How to politicise cricket to save it from being politicised

Ask the Communists

They want to defend Indian cricket from politicisation and parochialism. The Communist Party of India and its leaders from West Bengal are the unlikely defenders.

Leftists in West Bengal on Thursday took up cudgels against the axing of Sourav Ganguly from the Indian team for the third Test against Sri Lanka, with CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta sending a protest letter to BCCI chief Sharad Pawar urging him to protect Indian cricket from politics. [IE]

And there is more. The Communist Party of India also actually defends the use of ‘merit’ as a basis for selection.

In his letter to Pawar, Dasgupta claimed that Ganguly’s exclusion was not on ‘merit’, but on ‘some other considerations that has influenced the decision of the Selection Committee’.

“If the Selection Committee does not function on merit, the future of Indian cricket will be bleak,” he said. [IE]

Why only cricket, Mr Dasgupta?

Related Link: GreatBong weighs in.

7 thoughts on “How to politicise cricket to save it from being politicised”

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  2. The secret (open or otherwise) of the Commies hold on political power in WB is not to be found in their recipes for “economic development”. It is when you compare them with the “dravidian” parties of TN that the reasons become obvious. Just as the “dravidian” parties have risen and held on to power by appealing to Tamizh parochialism (anti-brahmin, anti-Hindi, anti-north with a viciously Nazi inspired fervor) the commies in WB have colored themselves as the champions of Bengali (largely Hindu) interests. They have also cleverly exploited the differences of religious expression between the Eastern and Norther practives (that make Hinduism such a rich experience) and converted into a grotesquely sectarian fault line – Bengali vs. Hindi (although both the Shuddh Hindi and the Bengali are heavily Sanskritised); the Eastern Durga vs. the Northern Durga; the two Kalis; and even conjured up a heroic Meghnaad/Indrajit (based on a poorly written play by Michael Madhusudan Dutta) in opposition to Rama. The WB Bengali despite voting for the Commies can be viciously communal. College Street/Presidency College/Coffee House radical talk is full of abusive slurs directed at the capitalist classes (Marwari/Gujaratis) of the City and the hardworking underclasses from Orissa and Bihar. The parochialism runs so deep that it is not rare to find a Calcutta Bengali who can rhapsodise about a paantua or mishti doi can suddenly turn up his nose when offered a kesar peda or kaaju katli – you see that is so a’Bangali!

  3. @Shiva,

    Marvel at your knowledge of Bengalis and deep understanding of the difference between Kaju katli and rosogolla. Of course your attempt at generalization of what goes on in Coffee House/Colleg Street is very rational and wholly unregionalistic—but what takes the cake is your slant on the Meghnaadbodh Kabya (which imho does not glorify Bengalis[has nothing to do with them in fact] but is an interpretation based on versions of Ramayana popular in the Dravidian South)

  4. Great Bong,
    Meghnaadbadh Kabya by Dutta makes heroes out of Ravana and Indrajit and casts them as victims of a conspiracy. There’s no problem with that as long as it remains literary. There are numberless narrations of the Ramayana across the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, and a soppy tearjerker from Bengal can’t be all bad. Of the traditional versions of the Ramayana in the South (psst! Dravidian is a Sanskrit term) I am sure one can find some Meghnaadayana if one looks hard. In recent times R.S.Manohar the Tamizh stage drama enactor has produced many revisionist accounts of the Hindu puranas and “Indrajit” is one of them (Lankeshwaran, Sukrachariar, TherOtti Magan (on Karna), Maaveeran Kamsan, Duryodhanan, Surapadman are some of the others). It is when Sagar’s Ramayana is cast as a North Indian import (no production of the Ramayana has drawn from as many different classical versions of the epic as has Sagar’s) and Megnaadbadh is held up as a ‘native’ icon that cultural dispute become ugly. Being Tamizhan I have seen a lot of this nonsense. The College Street tattle isn’t rational at all. Regionalistic?

    Marvel? You bet. Waiting to read of your deep knowledge of Bengalis.

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