The TV news anchor was screaming out loud and quizzed the panelists as to why women were raped what were the reasons behind it and things like that. The honorable panelists argued that it was a sick mindset, lack of education, ineffective laws, poor policing etc but recently I saw a 6 year old boy tell his friend that she could not play cricket with him as she was supposed to stand aside and cheer for him singing the IPL song ‘Jumping Japong’. I was completely shocked and tried to figure out how the little mind had drawn that conclusion refusing his friend outright. All the arguments by those panelists had gone down the drain as nobody spoke about the quality and control of objectionable content being broadcast on television programs these days.
I was upset and helpless to know how some bizarre marketing gimmicks could affect young minds that could prove to be fatal in an already gender biased society. That young kid is not at fault because when women are shown as pleasurable items on screen he applies and implies that in real life too as what you see is what you believe. I pondered how a B grade act was glamorized and glorified into an A grade art. After all why do you need skimpily clothed girls dancing in cricket?
So I decided to understand how this spell called cricket works and how it emerged to be so popular:
Cricket was first played in the 13th century by a few shepherds’ children in England it was seen as a great way to kill time and soon became popular among the elite too that it went on to become the official sport of England in the 18th century.
Cricket came to India along with the East India Company via British Raj. Cricket although not native to India it has the widest audience and viewership any sport could ever have.
Initially only test cricket was played but who had the time to wait and watch for five long days so in 1971 the one day international matches were introduced which became a rage among the young and the old until the Twenty20 innings swept over to satiate the cricket savvy time constrained fans of cricket.
Lalit Modi the man behind the brand IPL, the engineer of Twenty20 construed and conceptualized the richest and most entertaining form of short duration cricket ever played in the history of Indian sports. He designed and packaged a perfect product comprising of the three Ws Wine Wealth Women which is always a best seller especially when it is associated with the glamour industry and backed by powerful syndicates so powerful that it consumed him. The cheering by the crowds was made official by introducing the cheer leaders or the dancing dames swaying their voluptuous bodies in a typical Bollywood style. The feminist in me ponders if we ever had skimpily clad men cheering for women’s sports but the fact that these cricketers are auctioned and sold off like slaves for a harem consoles and provides me some solace shunning any eruptions of feministic thoughts.
The IPL is more amusing than any Bollywood flick as it is all geared with the perfect recipe for a sure success. It has the presence of the powerful rich star owners, cabaret dance by the cheer leaders which is nowadays dignified by the term ‘item number’, a chorus of glamour stricken chattering commentators, menacing marketing by the ad industries which no other sport in India receives, extensively covered by the media and backed by business tycoons, politicians and promoted by the demigods themselves ‘the cricketers’ selling and endorsing various brands of commodities on that TV screen who are almost worshipped and celebrated by millions.
With so much of well worked calculation IPL is a sure hit with an expected turnover of US$ 1 Billion in the next 5 to 10 years 40% of which will go to the IPL, 54% to the franchisees and 6% as prize money. Who cares if the match was fixed, who cares if a star cricketer is tainted with spot fixing we are a crazy nation of 1.27billion population who mourn and miss terror abettors like Sanjay Dutt of Bollywood fame and wait to welcome him back and we vote criminals as our political leaders and watch endless cricket even if the money in it were being diverted to underworld dons to kill our own kith and kin. Who cares about all this jumpak jummpak I must admit the IPL song is very catchy.
I am certainly not against cricket in fact I love the spirit of the game, it teaches youngsters to deal and negotiate among team members and helps in developing interpersonal skills, leadership qualities and making decisions in crucial times. It toughens one to deal with everyday problems as it teaches us to be a sport at the end of the day no matter who wins or loses. I like the Twenty20 cricket especially the concept of players from different countries playing as one team but I cannot understand why only cricket gets so much limelight. Why does money always get accumulated with the rich making them richer? Why are we so obsessed with individual cricketers Bollywood stars who do not contribute to the society in any way and are only interested in their personal financial gain?
We are an impressionable society drawing high influence from the west. If there is a Hollywood we’ve created Bollywood, if they made ‘Big Brother’ we came up with ‘Big Boss’, if there is ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’ we counter it with a ‘Kaun Banega Crorepathi’.
The British left India but they left behind Cricket which has now become absolutely indispensable that it haunts me and I muse over it asking myself what if that 1billion US dollars was used for a noble cause?
During my school days I studied about great engineers like Sir.M.Vishveshwaraiah and great physicists like C.V.Raman, great mathematicians like Srinivasa Ramanujam. Today even my kids are also studying the same history. Alas! Don’t we have anything other than cheap manpower of outsourced software engineers, IPL cricket matches and corruption to brag about? India has great brains and potential to rule over the world but are we stagnated when it comes to innovations and inventions? Are we only talking and taking pride in our glorious past. What about our present contributions for the future generations?
Cricket certainly is entertaining and generates employment and lot of revenue but is this revenue reaching and benefitting our government is questionable? When revenue earning giants like BCCI and IPL do not pay tax our economy becomes poor and the common man much poorer in spite of investing his precious time and money. ParliamentaryPanel finds BCCI IPL did not pay taxes and routed …
Some cricket info for you:
The ball used in IPL cricket matches is Kookabura ball which costs Rs.12999/-
Other cricket test matches and Ranjhi Trophy matches use Sanspareils Greenlands(SG) test balls, Sanspareil Greenlands are main manufacturers of cricket balls in India.
Did you know when you are enjoying watching a cricket match there are hundreds of Indian children stitching footballs and cricket balls for the sports industry?
Sachin Tendulkar is the richest sportsperson in India who is doing his bit to the society by associating himself with an NGO called Apnalaya and sponsors more than 200 children for their education and daily needs every year.
Gujarathis are the best and most consistent businessmen be it cricket or any other enterprise.