Developed By: iNFOTYKE
I stand in support of Bah Toki Blah’s ‘Inconvenient proposal’ (ST, 10th May, 2016). Traditional institutions are meant for the management of traditional ways of living and traditional resources. Urban living (if we want Shillong to be an urban centre), has to be managed and governed in a scientific manner through modern democratic institutions. In traditional way of living people can practise open defecation in the bush, which in Jaintia area and in some parts of Ri Bhoi, called ‘lai khlo’ because there were then miles and miles of ‘khlo’ (jungles) around the house. But in urban centres today, ‘lai khlo’ should be replaced by scientific sanitary management, otherwise all would have to face ka ‘ïap them’ (plague) and run to the hilltops like the ancestors. Moreover, traditional institutions have the right to govern the use of local and traditional resources, but they cannot claim all the right to manage resources that are granted from outside through taxpayers’ money, to the exclusion of others. Most of the funding required to maintain Shillong, comes through Government’s grant, not through local resources. But the funny thing is, we like to be called ‘ki nongsor’ (urban dwellers) but governed by a village dorbar: Mawkhar village dorbar, Jaiaw village dorbar, Laitumkhrah village dorbar, Nongthymmai village dorbar, etc. governed by the KHADC Village Administration Act. It is the time to think seriously; we can choose only if we don’t have to beg.
Why give undue importance to cricket?
The news item “ BCCI recommends Kohli for Khel Ratna “(ST, May 4th 2016) came with a coloured photograph of the cricketer. His achievements were also clearly depicted in colour, This was followed with some details of his feats. Some Indian television news channels also elaborated on this. In both cases there was only a mention of the names and the disciplines of the other contenders for the awards and nothing more. This seems to reflect a bias of the Indian media towards cricketers over other sportspersons of the country. But then cricket often gets major coverage in the Indian media than other sports. The Rio Olympics is less than three months away It is expected that by now the Indian media would focus more on the disciplines that India will take part in and the preparation and aspirations of the Indian participants and their enthusiasm level. It is strange that the Indian media instead focuses more on the IPL (cricket) as if this is bigger than the Olympics. Moreover, since the Olympics take place once in every four years it is expected that cricket would be given a back seat by the Indian media at least for the short period before the games. This huge attention given to cricket is understandable if it is a worldwide popular sport where winning its World Cup would be impressive. Instead we compete with few countries where most are minnows in the world of sports and we are not doing that good there either. The World Cup is elusive to India now and in the last T20 World Cup we nearly lost to Bangladesh a country which is relatively unknown in the sporting world. The Indian team in the recent past have not done so well while touring countries outside the sub continents. At times these visits have become embarrassments The popularity of cricket in India is also contentious because it is watched mostly on television here while the spectators attendance on the ground is often poor. Barring the international cricket matches India played and the IPL which has glamour and entertainment attached to it, the matches of many local tournaments in India are often played in almost empty stadiums . In the recent T20 World Cup in India, the stadiums were not packed in most of the matches where India does not feature and the attendance in the same World cup for women was pathetic. All these in a country where cricket is deemed popular. On the other side, Tata Motors, a major Indian Automobile Industry chose Lionel Messi as its global ambassador instead of an Indian cricketer. This is an indication that our cricket stars are known and worshipped mostly in India while Messi is known and revered the world over because his country and its people chose to promote football which is a global sport.. Indian television, the print media and Indian advertising have certainly promoted cricket in India to an extent that it makes cricket absolutely dominant here and personalities are created out of it at the expense of other sports and sportspersons. This probably happens because of the size of India’s population, its hopelessness at many things but cricket and cricket’s ability to monopolize India’s vast television audience. Television revenue has buoyed up everyone’s boat here with the BCCI at the helm. The world’s richest and powerful cricketing body has successfully steered cricket to this dominant position in India and even in remaking of world cricket in its own image. Other sports bodies in India are struggling .While the BCCI can make cricket grow in India, one only hopes that the other sports here cannot continue to simply warm the benches for cricket. A country of 1.2 billion people and growing cannot be cut down to size during every global sport event just because of its lopsided emphasis on cricket. But the Indian media has a big role to play in steering our approach towards other sports. Focusing intensely from now on the disciplines that India will take part in the Olympics and on its sportspersons involved can be a start.