A couple of weeks back, I was travelling in a bus where I heard two college kids talking about one of the most significant issues of present day – the England Cricket Board’s decision to exclude Kevin Pietersen from its future plans. They discussed the balance of the side and the impact it will have on English cricket for a while before jumping topics to a certain Satya Nadella – the favourite son of the country for two days, as depicted by the social media. They talked about how great an achievement it was for him as an individual, to which I personally agree and how they were proud of him, to which I am neutral. They then discussed how their NOKIA phones were not getting latest Microsoft Windows Updates.
“India, as you all know, is a country of umpteen religions, cultures and traditions. It houses a billion people speaking a million languages and having a bazillion different food types. Even amidst such rich diversity, the people of this great land have one common unifying factor – hypocrisy”
The two guys discussed a few other topics, and then finally got down, leaving a seat for me to relish for the remaining fifteen or so minutes of my travel and implanting a thought in my head to dwell upon.
You know, it is not a bad thing after all – the ECB rejecting Kevin Pietersen. The BCCI can persuade him to play for India, and who knows, he might help us on our way to buying winning another World Cup. And while we are at it, we need to get ourselves some real fast bowlers – someone like Dirk Nannes or even a Junaid Khan. We definitely have the money to lure them in. Also, we can sell away our unwanted players in the process. A cricket team like Canada or Namibia will surely welcome a Virender Sehwag or a Gautam Gambhir. Wait, what is that? You think I don’t know the difference between IPL and International Cricket? What, players can’t shift countries like that? Now, that’s a bummer! Then why do Indian Engineers fly off to US and work for another country?
The main reason for Sachin Tendulkar not playing cricket for Pakistan or some Major Tiger Ali Khan not fighting against India seems to be – patriotism and love/ pride for one’s country. Well, patriotism is an ideology that is vehemently defended by most of us in matters of utmost importance – like cricket and some smaller issues like national defense, politics and bureaucracy. Just as they say – “everybody is proud to be an Indian for three days of the year and unsure for the rest 362”. But recently there was another cause for some to be proud Indians again – an Indian Engineer being appointed as the CEO of a world renowned company – a US Company. And then, there was the gift of social media – for every person who “liked” and “shared” this proud moment, there was another who called it a slap on the Indian system who cannot keep such talents in house.
Now, this is where my argument begins. For the people who are affiliated with the system and claim that the government is indeed doing its best to retain talent – who are you kidding? If India’s education institutions are second to none, why did Mr. Akhil Sibal have to study Philosophy and Political Sciences in Stanford? Why do the children of government school principals study in some expensive Private School? Why are the government welcoming foreign universities to setup affiliations with our ones without a moment’s thought? And jobs… ha ha!
For all the ‘government not doing enough to retain talent’ guys – quiz yourselves. Say, the government did its best to provide you adequate education and job opportunities, would you have accepted it and used your talents to better the country’s underprivileged and uplift the country’s own economy or would you still have gone looking for greener pastures elsewhere, for your own sake? Now answer this – are you not a hypocrite?
This leads me to a common counter argument – People should be given the opportunity to pursue their dreams without any restrictions.
That is why parents do not stop their children, in fact they encourage their children to fly out into the world to get educated and get good paying jobs and join art classes and play football… Err, wait. No? They don’t? Okay, it seems they do not encourage menial things that nourish the soul – like art and football etc. Then we can restate the argument – People sHould be given the opportunitY to Pursue their dreams withOut any restriCtions, as long as the dReams result In them earning a faT pay chEck.
The government seems to support this notion too – glorifying collaborations with foreign universities that are trying to establish branches in our country, providing beautiful infrastructure and facilities for tech parks and MNCs that raid the country for young talent. Notice something? The government and society are all in for individuals to work in MNCs in India or go out in foreign countries and earn their bread. But a sportsman playing for another country is a sinner. This is where things get complicated, because certain things called patriotism and loyalty are involved. Isn’t it? People who use these words as punch lines in their election campaigns are lauded off their feet whereas those who earned the right to use these words, with their sweat and blood are left in oblivion. Ask yourselves, you patriots, you supporters of free will and dream chasers – what sin has a person done if he likes hockey or football and wants to play for another country where he might have better opportunities.
Why should a hockey player suffer in a country that offers 25,000 for an Asian Cup winner while a cricketer gets Rs. 1 Lakh for a catch he takes in a match! It brings tears to my eyes to mention that a National Football Player – the once number 9 in Indian Football – Mr. Bir Bahadur has to sell golgappas in Hyderabad to make a living! Why should someone waste his life where there is no appreciation of his talent? I am not proud of this hypocritical country! Not one bit!
If a software professional working for another country’s company is a matter of little significance, so should be a sportsman playing for another country.
Buried under tons of attempted sarcasm, there is a deep lying fact that the government has to realize. As I see it, there are only two options if we want to retain interest in sports (excluding cricket) in the future. 1 – Provide adequate facilities, infrastructure and compensation/appreciation packages for sports or 2 – Sell the players on an open auction to another country! Yes, the situation is so drastic. Unless one of these two steps are taken sooner rather than later, India will have to forget about producing quality athletes. A person who would have become a hockey player would end up and engineer. A person who would have become a runner will become an engineer. And soon, there will not be any other profession or stream left for Indians. The rate at which we are going, we will not have sports persons or musicians or artists. We will only have engineers and politicians.
Some of you hypocrites might feel sorry for the situation and some others might wonder what the point of all this rating is. For some, this might be a painful reconciliation and for others, it might be just a pointless emotional rant. The fact is – I don’t have to prove any point. The very people who crib about corruption day and night are also the ones who supported a certain Jagan Mohan Reddy in the former state of Andhra Pradesh. That proves every point there is to prove about the hypocrisy prevalent in this nation.
There cannot be a good end to this. We live in a country that, despite many other good things like freedom of speech and democracy, is infested with hypocrisy at every level in every field – politics, education, sports, entertainment… you just have to name it to see it.
For every AAP, there is an IITians against AAP. For every ICL, there is a IPL. We are the people who complain about rapes and sexual abuses, but we are the ones who never teach our kids moral sciences or sympathy for the other sex. We are the people who cry out loud for a better government but we are the ones who see voting day as a holiday. We are the people who make noise, protest and bring hell to the ground if we do not get clean drinking water supply to our house for one day, but we are also the ones who do not care to complain if the slum around the corner drinks water boiled from the sewers everyday. Hypocrisy and apathy have consumed every living cell in our bodies and minds.
All we can do is – come to terms and accept each other for what we are and try to change ourselves as best as we can. As for this country, my only hope is that the people who genuinely fight for the ‘government is not doing enough’ part don’t limit their scope to jobs and education alone and increase it to sports and arts and every other field that matters. Who knows, if enough noise is made, some hypocrite might notice this and actually do something to better the situation.