November 27, 2005

Grow Up India !!

November 27, 2005 Posted by Vijay , 1 comment
10 days of action, on entirely two different kinds of pitches, if I were to put it in terms of cricketing terminology.One, fought and probably, lost on battleground film stardom, and another still being waged off the cricket pitch, but not on it. Both relate to how India is trying to come to terms with the changing generation of sports,culture and western exposure.The former is the Khushboo incident I am alluding to and the latter the 3 day old finger salute by India's cricket coach Greg Chappell.

Before I do a postmortem of each of these incidents, let me put things in right perspective by stating what happened. In Khushboo's case, it was a mere statement which brought out the stark reality, and the supposed cultural integrity that India possesses in it's women population being virgins before marriage. She stated that educated Indian men should stop expecting that their brides would be virgins when they tie the knot. Poor Khushboo .. the price that she had to pay for blurting out a bold and arguably, likely expectation, was quite unexpected. She was hounded by political parties, esp. DMK, who are against the incumbent Jayalalithaa government of the AIADMK. Devoid of any possible issues to be raised before the assembly elections next year, this was a starter, one could say , for the DMK supporters. When Suhasini tried to defend the remarks by Khushboo, there was flak even for her.

Then, on the eve of the Kolkata match at the famed Eden Gardens came the Chappel finger salute. The coach apparently showed the middle finger to the crowd which was jeering him, for the spat he had with Ganguly during the Zimbabwe series. But that really is not an issue that I want to highlight in this post, though, if Chappell did do the finger salute (which he confessed to having done, he certainly owes a public apology to Kolkata and even to India !! Because, he is the one who is a non-indian and is here by virtue of a high profile job given and entrusted to him by India's cricket board and backed by most of the Indian public. So he owes it to them. And I sincerely believe he should apologise.

Now, let's start with the Khushboo incident. Let's face it folks, times have changed dramatically. Exposure in movies, sex, skin shows, western exposure and a more open culture is what youngsters today are getting a taste of. The usual norms of arranged marriages are going for a toss. People realise, they too have a right to fall in love, if and when they can, and have the right to get a partner of their choice in life, if they wish to. There are caveats to this though, being that there is an age and a time for all that. And most certainly love is totally different from infatuation in the teens. This is not the least to say that arranged marriages are off the radar. But, they certainly are being done , not in a traditional typical Indian way always these days. Arranged Love marriages is what's happening these days, and that is one thing which one really should admire about the west. The freedom to search and find the partner who will be THE one, and then having the marriage. However, the Indian way is better in terms of the longevity of marital bliss, which is what Indian culture should strive to emulate. For that is what Indian culture has always been known for. To imbibe other cultures, while not lose it's own. Parents these days are aware of these changing times and have had to accept some stark realities.

Why I am talking about all this ? When one tries to find one's life partner, there are bound to be mistakes, which could lead to break ups, and by then, sex would have taken place. Now, as long as it happened willingly, with all precautions, there really is no harm in it. Coz, one is trying to build a relationship on the hopes of being a long lasting one. Does it mean the guy or the girl are social outcasts ? Or that they can't marry. That is ridiculous.This again is not to say that losing virginity is right or not losing it is wrong. In U.S now, it is becoming more important to preserve one's virginity for the day when one ties the knot. For you know then that this is the person whom you want to spend the rest of your life with ! So, as long as the act of sex itself takes place willingly and with all precautions there is no harm in it. For it is a part of life, which one needs to have to feel loved and wanted. But hey, there are people who might believe virginity is THE thing for a marriage to be successful. But then, if that is the foundation on which you want to raise your marriage, then it is certainly wrong !

India needs to understand the growing needs of the young, because they are the future. They are more open to things and hence can break the shackles of a conservative society which tries to tie them down to old age traditions which really are not taking us anywhere. We need to accept reality and the changing times, which comes with a booming economy and with youngesters having more disposable income.
The DMK and Women activists need to realise this and stop the nonsensical protests against somebody who has tried to break the shackles. It again speaks of the fear of losing what might once have been a good political issue. Youngsters today will not accept such petty issues as even miniscule compared to an economic issue. For that is the face of the New India.

And now for the interesting Chappell episode. Before even getting to the finger salute, I must confess, I was appalled by the way Kolkatans and Bengal behaved towards the Indian team. They cheered the fall of Dravid's wicket, Sachin's wicket. Posters were all over, which didn't give credit to what the India team has achieved in the past month. India as a whole needs to grow up. As a culture we cannot afford to be divided over things which relate to the nation as a whole. If this is the case for even a sport like cricket, I shudder to think what could happen if there was a war. Would each of the 29 states, watch the war being fought and say " Glad none from my state died". That is so insensitive and disgusting. What Kolkatans and India as a whole needs to realise is, when India plays or goes to war, it is the combined strength of the whole nation, and not a state or two. When India plays cricket against a rival nation, it is India and not Mumbai/Bengal/Karnataka. Agreed, there are a lot of issues with the governance in the cricketing board with biasedness, but that should not come in the way of a game when the whole country's pride is at stake. I just wonder if the crowd at Eden came to cheer or jeer India. I hope it was to cheer.

I do believe, what Sourav did in Zimbabwe was wrong, having stated out what happened in the dressing room. And yes, his form was indifferent, let's accept it. But then, Greg was professional and didn't speak a word. And besides, Chappell has helped INDIA to start on their winning ways again. But if Kolkatans don't like India winning without Ganguly, then it really hurts me. For being an Indian, I am pround when India wins. I am from Kerala, and I hoped Sreesanth play well and be chosen. But clearly, R.P.Singh performed much better and Sreesanth is having to sit out. I don't have problems with that, because, R P Singh has deserved it. That doesn't mean I take out protests against R P Singh. That would be ridiculous. It is team India that counts and there ends the story. True, now Dada is performing. But whoever leaked that email of Chappell's I believe has created much more furore than Ganguly's statement. If it was to showcase Chappell in bad light, then it totally misfired, coz, what he stated there , when it came out just after Ganguly's revelation, seemed to only confirm things that Ganguly indeed was feeling insecure. Let's take another case now. Ganguly got picked for the test series, but not Zaheer. For me that was more shocking. Because, Zaheer has captured around 23 wickets in the last 3 domestic matches and still doesn't get a place. That too, he got Dada out for blobs in successive innings in the recent match. The point is, performance needs to be credited for. But if there is an indifference in attitude amongst any player then out he should go. Doesn't matter if it is Dravid or Sachin !

India should grow out of their emotional baggages and believe that, when India plays, there is no Mubaiite, no Kolkatan or no Hyderabadi. I was really hurt how Dravid was treated in Bengal. He has been the bedrock of INDIAN batting and he surely has deserved the captaincy. Pray what wrong has he done to Kolkata ? Chappell may have, but what did Dravid do ? Isn't India indebted to him for so many memorable victories, which not even Sachin could script ? If Bengal is so adamant about having Ganguly back, shouldn't they be equally grateful to Dravid for fashioning so many victories for India when Ganguly was at the helm ? Wake up people !! Give credit where it is due. Think practical. There will be all kinds of nonsensical elements out to breach the wall of unity. Those should be destroyed by the sheer enthusiasm of backing team India !

For all what I have against Ganguly, I always prided in him being there in the One Day scheme of things. He is a superb player in one dayers, which his records show. And his strokeplay when on song is exhillirating. I wish he is back in the one day squad , more than the test squad. Because, India needs experience going into the World Cup in 2007. And to be honest, his test record is not too good. And our 5 jokers have made a joke of the "all rounder" tag( with due credit to Ganguly's exploits) by naming Ganguly as an all rounder in the test team. I mean, that's ridiculous even if you ask a Bengali !! He is a batsman of class, and a useful bowler, nothing more !! A man with a golden arm ! India needs to rise up, stand for it's fighters in the battlefield, rise up as one and cheer India, not a culture, not an individual. All the elements which try to create a divide, have to be ignored, just IGNORED. That is the bes way to respond !

As for the Chappell episode, well, what do I say. I have a lot of respect for the man. Someone said rightly, that he has not come to terms with the Indian culture and crowds. And he better get used to it before something nasty happens to him ! Having confessed to the finger salute, he has been professional and good enough to have regained some of the lost respect. But Bengal and quite correctly, will be baying for his blood. This is where a little bit of tolerance is required. We need to understand that results are coming and those"elements" should not have a hand in India's under performance. For this the fans' support for the players and the coach is pertinent. India cannot afford to be divided with less than 2 years for the cricket world cup. We need stability. But tolerance also beyound a limit is not tolerable. That applies to anyone, be it Chappell or anyone ! I believe stroing actions have to be taken, if such acts by Chappell are repated again, for it is India's pride that is at stake, not only Bengal's. So he better be forewarned not to insult India or Indians.


Vinayak said...

Results of the controversy : Kushboo and company

When you mentioned the Kushboo, Suhasini issue I thought of adding this

1. Pre Marital sex is here!. That's the truth. There is no denying it. That's the gist of what Kushboo said (not me!) Its NOT just metros or Mumbai or Delhi that the "pre marital sex" is happening. There are also extra maritals going on all over India

2. Tamil Nadu is NO exception. There are surveys that show that approx 40% of college students have had sex before marriage !!! Now please don't come back and tell me ONLY young MEN had sex, and that too all by themselves...

3. Kushboo being a film industry and talk show personality is AWARE of the situation. She spilled it out.

4. Tamil movies have as much sex portrayed in them as bollywood movies. In fact there is a great competition there in showing more sex

5. What happens in Indian cities gets noticed and has a multiplier effect. It's soon followed by others in smaller towns and villages

6. The dress, the dance, the music... the cinema ... these have always moved from cities to towns and from towns to villages

7. So would this "sex" thing move to every place in India.

8. Womens lib is calling this "freedom of expression" and *supporting Kushboo*

9. So to me it looks like Kushboo has a point. Men who expect their wife to be a virgin are fools