Sudhir Kumar Gautam. The name might not ring a bell to some. But I am sure at least 90% of Indians have seen him on TV. They must have seen his lean body and face painted with tricolor and Tendulkar 10 written on his chest, waving the Indian flag enthusiastically and shouting “Sachin! Sachin!” as we watch the ongoing Cricket match between India and Kenya casually on our TV screen or watch it live at the stadium. Sachin isn’t playing anymore, Kenya isn’t at the Cricket forefront anymore but this man’s image and legacy go on.
Ram Babu. Another Cricket fan like Sudhir. You must have seen him with the same tricolor painted on his body or with complete yellow paint during the month of April and May. He has Dhoni 7 written on his chest. These two fans of Indian Cricket team are the epitome, the role model, the ideal Indian Cricket fan we might have ever seen in our lifetime.
India is a Cricket mad country. No denying that. People flock the gates, fill the stadium even for a meaningless test match played over five days even when the series is already won.
We do that because we want to see our favourite idols playing the game. We do that because we want to click selfies and show off on the social media we attended a Cricket match live inside the stadium. Doesn’t matter if it’s India playing or CSK or RCB or SRH. We all want to be a part of it.
Tournament – Intercontinental Cup
Teams – India vs Chinese Taipei
Time – 8 pm
Venue – Mumbai Football Arena
Stadium Total Capacity – 18000
Total attendance – 2569
Empty seats – 15431
Result – India 5 – 0 Chinese Taipei
MoM – Sunil Chhetri (c) with a hat-trick of goals.
This shows there are 15431 reasons Football can never outgrow Cricket. The most popular sport throughout the world will always be second best to Cricket in India for these 15431 reasons.
We Indians are of some different breed than our foreign counterparts. We want to be modern but we don’t want so called “Western culture”. We don’t want the western culture but we buy almost all our items from Western countries. We want to hang on to our roots, but we forget the basic rules of humanity when we ought to show it. We want development but we don’t want to pay taxes.
We feel proud when our Cricket teams participate in a 12-14 nation so called “World Cup” and win it. But we don’t bat an eye when our Football team again fails to qualify for the World Cup or even the Asia Cup.
We don’t care as India is just another country out of 209 other countries trying to be at the World Cup. We don’t care as the second largest nation by population again failed to qualify for a World Cup while a nation of mere 100 thousand will be playing in it for the first time.
We just open our mobiles or laptops and become the keyboard warriors that we are, condemning our Football team. Most of us don’t even think it’s worth their time to do that also.
Recently a video of our Football team captain got viral on the internet. He was pleading to be abused, to be criticized, to be judged.
Funny man, Sunil Chhetri is. I mean who in their right mind does that!
We always try to avoid such situations and he is asking for it on the social media. Doesn’t he know the power of the keyboard warriors, so active on the social media who can spread the video like wildfire and bring down his image to dust over a matter of seconds?
What was he thinking to ask 15431 more people to come to the stadium and abuse him and his team! Isn’t he content with the abuse of the 2569 people who were present there? Or are they the ones who were cheering for the Indian team? Who wants that right!
Our Football team doesn’t need cheering. It needs our abuse, our criticism, our hatred, our despise if it wants to improve itself. Indian Football needs all that and we provide that sitting in our cozy rooms, far away from the action, by being the keyboard warriors that we are.
Indian Football needs improvement and we all play a part in that process. So maybe Sunil Chhetri was foolish in asking people to come to fill up the stadiums during international matches. We provide much better support to Indian Football team sitting in our homes.