Cricket; who knew it could be so boring?. THESIS. Needs to address a relationship between cricket and politics Politics defined very broadly
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Throughout its interaction with Indian politics from 1880 to 2005, cricket has served as both a unifying force between different political groups and also has divided political groups during periods of power struggle and political differences, as well as creating strong bonds between countries.
When we consider the relations between cricket and politics in South Asia from 1880 to 2005, we see in these documents that cricket could be used as a tool to unite people politically. We also see that it could be used to divide and separate people politically. Finally, we see cricket able to improve people, and improve political relations through sportsmanlike behavior.
Cricket showed that there was a common ground between the British and the Indian and Muslim populations as seen in Documents 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10 [although 4 wouldn’t count here for understanding]… Document 4…shows a bridging of social and political gaps by showing a lower class bowler playing with higher caste people [also counts as evidence]… The game of cricket between 1880 and 2005 has also shown the very fiery and intense views of different religions in India which also affected the politics heavily as seen in documents 1, 7, 8 and 9.
Document 4 is about Hindu high caste players who let in a low caste member into their team. Because they judged the player merely on his playing abilty and spirit, rather than his caste, it shows how the people cast political differences aside for the sake of the sport and are more unified.
Document 10 is written by a Pakistani cricket official, talking about cricket in the countries [doesn’t count as understanding—but already had understanding from the topic sentence/grouping]. It shows how cricket unifies Indians and Pakistani through a shared love of the sport.
Document 10 represents how Indian culture is deep rooted in the history and emotion of cricket. It is important to consider how Doc 10 was written over a hundred years after British rule in India, and the sentiments of cricket’s roots in Indian society and the hands of foreign imperialists still remain, unmoving.
Document 3 written by an English cricketeersays [might get credit with “shows”] that cricket allows for people to come together for a common cause. (no analysis follows)
[Doc 8] Because Gandhi was a protector of unity, the fact that he doesn’t like this tournament shows that he doesn’t think it is unifying, instead, he thinks it is divisive.
[Doc 5] is written from a Muslim standpoint, however, so it is possible that since the Muslims are the minority in South Asia, they might be more hopeful for unity between Islam and Hindusim [through cricket].
Cricket served as a unifying force between political groups throughout the more stable periods of Indian history from the 1880s to 2005, as shown in documents 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10.
Other potential groups: Brings castes together, brings different nationalities together, strengthens nationalism, divides religions, brings India and England together, enforces sense of British superiority
Documents 1, 2 and 6 describe the unfair nature of British Indian cricket matches… Document 1 is a letter from disgruntled English players whose practice field is constantly destroyed. Document 2 describes that teams are built to give Indians an unrealistic sense of hope against purposefully weaker teams. An Indian nationalist discusses the pride felt in winning matches in document 6 because even though he claims it to be “an even field,” the verbal abuses and derogatory terms yelled by the British during the games is something they wouldn’t dare yell back.
In order to further analyze the relationship between cricket and politics in South Asia, I would need an additional document, preferably written by an Indian Parsi regarding the role of cricket. While it is obvious the rivalries between Hindus and Muslims, the role of the Parsis is relatively unknown. While the Parsis were briefly mentioned as competitors in Document 5, it would be interesting to be able to read how their religious ideals changed or stayed the same when facing cricket and imperial rule, and whether or not they felt more competitive or more unified with other religions while playing cricket.
It would be helpful to have newspaper articles written in WWI about Indian vs. English cricket matches as well as in the WWII period so we could see how the Indians reacted during those periods of anti-British sentiment. If there were stories of aggression between them on the cricket pitch, it could show how cricket was a way for the two groups to vent their frustrations upon each other.
An additional document written from when cricket was first introduced to India and by a political leader would be helpful to analyze whether cricket eventually created more division or unity among the Indian people by the reaction of the leader to cricket.