Identity Versus Religion

Of 1.2 billion Indians deemed to be benefitted by Anna Hazare’s movement, the most benefitted at the moment seem to be the Indian Cricket Team. Imagine, just imagine for once that Anna’s movement had not caught the fancy of our nation at this moment when our Cricket Team, studded with legends, labelled as ‘World Champions’, arguably the best India has ever had, has been so butchered. How many effigies would have borne the brunt of an agitated nation? How many slogans would have erupted to lament the disappointment? From Ranchi to Nazafgarh, India would have united against our culprit ‘eleven’ seeking answers where there are none.

What justification could they give for heirfor their utter surrender? No words can describe such a turnaround in a span of one and a half months. For Mahendra Singh Dhoni, our own ‘destiny’s child’, life has come full circle in his short stint as a captain of the cricket team of the world’s most passionate nation. Even in this apt setting where the force of 1.2 billion had his proud neck in their noose, he would nevertheless manage to make an escape, thanks to the new found fad in the name of ‘Anna’ who has pushed all other concerns facing India into redundancy.

By the time the fire ignited by Anna would have subdued our people who have the reputation of possessing short term memory would have forgotten everything about the scandalous debacle and Dhoni would safely have a second lease of life. Destiny’s child must have his way after all, streamlined or otherwise. In the current scenario, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s situation is akin to our Prime Minister. Both come across as honest gentlemen who have lost their face. While we have now attuned ourselves to find our Prime Minister dumb on most of the occasions Dhoni has been dumbfounded perhaps for the first time. But what hurts most is the opponent.

Consider the irony – while Anna claims his movement to be second struggle for freedom we lost so comprehensively to those against whom we fought the first one. Cricket, we say, is the religion in our country but corruption has quite embarrassingly become its identity and getting rid of its curse should indeed be our top priority. We cannot compromise our identity at the hands of religion, so it must take a backseat for some time and our fight against corruption must continue without any distractions, howsoever big they might be. Team Anna has stimulated the entire nation in such a way that it is willing to turn a blind eye to the sins of Team India. And one thing we just cannot miss to acknowledge in the given situation: Mahendra Singh Dhoni is one lucky fellow.

Atul Kapoor