Groan. Read this.
Using their super fertile minds, the supposed "crème de la crème" of our country have come up with this – an IPL style cricket league in an institute of national eminence boasting of regional undertones. Don’t get me wrong – I have no problems with glamourising the night cricket tournament. It used to be a pretty lame affair in Jokaland. Even the intra-hostel night cricket tournaments in IIT Kharagpur boasted of sponsors, sound systems, live commentary and most importantly, actual prizes at the end of a match. Yes, I know it was just 1.5L of Thums Up at best, and it usually went to the team of juniors who had lost the match in the all pervading “jahanpanah, tussi great ho, match ka tofah kabul karo” spirit – but what the heck, even a free cold drink used to have lots of value in those days.
However, coming to the point – what disappoints me most is this. According to the organizers of this meet, not only were the teams organized by region – Punjab, Delhi, Chennai and so on – but a 20 per cent discount was offered on teams bidding for players from their own region. Quoting the news report “The idea was to give the league a regional spin to hostel rivalry. If we have regional teams and players hailing from those parts in the squad, the competition would automatically go beyond who is from which hostel.” Oh my, oh my. Talk about taking a step backwards.
Why didn’t the institute set up separate hostels for separate regions in the first place? Or at least, separate wings? I though the whole idea of having hostels was to develop microcosms of a healthy functioning society - to put people from different backgrounds and cultures together, so that they would evolve into better human beings with a more holistic point of view. The regional ties always bind people together in any institute or place of work. You don’t need cricket competitions to foster the regional spirit. I always believed it is actually the inter-hostel competitions which automatically went beyond who is from which region, and fostered ties between people as diverse as chalk and cheese.
Yet, people out there seem hell bent on proving the reverse. If this is the way things are progressing, then I might have to rethink about what I had said in my previous post, about our “centres of excellence” contributing to character building.