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In India, Cricket = Religion

vikas.kumar's picture

There are no two ways about it. In India, Cricket = Religion. Infact, the various religions that we follow, at times, pull us apart...but there's one that gets us together - CRICKET.

The 25th of September was the final day of the 10 day long Ganeshotsava. Idols of Lord Ganesh were immersed into the Sea. Millions came out of their homes to witness the processions. They got drenched in the rain, yet they danced their way to the sea waters...most returned to their beds well after midnight. After a full day of wild celebrations, you'd expect them to take the next day off. Not this time though...

The 26th of September, a victorious Team India is to arrive in Mumbai. Its early, its raining and most of them are still to get over the Ganesh frenzy, yet millions of Mumbaiites are again out in the streets. They'd just bid farewell to one God and are all ready to welcome the other. Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians...come together for one religion-Cricket...and one God- no...not Super Batsman Sachin Tendulkar...this time it is Dhoni...the young, dynamic, confident leader, who in his maiden tournament as Captain, has won us the Twenty 20 World Cup. The Indian team travelled on an open top bus...from the airport to the Wankhede Stadium. The 20 odd kilometer route was flooded by people and it took the team 4 and a half hours(!) to get to the award ceremony.

Here are some pictures that say it all.

One of the many processions leading to the immersion of Lord Ganesha's idol into the sea. (Pictures by Getty Images)

Millions of Mumbaiites take part in the procession leading to Wankhede Stadium where Team India were felicitated by the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India). (Pictures by Reuters)

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vikash.kumar1's picture
Yes, now a days cricket has become a binding force in India and country man watch it with a great zeal. We are the part of celebration after winning in final. Mood and celebration was an instant booster for all citizens. But this notion which is very much prevalent in Indian media world that cricket is religion in India is beyond comprehension for me. Should we not take sport with sporting spirit and player with a sports person to avoid unnecessary extra burden of expectation and responsibility to perform.
vikas.kumar's picture
I completely agree that the media in particular and the public in general have always shown extreme emotions/reactions towards our sportsmen. One moment we laud them and the very next moment we are gunning for their lives. The best example is the two contrasting reactions after the 2 world cups (one day and twenty 20) this year. Even Sachin said on National TV that we should not go over the top in showering praise or criticising the players. Anyway, as for the present, even I was very excited at Team India's unexpected victory. One had to be physically present in Mumbai to witness the frenzy at the arrival of the men in blue. I agree, it was a bit long drawn but we've won a world cup after 24 long yrs! It was a historical event. A word here for the Mumbaikar's spirit. Everyone must have been tired after the 10 day Ganeshotsav festival, yet they came out in huge nos. to catch a glimpse of Yuvraj & Co. Even the rains didn't deter their spirits.
Ganesh.Dutta's picture
amazing India, people emotionaly attached with cricket they eat cricket, drink cricket,sleep cricket,laugh cricket.....and when cricket battle started between India and Pakistan ..... a new environment of excitement has been reached the zenith!
khau.khan's picture
MAN THIS CAN ONLY HAPPEN IN INDIA !!!!!!! UNBELIEVABLE. Hoping to see a video of this too! Bon Appetite!
In India, Cricket = Religion