Thursday, June 26, 2008

25 year anniversary of the World Cup win - losers' celebration?

Brands rule Lord's '83 celebration, Tricolour missing

Up until now, I was happily reminiscing about that famous '83 win and about what a great achievement it was. And then it struck me - we are a bunch of losers!

1983 was the third edition of the world cup. India were the underdogs and they scripted a fairy tale win over the formidable reigning champs. For me, it constitutes an interesting, pleasant and even uplifting memory. But, would we want to celebrate the anniversaries of that? 25th? 30th or 50th?

The Windies won the Cup in '75 and '79. Did you see the likes of Lloyd and Richards celebrate their 30th anniversary of winning the cup anywhere? Or at Lords? Or, did Australia under Border celebrate the 20th anniversary of their first cup win in '87 in Calcutta?

Australia, especially, have made a habit of winning world cups regularly that celebrations don't matter at all. However for us, one win 25 years ago is all so important that we focus on that like an obsessive stalker (me included). That is what makes me sad. A tiny bulb shines in a pitch dark room. But even if a single bright light comes on, our tiny light gets completely overshadowed. The tiny bulb of our win in '83 is the only source of light for us. By celebrating the single light, we are unwittingly celebrating the darkness around it or in this case - the lack of significant wins since.

It is not that I don't like celebrations of events bygone. But the event has to be of some significance and should, IMO, be a one time occurrence. For example, India's independence day is an event worth celebrating. Not winning a once-in-4-years-world cup 25 years ago; unless that was the only time you won it - in which case, the celebration would be of the losing streak.

With apologies for my cynicism,

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Flexible India : S Gurumurthy on Covert

This is a great piece by Gurumurthy where he talks about how India's past is relevant to its future. My idea of India is just the same as the following reference from Gurumurthy.

historian William Dalrymple sees rising India as merely
claiming back its original status as a leading global power.

Colonialism did ruin India and fie upon the likes of Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram for their see-only-positives blindness vis-a-vis the British Raj. India's position as a potential world economic power is not because of, but is in spite of colonialism.

Kudos to Gurumurthy for writing a rejuvenating piece! (It got me started enough to write this piece!)

BTW, Covert seems to be a new fortnightly edited by MJ Akbar who was with the Asian Age till recently. Familiar to several as a journalist par excellence, this seems to be a good effort as he has articles from across the political spectrum. Rarely do we get such dissenting views together on one platform. Kudos to Akbar too!