WHO IS THE best living Indian cricketer? Let’s rephrase that. Who is the person whose presence in your team guarantees a win? Virat Kohli is having a great run and after his knock in the match against Pakistan at the T20 World Championship, your vote, swung by the weight of current sentiment, might go to him. Mahendra Singh Dhoni in his prime, maybe? Or Sachin Tendulkar or Virender Sehwag? They are all wrong answers.
If there is a match on and your opponent is chasing three runs in the last two overs, then the man who you should be having by your side is Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. All 22 players then come together to not get to the target. On Sunday as the country gloated in the win over Pakistan, another match equal in its entertainment between teams of UP IAS officers and the Chief Minister took place. Three runs in 12 balls should have been a cakewalk, but displaying that great acumen for slowing things down, the IAS officers managed to successfully score only two. Earlier, when the Chief Minister was bowled out by a lollipop delivery, the IAS officer who did this crime could be seen holding his head horrified. Akhilesh Yadav, with 65 runs, went on to be the man of the match, his fourth such title in four years. To his credit, he saw it for what it was. NDTV reported him saying after the match, “I appreciate the help we got for this victory”.
The mindset that makes them fix a cricket match without being told is the same that makes them sign a piece of paper
that turns over a forest at a politician’s bidding
PG Wodehouse could have written this match but of course he would have been kind to the IAS officers, given how undetestable any of his characters are. But consider what would be the mind of those men who willingly made a fool of themselves that day. It is an inconsequential match but what is the point of it if one man can never lose and can only get out despite everyone trying to keep him in the crease.
During the times of slavery in the United States there would be slaves who worked the fields and house slaves. The former lived and died in misery, the latter collaborated with their owners, ate just as well, and kept field slaves in check. For their loyalty they were rewarded with comfort and power. What would they do if they were playing a cricket match against their owner? When you think of a class in India that has traded their conscience in return for the privilege of serving an owner, who does it remind of? The mindset that makes them fix a cricket match without being told is the same that makes them sign a piece of paper that turns over a forest at a politician’s bidding. There is no pride or self-esteem at work here, just an overriding instinct to survive and profit.
The only thing that assists the Indian public against such people is democracy and not in a very efficient way. When a government changes, the new masters need new slaves because they don’t trust the loyalty of the old ones. The man of the match will always be the chief minister, only the funny faces playing against him will be different.