Is there a common interest or rather craze among the Indian populace irrespective of their status, position, education, caste, community, creed, sex or age? Is there something which is favored by all those mentioned above without bias? Can anything which binds the whole nation with a patriotic fervor notwithstanding the strong diversities prevailing among the whole nation?
Yes there is. It is nothing but the game called Cricket and its players.
To put it mildly, I am shocked beyond words by the power this foreign game cricket binds the Indian nation as a whole. Any entertainment medium is bound to capture the interest of the old and the young alike. Cinema is one which is equally powerful that has been a staple food for the masses as well as classes to a great extent in the southern states of India more specifically in Andhra and Tamil Nadu. But there also, generally there is an intellectual group which loathes films and film stars. Yet film stars have become so powerful that they even become a major part of the gamble of the gentlemen’s game cricket and also enter politics.
Generally, it is said the success and defeats have to be taken sportive; but not in the case of cricket. Indians cannot take up defeat in cricket. If they fail the players' effigies will be burnt and houses will be attacked. India can be proud of a living Cricket God Sachin Tendulkar who is always adored and favored by the country and celestial angels. The cricket matches keep going all the 12 months in a year in different names and forms. If India plays any game, the offices don’t work, the roads become deserted and every human species is glued to the television or transistor.
Surprisingly no adverse aspects including match fixings have diminished the craze for the game even among the intellectuals. In fact, if one does not talk about cricket and do arm chair analysis how the game has to be played, they will be considered next to an idiot. I am amazed by the sway that the game holds on the nation since even the prime ministers of the two countries have the time to sit and watch the game uncaring about the two nations’ monstrous problems.
Pray, what type of madness it is? All the media head lines scream about the success of India. The entire population feels euphoric about the success in a game which is named as World Cup while only a few countries in the world entertain this particular play.
These apart, the players enjoy enormous benefits like incentives, cash awards, tax exemption, commercial offerings for promoting products and most of them are flooded with privileges and wealth. Their popularity is incomparable. None of the scams like match fixing or gambling seem to taint any bad picture or bring down the popularity the game and the players enjoy.
Well, I am not against the game or the popularity of the cricket stars; but in India everything exceeds the limits and touches ridiculous proportions of mass adulation. This game is one such item. It is nothing but a miracle in the 'Kaliyug' that a game has cut across many barriers from intelligent to idiocy, power centers to penury, old to young and above all the biggest dividing force in India religion and caste.
Cricket may be a game of many countries in the world. But, India is a definitely a unique country in the whole world. Period.