The relationship between cricket and politics is clearly portrayed in South Asia from 1880 to 2005 through the easing of the tension between different caste members, although the tension eased was not always from a religious aspect between the Pakistanis, Indians, and the British. The different problems that arose in South Asia was mostly class or caste systems (Docs 2, 3, 4), rivalry (Docs 1, 6, 10), and religious tensions (Docs 5, 7, 8, 9) against the different countries and cricket teams. Cricket in many ways was a unifying force for the different classes in India as well as the relationship between Britain and India.
As seen in Document 2, an Indian cricketer was invited to “… join the Sussex team,” which was a team from England. This shows some equality between the British and the Indians because the British typically saw the Indians as lower than them in standards. However, this paper could have left some things out and used as a source of propaganda seeing that it was published by a British newspaper. (POV) This connection between the British and the Indians can also be seen in Document 3 because in the opinion of an English cricketer and historian, he felt that “Cricket unites the rulers and the ruled. The ruler in this case was Britain and the ruled was India. Cricket was said to be one of the most “… civilizing influences,” and the one that did “… least harm,” because rather than making the Indians grief over the fact that they were not an independent country, they gave them the sport of cricket, a source of happiness, moral training, and more. A sense of equality can be seen in Document 4 between the different castes in India. A lower caste Hindu was allowed to be on a team just because he was good at cricket.
The other team members took him into the team and ignored the fact that they weren’t from the same caste. This is a very important example of unity because in history, different caste systems were never allowed to mix. For example, a lower caste woman could not marry a higher caste man. Accepting a lower caste Hindu in a higher caste cricket team is a turn in history. Even though cricket was a very uniting force, it was also the cause of rivalry throughout India. Cricket was a sport brought to India by the British and the Indians were pretty grateful towards the British for bringing cricket.
However, what they were not grateful for was the fact that the English would play polo on cricket grounds, as said in Document 1. Document 1 states that “… more than five hundred young men of all ages and of all castes pursue this healthful sport on the Parade ground where alone they are permitted to play and which is the only ground suitable for cricket. ” The Indians were arguing to the governor of the province of Bombay, India that the English were ruining the turf that they were playing cricket on by playing polo. They requested that the English should play somewhere else and not on their turf.
Furthermore, shown in Document 6, the Indians felt that when they “… defeated the European teams of Calcutta… ,” that it was the only time they were playing on the same level as the English. Fair and square. Usually, the British would have the authority potential wise, but the game of cricket evened it all out because when you play a sport, you can’t win by support, but by skill. Document 10 showed another example of rivalry. The chairman feels that Cricket is a sport that can bring people together and makes people ignore the fact that there are problems with water and etc.
However, he’s not one to say these things. Cricket has brought Indians and Pakistanis together in so many ways, just like the chairman said, “We share culture. We share a history. We share so much. ” Lastly, cricket played an important role in the religious tensions between the Indians and Pakistanis or the Hindus and Muslims. Muhammad Ali Jinnah said in Document 5 that he hopes that the game of cricket teaches the different religious sides to unite and not fight about who won the game or lost the game. He believes that cricket “… has many lessons to teach in other walks of life. This showed that although the religious tension was so great that they had to make two different countries for each religious side, they could still embrace the fact that they both share a common interest, cricket. In Document 7, an editorial in the Indian sports journal, they said that the purpose of the Quadrangular Tournament, a big cricket competition, has changed over the years due to some “… self-seeking leaders,” who wanted to gain ends by stirring up religious fanaticism. They have turned the sport of cricket into a sport of religious rivalry.
However, this editorial still agrees with the fact that cricket “… did not harm. ” This was an “editorial” so this article must have been very biased in their opinions on this subject. Having opinions in an article is a very powerful force because some opinions can move people and change their thoughts and ideas about something into something different. (POV) Mohandas Gandhi, the leader of the Indian independence movement and the voice of Document 8 also agrees with Document 7. Gandhi believes that having the Tournaments between religions is ridiculous.
He says that if the Tournaments were between colleges and institutions, he could understand, but to have the Tournaments be between Hindu, Parsi, Muslim, and other religious teams is not understandable. Segregating teams by religion gave no way for competition to stir up. The game just became more of a religious movement. Document 9 shows a clear sense obvious religious tension. The Hindus feel that they are the superior religion and when the Hindus lose a game of cricket, the Muslims should not be celebrating but mourning for the Hindus’ loss.
I feel that this is very biased because it was written by the founder of a Hindu nationalist organization and it is a very selfish statement as well. Cricket should be a fair game and each side has their own choice of mourning or celebrating. The Hindus should not have to be the judge on who can celebrate and who can be sad. (POV) I feel that it would be helpful if there were two extra documents explaining the cricket and politics connection even more in depth.
One of the documents should be from a lower- caste cricket player and the other one should be from a higher-caste cricket player because most of the documents given were from a high status point of view. They were all newspapers, organizations, or high-class leaders. Giving the input from a lower-caste would give us an input on how they felt about the whole class situation in cricket. Did they think it was fair? Did they feel as if they were being treated equally or were they still looked down upon? The other document from the higher-caste cricket player would give insight on how they felt about the lower-caste playing on their teams.
How did they feel about it? Do they feel like they betrayed their caste system or was it still the same? In conclusion, cricket was not only a unifying sport between Indians-Pakistanis and Indians-British, it was also a sport that caused some rivalry and religious tensions. All sides had equal chance in winning the sport and for once, the British wouldn’t have to start at the top, which gave the Indians a sense of nationalism and independence in a way. Cricket gave these sides a different way of expressing their rivalry between each other instead of bloodshed.