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Wednesday, Sep 22, 2021
Outlook.com

Themes 97: One-Day Democracy

The Indian electorate shows a preference for the shorter game

Themes 97: One-Day Democracy
Themes 97: One-Day Democracy
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Critiques of contemporary Indian democracy bear a remarkable similarity to traditional objections to one-day cricket. Test matches were watched by tens of thousands of people, but large though this audience was, it was overwhelmingly metropolitan and middle-class. Over the years, these people watched from members' enclosures, shrinking at the vulgarity of uninitiated crowds turning from the action in the middle to follow television cameras. They muttered darkly that India's cricket establishment was run by betting syndicates and multinational sponsors. They listened to canards about cola companies deselecting players sponsored by their rivals—and believed them.

Once democracy was a timeless test match played between Congress and the Rest of India. The Congress always won. The good teams were made up of educated players, nearly always literate in English. They paid lip service to the rules of secular democracy and cheated discreetly. The captains and most of their chief lieutenants came from the same class that supplied recruits to the higher echelons of the civil...

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