Thursday, November 30, 2006

That desperate urge to opine forcefully

Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif's house was attacked by protesters. Apparently these gentlemen love Indian cricket soooooo much that they cannot see it get 'harmed' by this 'inept bunch'.
Right at the end of this report we are served with a nice reminder:

Fickleness of public perception of its local heroes is evident from the fact that people had twice last year protested against non-inclusion of Kaif in the Indian team and burnt effigies of the captain and selectors.

That was in last year, when 'people' loved him. Apparently they don't now, just as they didn't then. [Back during the 2003 world cup when India were struggling in the initial stages, Kaif's house had survived the first such hate attack in response to a disheartening show from the Indian team.]
About the only thing certain about this kind of frenzied expression of misdirected emotions is that it shall go on in one direction or the other till Kaif retires from international cricket. But I would still not advise him to shift over to another place, as his family has threatened to do. He and his family need to stand their ground. Precisely for that reason - it is their ground and no bloody vandal should be allowed to have a business there.
Firstly, if not for himself and his family's self respect, Kaif needs to pause for a moment and think of the young men and women who will wear the India cap in the future. Such a move will only arm the faceless and cowardly wrongdoers and their aspiring successors with a precedent of success in their attempts. Secondly, there is no guarantee that his new locality will be free from such elements, whichever end of the earth he flees to.
Fortunately God has blessed Kaif with a relatively low profile. The plight of his high-profile colleagues is far more unenviable in this context. The hysterical cycle of public adulation and hatred must be nearing its silver jubilee for the guy who was waving his shirt from the Lord's balcony when Kaif's greatest moment in international cricket had arrived in 2002. Luckily no house attacks have ever been reported for that man though.
On second thoughts, it is quite understandable. For subsequent to achieving their noble mission, the attackers would have to lay down their lives to a lynching - such is His standing at Barisha, the Kingdom of the Prince of Kolkata.

Tailpiece: Yesterday my friend Samir winked and said, "Remember what the Indian team did in the World Cup right after that Kaif incident of 2003?" That wisecrack runs a little risk of being dubbed "insensitive to a serious concern to top flight sportsmen in our country" by the prudes but now that the worst (the attack) has passed, let's all hope that that history gets repeated!

Surprise, surprise - we are not the only cricket supporters secretly dreaming of a second great escape....

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