It’s not Cricket!

Cricket in India has come a long way. The way the Indian team has played cricket, it has become a great unifier. When politics and caste seek to divide us, cricket appears to be the only glue that hold us together. The sheer joy it enables us to share indeed generates a sense of oneness. In several ways cricket in our country has begun to speak truth to power. What politics seeks to divide, cricket seeks to unite . May be unifying force of cricket has become a counter force to politics of division of the ruling benches. Lest we forget these counter lessons generated by cricket today. Maybe we will do well understand Michel Foucault and speaking truth to power.

We presume that it is only the courageous who speak truth to power. Foucault, of course has a different view. To him power is a force field and not linear hierarchical force. As force field it is available to everyone. Resistance to him is power . It counters dominating power. The great performance of Muhamed Shami does contests the narrative that questions muslin fidelity to the Indian nation. Besides, the trolls that had got after him for lack of performance some time back are made to put their fingers in their mouth by the consistency of the manner he has taken in the world come.

There is no doubt that cricket today wields high power and wealth. This is why powers that be are all seeking to control it. Foucault has taught us that truth is not outside power. In fact, he says that truth is produced by power. It is the power regimes that produces knowledge regimes within which truth is thought to be standing. Cricket is indeed a power regime and is producing truth that eloquently speaks to the power that rules us and manifests the hollowness of its hate politics. The way cricket is played and enjoyed in our country, several Laksman rekka’s held firmly by the political discourse of the ruling BJP are transgressed.

Cricket, thus, opens up the thinkable and the unthinkable. What is held as unthinkable and anathemized by political power is set free by cricket. Hindu nationalism of the BJP-RSS-VHP combine appears to be narrow and hate ridden compared to joyful, uniting and uplifting sports nationalism of cricket. This is why truth produced by cricket is a powerful antidote to the hateful politics of the ruling BJP. Cricket is forcefully and aptly declaring about our politics…’ its not cricket’ .

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao