Girilal Jain, the late editor of The Times of India and an early mover among journalists who saw India moving to the Right, once said that in India, “politics sets the pace and everything else follows in its wake.”
How prescient he sounds when you read this second paragraph by Indian Express cricket writer Sandeep Dwivedi‘s report of India’s back-to-back defeat in South Africa, after the TV channels had promised #25SaalKaHisaab.
The 96 words contained in this sports story is a metaphor for politics in today’s India.
Replace “cricket” with “politics” and what Dwivedi writes about the poor showing by Virat Kohli and his boys applies word-for-word for Narendra Modi and his mush-twirling, sleeve-folding, tough-talking, ill-behaved, aggressive loudmouths who have removed all civility from the public discourse.
And what Dwivedi says about Kohli’s under-achieving predecessors, could well be said about Modi’s.
“this mush-twirling, frequently sleeve-folding bunch of tough-talking boys aren’t quite prepared—or make it capable—of breaking new ground. When it comes to their
cricketpolitics, they aren’t too different from the better-behaved and less-in-the-face teams from the past. All that has changed over the period of time are the sound bites at the post-defeat press conference. They have gone from apologetic to aggressive but the results abroad have remained the same. Maybe, they might even end up not as popular as that under-achieving golden generation”
Guess who was better behaved and less in-the-face?
Guess who might end up not as popular as that under-achieving generation?
postscript: for the record, Girilal Jain was also among the first journalists who was exposed by The Sunday Observer as selling out to Dhirubhai Ambani‘s Reliance Industries by receiving preferential shares.
Photograph: courtesy Web Dunia