Cut to scene 2: A crowded pub in Scotland Date:11.th jan 2009. A friend of mine visits the pub for a drink and the inmates eyes are fixed on the huge televison display boards. its Man U vs. Chelsea. Football fans dressed in red and blue sit in opposite corners of the pub, the silence after the screms look even more disturbing. ManU wins over chelsea by three is to nill. The men and women dresed in red erupt with joy and from somewhere comes a broken bottle flying in the air and piercing the head of a ManU fan. Blood dribs all over the floor and the angry blue mob gets to an ugly fight. the disturbed alchoholics fight like animals and many are left with the hands broken or the heads split open. My friends runs to escape for his life and all over the streets he sees the same sight, young men carryig their respective club flags flock the road they break the windows and urinate infront of their "enemy" fans house. Some face fatal injuries and the scream and slogans are heard all over the streets and the nation. The club culture which has almost divided England into hundreds of tiny nations. England is not the same before and after the invention EPL.
India is just years behind to what we read above.My question is to a nation which loves to divide itself based on religion, castes, sub-castes,inner-sub-castes, culture, language, dialect, locality, skin tone, aryan, dravidian, and a thousand more criterias, do we really need something called the IPL?. We call ourselves a nation built on unity but we cling to our diversities not moving an inch from them. We are happy do divide into sub-groups to the most minute level.Tats not a problem cos that is the way we are, but IPL? First the teams competing in it are not the identity of a city as they promote it, a cricket team owned by a few greedy businessmen can never be the face of a city, but they market it and will make us believe that Chennai is what the Superkings and Mumbai is what the Mumbai Indians are. Secondly as an event its intentions are nothing but to keep the cash machines ringing, not to promote the real spirit of the city or its culture but to earn out of peoples love for their town, so they build something called team loyalty in the minds of people to make them spend. IPL is just another face of consumerism where the consumer spends even without knowing that he intends to. IPL and its concept of city based teams owned by men for their own private cause should not lead to become the face of the city. How can a team containing random people (who don know how to go to tambaram from guindy) become the identity of a city like Chennai which was grown by the blood and sweat of local men and women? I have no problems boasting over the supremacy of Chennai over Bangalore, but do i need a cricket team to prove that?. Looking back at the history of clubs all over the world, the path that lies before us is already defined. Moving forward the clubs will be fiercely marketed, mainly in the minds of the teens as in the long run they are going to spend on the brand name(super kings juniors, king club are just a few tricks) , then as it happens in English and Spanish clubs and all over the world the rift b/w a few teams will be blown out of proportions, the historic misunderstanding b/w cities like Chennai and Bangalore will be made use of and the these matches will be indirectly marketed as a fight between two cultures., the loyalty you show to the team becomes the loyalty you show to your culture and your loyalty translates as money to busty men like Mallya and blondes like Shilpa. After the match we fans will be fighting for the team raising curses, throwing bottles at each other while Preity, Mallaya and Shilpa will be drinking from the same bottle at the post match parties. Evil isn't it? The truth is more than cricket, more than entertainment, more than city loyalty IPL is pucca business which tries to capitalise on the new wave of spending amongst the urban Indians.IPL is bound to become the face of Indian sporting, no one can stop it, but what do we get in return except to fall prey to an artificially created loyalty. All thse are bound to happen in the near future cos IPL is business and business can go to any level to earn. After decades when we look back we can find that there is one more split added to our already existing bundles of divisions, an artificial split imposed on our people in the name of cities and cricket. They split us to sell their beers, cements, newspapers. They split us to earn money and all these happen invisibly, they say its sport but its business in its most collective and meanest form. Feeding on peoples love for their city. And also when compared to the social structure of England, we as a society are still immature, we are imbalanced and we are filled with regionally biased emotions. When something like IPL comes our way its obvious that an average Indian is going to take it to the heart, and he being a fanatic by birth will get confused with the identity of the team with that of the city.Unlike in the English clubs, clubs here are built based states, which are in turn divided based on Linguistics, so mostly a tamil ends up being a Superkings fan, a Andhrawala as a chargers fan, a kannadiga as a Challengers fan, a bengali as a Riders fan. Where does it take us? NO-WHERE. It only adds oil to the fire. Everybody in India is someway attached to the region they live, i see nothing odd in a Tamilian identifying him self as tamil or a kannadiga as himself. But when that comes to a game which united this nation for years, when the fan finds the game as a way of venting out his regional emotions? what happens then? the split becomes wider. I had no issues when IPL season 1 happened, i was as much into it just like any other cricket fan of this nation. I observed everything from how they branded the teams to how the event was marketed and had comments on everything. I went to chepauk dressed in yellow, dancing and waving inside the crowd, shouting insane over the teams victory. I enjoyed every minute of the entertainment. But now i feel IPL is not just going to be entertainment, its a business and there is no business without blood and greed. Beware of IPL, i really mean it. Lets just love the game, lets not attach our emotions to it. Lets not be fooled by it. Seriously, Or lets just bunk the games and let our granny's watch their soaps.