Saturday, February 28, 2015

Rivalry or Hatred... ?

Okay. It is a well known fact that India is a cricket-crazy country. And at times the craziness bit seems to take on an unbelievable magnitude. But even this craze takes a turn towards the ultimate levels of lunacy once the Indian cricket team takes on the team from across the border.

It is always good for any sport to have a fierce but healthy rivalry between two teams. The English and Australian cricket teams have fought tooth and nail over the historic ashes. Argentina and Brazil have had a history of locking horns in Latin American football. Barcelona and Real Madrid have an equally absorbing rivalry on the football field as was the rivalry between the basketball teams of the USA and the erstwhile USSR.

A healthy rivalry is supposed to bring out the best in the participating teams. But instead, a cricket match between India and Pakistan brings out utmost levels of lunacy from within the fans of the two countries. In fact, those who do not even follow cricket turn into fanatics on the day of an India-Pakistan cricket match. An example of this was seen when some morons broke into a fight in an Australian pub right after the India-Pakistan match.

It is good to support and cheer one’s own team. But pathetically, the thing that people find more pleasure to indulge in is to ridicule the opponent. And it is not just the players from the opposite team but its followers who are targeted with all the insult and abuse. It is as if the supporters are happier for the opponent’s loss rather than their own team’s victory.

India and Pakistan have been more than just uncomfortable neighbors. They’ve been at war more than just once. But over the years, people on both sides of the border have seemed to develop a strange abhorrence towards each other. A sense of loathing that has been increasing with every generation. It is almost reaching a point of complete intolerance towards each other.

But when one tries to ascertain the reason and logic behind such hatred, one is at a loss to find specific answers. There are certain issues that seem to be valid and require serious thought from both the sides to reach a proper solution. But the truth is that the majority of population in both the countries leads a similar kind of life trying to cope with everyday problems.

There is a genuine problem of terrorism that plagues both the countries. But instead of accusing each other and going to war, people on both sides need to come together to tackle the menace. For this to happen, there needs to be a certain sense of trust to prevail between citizens from both sides to be able to come together.

But the extremely crazy reactions from fanatics from both sides to an India-Pakistan cricket match destroy all hope of trust and understanding between the citizens of both the countries. People today have actually never given a thought to the reason for their hatred towards the neighbor country. They simply follow what they see everywhere around themselves.

It is not actually cricket. It is not also the joy of the team’s victory. It is more about the loss of someone who is loathed. Bursting crackers and going absolutely berserk on social media are just the obvious symptoms of this deep seated lunacy. Because if it was the good cricket being played by one’s own team, then every victory irrespective of the opponent would be celebrated with equal joy.

An India-Pakistan match should be a source of a healthy sporting rivalry, not a source of strengthening the already prevalent hatred between the two countries.  

(Image Courtesy : Google Images)


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