Forget about the cricket scam! If the Indian Government would legalize betting, not only it would lessen scams, but it would also reap huge profits. Most of the black money, cheating, smuggling happening in India, is triggered by obsolete laws enacted by Nehru, which were meant to tax the rich to benefit the poor, but which in the end made the rich richer (with black money) and the poor poorer (with white money). If only this present Government would ignore the demagogic demands of its allies and understand that it has huge popular support – forget what the secular press says – it could make bold decisions in liberalizing, privatizing and above all TRUSTING the people of India. This would help the country make giant strides forward for the BJP government is here to stay for decades. Maybe because India’s time has come; or it maybe that India’s time has come because the BJP government is in power.

But to come back to cricket, think of it thus: here is a game which is a colonial legacy of the British. It is meant to be played in a cool weather on a green English meadow with a few spectators who shout “jolly good” from time to time, while sipping lemonade. It is not a game meant for a tropical country where you stand for hours under a blistering sun with frenzied fans screaming their approval or displeasure. Cricket has become an obsession in India

But above all, cricket has totally vampirized all the other sports in India. There is so much money that sponsors, televisions and even the Government has concentrated only on cricket at the expense of all the other sports. For the truth is that India is nowhere on the international area of sports and its standard is pathetic if not ridiculous in all sports except for another two British legacies: tennis and hockey. But look at China, in the early eighties it also could not compete in any discipline, bare table tennis, but in a span of thirty years, it has become a sports superpower in all areas, even in some where its does such as swimming.

Why can’t India, the country which gave to the world hata-yoga, which has been copied the world over, or even pranayama which is now spreading like wildfire all over the planet, have a coherent and comprehensive program which would build world-class athletes in two decades?

Because of cricket! And it is so unfair, athletes such as long distance runners will train in miserable conditions, get a pittance as sponsorship and often have to work full or part time in some obscure Government jobs. Compare this to cricketers who are often spoilt brats, who stay in five star hotels, get millions of rupees in sponsorship and advertisement, are often arrogant and. still manage to lose most of the time!

The INDIAN Government should restrict the number of international matches played by Indian cricketers happening both within and outside India. This will ensure automatically that cricketers get less sponsorship and have to concentrate on home turf. And it should evolve a bold and clear plan for developing other sports, trying as much as possible to bypass bureaucracy who stifle and kill all the good plans (it would maybe make sense to privatize some of the areas such as training). The only will India become a superpower ports. It has the manpower in sports and cricket takes its just place as just another sports where Indian excel.

P.S. A reporter from Outlook was asking a propos the controversy with the Indian President’s visit to France: ” how is it that the French press behaved that way with the President (stressing his untouchability and only highlighting Hindu fundamentalism on the rise in India) when there is such a strong tradition of French n academic interest in India: people like Christophe Jaffrelot, Sanjay Subramaniam etc.”? The answer is: the French press behaved in the way it did with the President BECAUSE of people like Christophe Jaffrelot, or Sanjay Subramaniam. Because these are the India specialists in France towards which. And what are they continuously highlighting, in the articles they write for respected newspapers such as Le Monde or Le Figaro, or in the history books on India to which they collaborate? On untochability of course, on how India is still a caste ridden country, on Hindu fundamentalism, on how the Muslims and Christians are persecuted in >India… Very rarely do they bother to mention that this country has an unparalleled history of tolerance having given and still giving (Tibetans) refuge to all persecuted minorities of the world, that Hindus have been at the receiving end of persecution for ten centuries, or that India is an unparalleled democracy, a rampart of pro-westernism and bulwark against islamisation of Asia. It is thus strange that when Christophe Jaffrelot comes to India to release the English version of his “Hindu nationalism”, which has greatly contributed to India’s wrong image in France, he is feted by most if the Indian Press…


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