Cricket and nationalism in India (and Pakistan)
#1
It has been ages since I followed Indian Cricket. Back in those days when I followed it I remember people getting all pumped up with nationalistic passion when India played Pakistan. The behavior of the crowd and the fans never seemed healthy both during and after these matches. That always made me wonder why people argue that such sporting events creates goodwill between nations.

So I googled “Sports and Nationalism” and came across a nice essay by George Orwell called "The Sporting Spirit". Orwell wrote this essay after a Soviet football team visited England for a goodwill tour in 1945. In this essay he questions the notion that you can create goodwill between people of two nations through such sporting events. The best part (quoted below) of the essay is how he ties up sports and nationalism and concludes that such sporting events only end up creating ill-will between nations.

Quote: If you wanted to add to the vast fund of ill-will existing in the world at this moment, you could hardly do it better than by a series of football matches between Jews and Arabs, Germans and Czechs, Indians and British, Russians and Poles, and Italians and Jugoslavs, each match to be watched by a mixed audience of 100,000 spectators. I do not, of course, suggest that sport is one of the main causes of international rivalry; big-scale sport is itself, I think, merely another effect of the causes that have produced nationalism. Still, you do make things worse by sending forth a team of eleven men, labelled as national champions, to do battle against some rival team, and allowing it to be felt on all sides that whichever nation is defeated will “lose face”.

I am also of the same opinion. India and Pakistan playing each other under the national flag does nothing to improve the relations between the people of these childish nations. It might be better if players from different nations form truly multi-national teams and play in commercial enterprises like IPL. The fans can shout all they want waving meaningless flags with out any of nationalistic chest thumping.

I would like to know what people in this forum think about sports and nationalism.
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