Tuesday, April 20, 2010

IPL 3 Musings (Note 1)

The league matches of IPL 3 are all over. Overall, it has been a fantastic feeling to play host, as a nation, to IPL 3. However, the last few days have left a couple of issues to ponder. These are not directly linked to the players and their performances, but are related to the league, its policies and organizing committee; some associated events. The league has earned quick disrepute in abundant proportions, much in the same fashion, it ascended the ladder to splendor and fanfare in its first season.
First of all, this one episode, narrated below, threw me back in complete disbelief.

Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 witnessed two blasts outside Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, close to an hour before the match between RCB and Mumbai Indians. The match had a delayed start and the next day morning's search unearthed few bombs that luckily did not explode. When questioned, the police commissioner reasoned there was'nt enough light for a thorough check the previous evening, the match had to go on, that was the top priority, after which the search in broad daylight next day morning continued and revealed more unexploded bombs.
That's definitely the most nonsensical explanation I have ever heard. May be the Police Commissioner did'nt realize there is'nt enough light to sanitze the whole stadium, that 40000 people and cricket players cannot be held bait to a lurking danger, that the match better stand postponed, saving lives of people and godly figures - the cricketers is the top priority.
During lunch, on Monday, I heard a group of colleagues discuss heavily, in Kannada and English, on why CSK did not deserve to make it to top 4. The Bangalore home team, RCB is a contender in the semis, there was no room for dejection. However, more than happiness of seeing the home team through, there was anguish on why/how CSK made it to the semis.

On Monday evening, I happened to overhear a conversation of a group of teenagers after my swimming class. "Why did the blast happen here, why did it not happen in Chennai? Or why did it not happen before the Chennai Super Kings vs Kings X1 Punjab match? Crap, CSK too has entered the semis". I was taken aback at the way these people spewed animosity against a neighboring state.

Pakistan and India have remained foes for six decades now, yet when reports on blasts killing many in Peshawar or Lahore appears, I am sure we don’t say – "Yes, they deserve it." Or when terror attack occurred in Mumbai or Pune, we never questioned, "Why Mumbai, why not Islamabad or Lahore?" If such thoughts for neighbouring nations were ruthless and unwarranted, how can animosity between states in the same country be justified?

The conversation between teenagers literally paralyzed me. I pondered on where they picked such strong animosity from at such young age. From home, from school? The hostility between the two states finds its roots in the issue of Cauvery river water sharing. The issue has always been overplayed before elections as a political trump card by various parties. Water Sharing Disputes Tribunal has the complete, essential information to decide on actions necessary. Let dirty politics be played only by politicians, let it not engulf arts, sports, literature and other unallied fields. Let future generations not choose hatred as a natural instinct.

It is unfortunate that the state had to witness two blasts before a league match and meekly give up its role of playing host for two semi final matches. There is disappointment lurking in all of us, let that not transform to ugly hatred for another state in our own country.

There are immigrants from all over in Bangalore – from Kerala, Andhra, Tamil Nadu, North India and many parts of Karnataka. The city has swelled, unable to take the inflow. No faction of immigrants is solely responsible for the exponential change in urban scape in Bangalore.

Let us get one thing clear, there is enough hostility brewing between nations, tension over man made boundaries, fanaticism in name of religion already; more than required animosity that makes our future bleak. One mad/wrong move by one warring group can destroy the whole world’s peace. Let us not add one more dimension to this through national/inter state hatred. Petty politicians will continue to turn one Indian citizen against another. Our only and last resort as an Indian citizen is to resist these attempts, fervently. If we follow suit and instill separatist thoughts in future generations, we might soon create the need to remove lessons on "Unity in Diversity" from our school books.

The next time, your child cuts a cake, ensure that he/she is not cutting a cake that is shaped like North India/Bihar like Raj Thackeray; your child questions on what is Telengana, ensure you don't spew venom by saying coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema have taken it all and left a region deprived, and that is Telengana. Time wasted in imbibing these wrong lessons can be usefully spent in educating oneself, becoming more tolerant and capable to grab the required opportunity. India is one nation and we do not possess dual citizenship. We are all Indian citizens, we make sense as one nation, not as individual states; definitely not as warring factions waiting to slit each other’s throat for the most preposterous reasons.

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