Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Of IPL and its divisive nature!

As a regular follower of English and European football, I happen to know of its divisive nature and the bitter feelings that it rouses. The fans there go totally berserk on winning or losing and taunting the opponent fans is one of their chief pleasures. This has lead to riots/stampedes and what-nots in the past in Europe. In Spain, in fact the ways of Real Madrid and Barcelona are so different that the fans of two clubs call themselves as two separate cultures and simply can't tolerate the sight of other. Even at the country level, they find it rather difficult to unite themselves and support the others' players playing for the country.

I followed the IPL in new hostel last month. I realized that in block 2 there is a clear cut division – bengali supporters sit on one floor while the others sit in another. This is because some taunts went overboard and nearly led to a fight.

In the IPL final last month, things went out of hand. The telugu group went totally mad and jumped up and down, created a huge bedlam, hit stones on tables to make noise, taunted the other few Bangalore supporters. Forget the rights of other hostelers. The Bangaloreans retaliated when they got an opportunity. Finally, when the Deccan Chargers were clear winners, the Bangalore supporters quietly walked away.

If this is the case in IISc, what is the scenario outside. I wonder if we are going the same way as Europe. In an nation already fractured and fragmented by 101 other conflicts of religion and other issues, I wonder if IPL is the best thing that has happened. It might be the best thing that has happened to Indian cricket but what will its impact be on India in the long run?

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