In a blog written for the Times of India by Manimugdha S Sharma, it is argued that India’s defeat to Pakistan was a defeat of arrogance and jingoistic attitudes off the pitch by Indians. Below is the blog in full courtesy TOI:
Are you an Indian cricket fan who is crushed by the defeat of your national team to the one from Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final? Then I will tell you what happened today.
Today, we saw the defeat of people who were arrogant in one victory and took a jingoistic approach to the game. Today was the defeat of hyper-nationalism, of jingoistic news anchors, commentators, ex-cricketers—basically anyone and everyone who turned this match into another opportunity to ridicule and insult Pakistan.
It was a defeat of those war-mongers who spew venom online and offline and turn every India-Pakistan match into a proxy battle. Today was a spectacular defeat of some loudmouthed news anchors, forever-frothing-in-the-mouth former military veterans turned TV commentators, politicians of a particular ideology, former cricketers whose bats no longer do the talking but their Twitter handles do, and a host of other people who were bombarding your Facebook and Twitter timelines with Father’s Day memes and telling you that you were either with the Men in Blue or “Terrorists in Green”.
Yet there is a lesson to be learnt in this defeat. No, this isn’t about our cricket team. They will win some, lose some, and learn their own lessons. But those outside the pitch will have to learn to be humble in victory and graceful in defeat. They will have to learn that arrogance always takes one down. They will have to learn that this new kind of hyper-nationalism that they believe is kosher isn’t going to take the country anywhere; it will only make you the butt of jokes and ridicule, as nature has its own way of giving it back. They will have to learn that hate begets hate and only love can unite hearts. And they will have to learn to be good human beings first, Indians or anything else later.
So now, let us celebrate the grand victory of a sport that’s dear to over a billion people in the subcontinent. Today, cricket won. Today, those who love this sport genuinely won. Nothing else matters. Congratulations, Team Pakistan! And Men in Blue, we love you even in your defeat.
Let the ‘gentleman’s game’ remain true to its name, please.