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Gavaskar and Indian Football Essay

  • Submitted by: ashishshettyah
  • on September 19, 2012
  • Category: Miscellaneous
  • Length: 5,097 words

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Below is an essay on "Gavaskar and Indian Football" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Abstract Why does cricket generate more popular enthusiasm than does football in India today? And why is India so much more successful in cricket than it is in football? This article argues that the answers are rooted in how the two sports are organised in the contemporary world Because Indians get many more opportunities to play international cricket than to play football at the international level, it is cricket that is recognised as a ‘national’ sport. Given a historical setting in which what is relevant and pleasurable is also what is ‘national’, Indian football has been increasingly relegated to the status of the local and the humble, even as cricket has become the glamorous carrier of political aspirations.

Indians play cricket, not football: this is common wisdom about Indian popular culture today. When the Indian national football team (which does exist) played a season against English second-division clubs in 2001 and lost nearly all their matches, local journalists had to be told that Indians do in fact play some football, although obviously, they are not very good at it. All the same, the puzzled journalists were not entirely the victims of a provincial ignorance of the world outside Europe and South America: with the exception of West Bengal, Goa and a few other pockets, the level of interest in competitive football is negligible in India, especially when compared with cricket. The question is why. The answer that I propose in this essay, only semi-facetiously, is that Sunil Gavaskar ruined Indian football. On the surface, football should be the great Indian sport. The game has a history in the region that is nearly as old as that of cricket. Because of the colonial army’s role in the dissemination of football to Indian sepoys, the game had great potential as a popular sport for the subaltern classes. Football and cricket were both introduced to the middle class, the primary consumer of competitive sport in India, in the latter half of the nineteenth...

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