The Cricket Dilemma
In My View

The Cricket Dilemma

P.C. Punnen

P.C. Punnen

The BCCI has asked ICC to ensure the security of the Indian team members following the killing of 40 odd jawans of the CRPF in Pulwama in Kashmir. This follows the decision announced by Union Minister Nithin Gadkari that India will cut off water supply to Pakistan following the dastardly incident which was master-minded by the terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed which has its headquarters in Pakistan.

We have faced it, and we seem to be doomed to face it again, no matter what Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Nithin Gadkari or Mamata or Mayawati whoever becomes the next PM. As long as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh last, this situation will remain unchanged.

Take for example what happened in Mumbai. One hundred and Sixty Eight Indians died in the Mumbai attack masterminded by terrorists from Pakistan. Earlier in Mumbai itself Dawood Ibrahim organised a terror attack which killed many. Despite the strong words of our politicians and the media, nothing has happened to change the scenario. Kashmir has been on tenterhooks since India's Independence. If this has continued for 72 years, it seems no solution has been found or is likely to be found as long as we continue to be dictated by religious concepts.

India’s PM has given the army a free hand in retaliating to the Pulwama incident. All parties are joined together in supporting him. This is the situation today. It is unlikely to change in the near future.

The BCCI is, one thinks, sharply split on the question of participating in the One Day cricket tournament that is going to be held in England. It also seems the BCCI was divided in taking a stand on this issue. One group argued that it seems the loss that BCCI will suffer amounts to a massive amount which it can ill afford. Besides, it will lose two points also. The England tournament is supposed to start next month. It has been reported that the BCCI has left the matter to the Government to take a decision in this issue.

This speaks volumes for India's cavalier attitude to the question: how to deal with the 'communal' matter. That India as a nation hasn't taken a firm stand on it since Independence and is unlikely to take a stand on the basic issue which is beyond the ordinary people's understanding. The people have to be taught this basic issue which calls for a leadership that looks beyond religion and caste.

We have had a prime minister in Nehru who could have done it had he been alive and a bit aggressive for a little more time. As ill-luck would have it, his death occurred at a time most unfortunate for his party and for the country, not that he hasn't made mistakes. As a human being it was natural that all decisions will not be mistake free.

The same thing can be said about Narendra Modi. The only thing is he lacks the vision and attitude of a statesman like prime minister and he is communal to the core.

Cricket too has degenerated just as our nation has. It is no longer a gentleman's game. It is today a game of money irrespective of the fact that they are gentlemen by public image. Always it is money that matters whatever be a player's image, the money factor counts a lot. So this decision by BCCI is 'correct' one can say.

The BCCI could have done worse in the Mumbai incidents. India would have lost some entertaining cricket and BCCI would have lost crores of revenue. Luckily they took a decision to continue the game forgetting the India-Pakistan standoffs.

The same decision is expected here too, a few months later. By then the Pulwama incident will be forgotten just like we have forgotten the Mumbai incidents. Politicians will be in newspapers with their remarks which will attract readers’ attention. To be forgotten by the politicians and media men. And to be reminded of by jobless men counting their ends unlike many who wished it would happen the next day.

The dilemma is a continuum. It can be solved only when we as a nation change its concept of people. We are bound to make errors but not to repeat them umpteen times. This calls for a proper political leadership and we the people must change.

(The ideas expressed in the article are those of the author.)