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Home > News > Columnists > Sangeeta Mediratta

Cricket's over, what about Kashmir?

May 06, 2004

Even Priyanka Gandhihad a 'heart-warming' experience in Pakistan. Hervisitbecame yet another feather in the cap of 'cricket diplomacy.'

Two nations whose moral fibre is still soaking in the bloodbath of Partition and the four wars that have followed it (not to mention daily border skirmishes), werebrought to a crescendo of excitement and friendship by the game of cricket.

Even googlies like detractors crying 'shame' at the political mobilisation of cricket could not stop this train to Pakistan. Everyone in both these nations, or at least it seemed, wanted to see this as a train that would take us somewhere good and the only boundary to these efforts was the one on the cricket field.

The shared wicket belonged to Sourav Ganguly's men in blue and Inzamam-ul Haq's men in green. And they gave us subcontinental cricket fever like never before. From scenes of hugging and crying between Indians and Pakistanis to late night dancing with members of both teams grooving to the same beat, we saw it all.

Of course, there were some minor glitches -- like Rahul Dravid's ill-timed callwhen Sachin was just a wee 6 runs short of a double-ton (with Javed Miandad adding fuel to the fire) and allegations of match-fixing from several quarters. The diplomatic pitch was going strong indeed and both sides were running away with the laurels of potential and long overdue peace in the region, even cross-border amity.

But there is still the sticky wicket of Kashmir that has everyone from the hardcore mullahs to the rabid Hindutvavaadis stumped. That question is being ignored for a while, it is resting in the pavilion of Indo-Pak politics, but may emerge Yuvraj-style and posethe question again: 'Well, what about me? Where do I fit in?'

Whose court, err, field, is the ball in? I mean, I don't want to spoil the party, but are we going anywhere except to the bank with this?

The cricket season is over. Now what? Shall we all just eat our share of this pie and then run for cover? Wouldn't that be silly of us? We need to grapple, and grapple now, before it slips forever from our hands, with the following question: 'Are we a nation of sensation-mongers or do we actually want some real answers to some hard questions?'

ALSO READ: Cricket Diplomacy and Ceasefires

'Cricket ain't gonna fix nothing,' as our Yank brothers would say.

I wish we could outsource these troubles but since India is all set to be the world's outsourcing destination, our problems are here to stay and ours to fix.

Sangeeta Mediratta teaches at Santa Clara University, California

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Number of User Comments: 4

Sub: Vajpayee's Disasterous Game

Sangeeta, don't worry. Vajpayee has a solution in his mind which he will implement just after forming his new govt. He will declare LOC as ...

Posted by Shyamal Bose

Sub: Cricket and Kashmir

How are they related. Sports create goodwill. War decides the territory.

Posted by Har Sud

Sub: Any suggestions ?

Sangeeta, describing the problem is over and so i raising it about proposing a solution ? Tons of paper has been wasted in describing ...

Posted by KD

Sub: true...

yes, i guess so---we're all describing the problem in serious and mock-serious ways but where's the solution? i guess no one proposes a solution because ...

Posted by sangeeta



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