka. Cricket has obtained the status of the cult game in the country mainly because of two reasons. Firstly; it is a colonial game and is played exclusively in commonwealth countries which were the slaves of Great Britain once upon a time. The subjects of slave countries took pride in emulating the game of their Saheb masters. Thus, it became popular because of the Britishers. Secondly; the big money is involved in this game, particularly in India where the number of cricket fans is growing by leaps and bounds with every passing year. Paranoia about cricket can be gauged from the fact that so much so; a villager, who does not know about the game of cricket, suffers from a complex.

Business houses and gamblers make huge money out of this game. They just capitalise the emotions of the public by further whipping it up though media.

India have won the world cup; after a gap of 28 years, under the captaincy of M.S. Dhoni. He and his team deserve our kudos. He is said to be now a man of Rs. 600/- crores and his other worthy colleague; Sachin Tendulkar is now the master more than Rs. 3,000/- crores. Some of his team mates are super rich but none of them is short of money. However, what is objectionable is that one after another government is vying with each other in announcing crores of Rs. to award these cricketers as if they are distributing their personal money. These largesse distributors are oblivious of the fact that this is the money of the tax payers; but ministers and chief ministers are going over board in silly announcements of cash, land and other rewards to these already opulent cricketers.

It will be a blasphemy to raise this issue but even at the risk of being ridiculed must say that I fail to understand as to what is the social contribution of these cricketers? How the cricket has been helpful in solving the poverty, illiteracy unemployment and health problems of the country?

I have my serious grievances with media. The way the cricket has got coverage in the media betrays its lumpenisation. The media persons did not have even a little bit of concern for the feelings of the people of neighbouring countries and India’s relationship with them.

On the day of final match, many T.V. channels announced it the day of ‘Lanka Dahan’ (burning of Lanka). These idiots were projecting India’s victory as if they would set ablaze to Sri Lanka to destroy it; totally forgetting the fact that the game should be played to foster good relationship and not to increase bitterness, but that was what the media did.

Lo and behold! Sonia Gandhi too danced standing on the bonnet of the car disregarding her own security. She caused traffic jam at the ITO at midnight. Any other person would have been challaned but not she. In fact, she was applauded for being the cheer girl or woman. Crores of man hours were lost during the world cup series in offices and workshops but who cares? We take pride in winning the world cup and watching it by purchasing the ticket in black, indulge into illegal match fixing and gambling and yet feel like marching of the Alexander the great. What a pity?