Mumbai- A city which never sleeps – A city which is all about noise -Noise of car honking, drift of vehicles and common man but this all came to absolute standstill on that historic night of 2nd April, 2011 when India locked horns with Sri Lanka in the finals of 2011 world cup at Wankhede stadium, Mumbai. After a gruelling battle of close to 7 hours, the entire nation broke into a frenzy–India were crowned the World champions.
The dark skies of Mumbai exploded into a kaleidoscope of colourful fireworks–It was a night of drum beats and celebrations. The light of a billion ecstatic souls probably lit up India like sunlight on April 2, 2011. We had regained the world cup after an arduous wait of close to 28 years. History was made in the “City Of Dreams”.
The crowds had gone berserk. They desperately wanted to show the world what this victory meant to them. For the Indian media, it was an affirmation–an affirmation of India’s rising dominance in the field of sports and especially cricket. In our country there is no denial to the fact that the game of cricket is more an apologue than sport and is often a stage where people exhibit their patriotism and aspirations.
It is indeed hard for a common man to remain indifferent from the ever so increasing metaphors that the gentleman’s game has thrown up. But after this historic victory, a bigger question looms over India. Will this win adorn the nation’s image as a developing nation on the whole? Will the administrators of this country draw any inspiration from this win and try to take India to the pinnacles of success in every field?
It goes without saying that this victory has pumped a breath of fresh air in the lives of a billion people who were otherwise drowning in the deep waters of corruption, scams and heinous acts of terrorism. But the people need to realise that if cricket is a larger story of India as a nation, then it only speaks ambiguously. The question is :
Will this massive win be able to eradicate the other challenges that the nation confronts?
To be up and running as a developed nation, we need to have holistic growth and success in all arenas and not just cricket.
The WC win won’t quench the thirst of a hungry girl on the road side–For thousands of poor people residing in those endless streak of slums, this won’t give rise to a ray of new hope. This won’t pacify the hearts of a billion people residing in a nation which has every now and then been wounded by the abhorrent acts of terrorism and above all, this win won’t make India a super-power.
Then why are we going gaga over this win? What is its significance? Well, for a cricket watching audience which today hardly excludes a handful of Indians, this victory is just not the victory of team India-Its a victory of a nation–A nation which has succeeded in establishing its stranglehold in a field where it was long battling to survive. This win and euphoria thereafter, certainly has indicated something more, which our national leaders must not miss out on.
The celebrations and pride that the common man has experienced after the glorious WC campaign is a harbinger of the fact that, we as the common man of India want to see our nation dominate every field. We love seeing India’s progress at a lightening pace, we feel proud to be associated with a nation which brings us glory. The win has in true sense kick started a renaissance. This has sent across the message in a more assertive manner if not anything else. And yes, undoubtedly we have developed as a nation by leaps and bounds in the last decade. Yes, more millionaires in Mumbai than ever before, but the harder work — breaking caste discrimination, upgrading infrastructure, better health care for all — remains to be done. The roots of corruption need to be uprooted forever. It is hard but not impossible from any stretch of imagination. If Dhoni can reach super stardom after coming from Ranchi—India’s hinterland, if Sreesanth who hails from the economic backwaters of Kerala can startle the cricketing fraternity by portraying the image of “angry young man”, then why can’t a nation of billions fight it’s way to glory–Why can’t we wage a battle against all odds and win it emphatically just like team India?
If the presumptuous youth can guide India to the top of the world in cricket, it can also shoulder the responsibilities of bettering the image of India as a nation in the world map. If , we as cricket crazy nation interpret cricket’s WC victory metaphorically, then we need to be open to all interpretations. Those who rule the nation need to understand that a young country can’t wait for long to see its ambition fulfilled–So wake up and start working for a better future–a better India. At present, the bright days of glory have deserted team India but the dark nights of defeat have certainly thrown light on obscure flaws in the system. The quicker we identify and solve it, the better it will be for Indian cricket’s future. The same applies for India in all fields and not just cricket. The quicker we spot the loopholes and work on it, the better it will be for the future of our country.
Avi for DieHard Cricket Fans
Follow Avi on Twitter @KnightsDen
Follow Avi on Twitter @KnightsDen