Indian Partition League

Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata, Mohali, Hyderabad, Pune. Five years ago, if you asked someone what these nine cities had in common, you would get a bunch of confused and varied answers, if any at all.

Now, however, the same question would trigger a spontaneous response from a six year old. IPL.

Sadly, what connects these cities is also what divides them. Summer has become a time when the country is cleanly divided into nine.

Club over Country? : It’s time cricket took the limelight

Divisions are synonymous with sports, especially team sports, and even more so when the teams are based on pre-existing geographic and cultural divisions. The IPL, following on the footsteps of the English Premier league, one of the biggest sporting events in Europe, has divided the teams in such a way so that people can identify with their team.

Even though this has not caused problems in England, it is risky to assume that the same can be applied to a country as diverse and culturally sensitive as India.

The huge brand value and fan following of the IPL has made things worse.

Advertisements of IPL mock cultural stereotypes, instead of promoting the event. A lot of people are sensitive to such depictions, and an even greater number of people enjoy making fun of such people. Soon, it will no longer be about the cricket. As if cheerleaders and popular actors weren’t enough.

In spite of all this, the IPL is still a huge event. It should just take it down a notch. Instead of promoting rivalry among different regions, the focus should be on cricket. If IPL is promoted as a cricket extravaganza rather than a civil war, then everyone will benefit, and we can all go back to watching Chennai win.

 

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