The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Dhruv Shah, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
Politics and cricket are two favourite past times of the country, which stir the emotions of the people of all communities. Politics and cricket are two fields which arouse intense passion of the public and turns even the most ignorant of people into experts. At a time when politicians, in catering to their vote banks, are dividing the country, cricket, especially T20, is bringing the nation together.
The following is a brief explanation for the same.
A. The nature of politics has undergone a marked change. From ideology driven agendas of political parties, we have moved on to vote bank driven politics. Politicians, today, unabashedly talk about the interests of the community which votes for them, even at the cost of national interest.
B. Politicians are, unfortunately, playing a divisive role. By stalling the functioning of the Parliament, delivering hate speeches against particular communities, neglecting national interests, indulging in petty politics, the politicians are doing a great disservice to the country. They are fermenting violence in the society for political gains and instigating people against each other.
C. I agree. The biggest crime they commit is to polarise the society on communal lines for votes, especially during elections. The policy they follow is no different than the Britishers, who practiced ‘divide and rule’ over India.
D. While the politicians divide, cricket unites. The game of cricket offers a common platform to the people of the country to put aside their differences and cheer for their team in unison. The heart of every Indian wants their cricket team to win all matches they play. Though, people may have different favourite players-Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli or others, when it comes to supporting the Indian team, there is hardly any difference in opinion and each citizen vehemently backs the team.
E. True. The advent and appeal of the T20 format has bridged distances and contributed in bringing the nation together. It has renewed the interest of those bored of the longer formats of cricket and has caught the interest of the modern generation, always short of time and patience. By reaching out to newer audiences, for instance, in America, T20 is becoming a perfect platform of entertainment for different communities.
F. In India, for instance, people who knew little about the game are taking a fancy to it, primarily due to its entertaining format. Even women and kids are no longer untouched by the frenzy T20 has created. They, too, have their favourites in the Indian Premier League. Some may support the Mumbai Indians or Delhi Daredevils or any other team but most importantly, T20 has given people a reason to bond and celebrate together. For the duration of three hours that a T20 match lasts, people forget their worries and immerse themselves in the drama and entertainment that T20 offers.
While politics has caused much consternation and disappointment among the people of the country and there is a sense of frustration with the way politicians are running the country, cricket provides the much needed relief. What T20 has done is that it has reignited the idea of collective enjoyment and celebration, binding the country with the love of cricket.