We are a nation of couplets. This by no means allude that we are very poetic. Au contraire, we are bit off note in most of the things we do. Yet everything that happens, or is happening lately to this great country of ours is happening in pair as if everyone is in a mood to do the tango. The “one is lonely two is company” adage is being pronounced and highlighted in a never before brazenness through sheer coincidences or malintentions.
When it was about corruption, we were being inundated with double whammies; CWG Vs. 2G, Reliance Vs Tata, Petroleum vs. Coal. Even the politicians are coming in pairs, be it quintessential Pranab babu or the archetypal Sibbal ji; or King and queen pair of Raja and Kani. Even our saviors have come in pair, though disparate, in the form of Anna and Baba. The list is endless, but the pattern is for all to see; we are being swamped by pairs.
Now we are coming to terms with two train accidents in a span of mere few hours. The twin tragedy was preceded by a not so welcome comment by none lesser than the captain of the law and order brigade in the capital of India, Commissioner Mr B. K. Gupta. This followed by the captain of India cricket team making a losing statement even at the podium of victory in the recently concluded Caribbean cricket cruise.
Sadly, both comments when seen in the deglamorized world of pure logic or reasoning sound correct and reasonable too. Yet both incidents left a bad taste in the mouth.
"If you travel alone after 2 am and become victim of a crime, the police alone can't be blamed. It is advisable that a relative or friend is with you at odd hours," said Gupta. This coming from the top cop is a telling comment on the failure of the law and order enforcing agency in one hand and the judiciary on the other. This is the same mindset that propagates the belief that when a girl is sexually exploited she is as much or much more to blame than the perpetrator of crime.
Why can’t a democracy that takes pride in being the holy grail of everything humane and epitome of righteousness provide its masses with at least a sense of security. We the people, long back stopped expecting much from the government but at least in its words can’t it show some degree of maturity and restraint? We all know that police can’t be everywhere all the time but it is the lack of will on their part to be a strong and able police force that bodes ill for the country. By asking girls to avoid going out at night or if really necessary, to go escorted is a negative step and is a nasty way to shirk responsibility. A society that has to force its female populace into the confines of the walls to ensure their safety cannot call itself a civilized society.
Now coming to the field of cricket, aren’t we at times too timid and careful. When we are trying to show our supremacy in every field how can we expect our timidity and over cautiousness to hold us in good stead? Whatever happened to our long held belief of, “In great attempts, it is glorious even to fail”. Of course looking at the batting lineup and the required runs to get, it would have been foolhardy to compare the target to something great. Yet by calling for a draw they have somehow let us all down.
When the coach and the captain repeatedly say that they did not want to risk the series, is it that that are trying to convince themselves or us? Don’t they realize that pusillanimity can never be passed as cautiousness be it the field of cricket or any other sphere of life.
Aspersions may be cast regarding why instead of basking in the glory of a series victory we are lamenting about the tame draw. The reason may well be that world cup win has raised our expectations sky high or may be we want to see our cricketers do the brave act and show us some killer instincts that we so much lack in our life but the answer lies somewhere in the middle. For all the inaptitude and shirking of responsibilities to be seen all around we feel our cricketers as the upholders of all our dreams and hopes. We want to see in them everything that we lack as a nation, a will to win, strength of character and the power of conviction to show the world that we too count as a nation.
For the common man on the road the police force are a sign of strength and the cricketers are the sign of success, or at least this is what we want them to be. Any sign of fallibility or doubt worries us.
Whether cricketer or policeman, everyone strives for success and glory but actions like these can put a blemish to that yearning. Yet, the question remains; do they care. Because if they don’t then there is definitely something wrong with the way we strive for glory. Let not success be covered by the halo of fear for it makes the victory facile and fake.