A billion Indians have been cheated. A billion Indians want Srinivasan to resign. A billion Indians are cricket lovers. Well, fortunately ‘a billion Indians’ has not been mentioned a billion times on any programme or write-up. It certainly has been said often, but without proper basis to the issues concerned.
First and foremost, no one in the media has the right and the business to make generalised comments and include every Indian without him or her even knowing, let alone wanting, to be so included and represented in any discussion. It is completely uncharitable to all Indians and entirely unnecessary.
Secondly, a billion Indians do not, even cannot, follow cricket. Nearly half of a billion Indians do not know where the next meal will come from. Half of them are worried about a roof over their heads. How on earth could they all be cricket fans?
Thirdly, half the nation is not bothered whether Srinivasan resigns or not. For not everyone is interested in the BCCI’s politics. And even those who are, know that it will not make any difference.
Fourthly, not every Indian is a cricket lover or follower. Large sections of the sporting community feel upset and angered by the media’s attempts to draw everyone into cricket. Only when one moves around in these circles, their wrath and helplessness can be known.
Most importantly, the following in India is not for cricket. The following is only for the cricket played by the national team. The following is for the national team players or big names from abroad.
Whenever India has hosted the cricket World Cup, all non-India matches witness very sparse crowds. No one wants to watch Australia play New Zealand or England play South Africa. But even an India vs Ireland is a full house. Australians plays better cricket than India often.
Then again, the biggest names who turn out for the Indian team draw very little response when they play domestic cricket of all forms.
Domestic cricket is played without gates. Yet, people do not want to witness even Sachin Tendulkar or Virender Sehwag play. Only a handful of curious onlookers are seen at stadiums which sport the look of haunted houses during domestic games.
The media, despite vested interests in promoting cricket, needs to show more restraint on and respect for the privacy and choices of individuals. It has no business to make meaningless, even insulting, generalised statements. Or should even this be repeated a billion times by half a billion people.