Cricket and India [How far Patriotism is Related]

I’ve always had this sort of aversion to cricket since 2007, when India lost to Australia in the world cup… Not because team India lost, but because I found it meaningless – the whole of it. People cheered and praised the team if it won, but if it lost, they attacked them verbally, and sometimes even physically. Another reason I started disliking the game was because everyone seemed to think that wearing a dark blue team shirt and waving a flag was all that patriotism was about. So, I totally revolted at the sound of ‘cricket’ [I even started hating the insects]. But this World Cup has helped me get in touch with the truth.

Cricket isn’t the national sport, but it surely is the sport which most Indians love. It’s one which is beyond all divisions of society and for that same reason, it has become very popular. Though it’s of concern the amount of attention hockey and other sports lack, the cricket-lovers can’t be blamed for the neglect of other games, nor can we expect them to like hockey or football or whatever. But what has to be changed is how people think supporting the Indian cricket team is synonymous with patriotism. Patriotism can never be so little that it can be represented by the love of a game. Sure, cricket unifies us and that’s beautiful. But that shouldn’t be the only basis of patriotism… because such patriotism won’t stand for long.

Cricket is a great game… truly wonderful. The feeling you get when you’re in a room full of strangers, watching team India play and suddenly the whole room erupts with cheers at a sixer… priceless. But that moment when we feel proud to be an Indian, that little flash of patriotism isn’t enough to help a huge democratic country like ours. So my dear friends, cricket-lovers and country men, let’s extend our passions for the nation and apprehensions for its success, a bit beyond the cricket stadium and into the real day-to-day life.

By the way, did I tell you about the match today [2nd April, 2011]? It was incredible! :D

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