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|April 22, 2000||
When ignorance is bliss...Abhilasha Khaitan
It gets curiouser and curiouser. And then one wonders. Will the truth ever be out? Or will assumption, speculation and accusations rule the roost?
CBI probes, inquiries, interviews, panel discussions, forums and what have you. Translate that into a lot of airtime, band-with and heartburn. To what avail? Your guess is as good as mine.
What triggered this thought process off was a news flash on the net. "Dr. Ali Bacher claims that all World Cup matches were fixed." Now, that didn't shock me. How can something like this shock me or anybody? Not at this stage, it cannot. What does tend to frustrate is denial. Within hours of such statements being published, they are withdrawn.
Wham, accusation blasting through media. Whimper, withdrawn statement, modified stand.
Who does the problem lie with? The media, for sensationalizing unproven information? Or the officials, sportspeople, for not vindicating their stand?
Fence sitting. Cowardice. Fear. Confusion. Any of the above or all of it.
The game suffers from this. Bit by bit. Everyday.
The larger picture escapes us. As resolution seems distant, and the situation readied to extend endlessly, there will come a time when a sport, erstwhile considered a religion would lose its meaning to the passionate fan. And, true sportsmen would not come forth to play the game.
Oh, there will always be that critical mass that will still believe. Who'll fill up a sizeable portion of the stadiums and give advertising revenues. That won't change in a hurry. But subtle insinuations at self-respecting sportspeople can do irrevocable damage. To their dignity, their image and their game. Rather move to a profession where mistakes are just that, and not considered the result of some monetary compensation and unethical acts of a mercenary.
That could happen, people, that could happen.
Time can heal. And it will. Soon, when the media tires of it, which is when the audience tires of it, the controversy will die a natural death. Resurface it will, but after a suitable time line. And this entire rigmarole will have served no purpose whatsoever.
It is trivializing one man's profession, another's religion and yet another's achievements. And it is also creating bitterness and resentment between nations, thus far cordial and warm.
Ask me for a solution, and I'll shrug and write yet another such spiel. What can we do, who love the game, despite it's murkiness? The problem arises when we start expecting perfection and purity in human activity. And cricket is as human as it gets. Played by those capable of succumbing to temptation. Imagine someone proffering a million to you, just to figure out if there is grass on a pitch, what would you do? It might take some taking to say no.
Don't elevate human beings to the status of God, and you won't be disappointed.
Yes, it depresses to know that there are those that put themselves over their nations, and fix the outcome of matches to their detriment. But that is heresay. Yet.
Many of us don't want to know better. It has reached that point when we're quite content to admit even, that yes, we're living in a fool's paradise. Happy enough.
So, please don't burst my bubble.
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