Of Cricket and Rape


On the day that it was announced that Sachin Tendulkar had retired from one day international Cricket, a friend had the following as her facebook status –

I can’t believe it. This news presenter just said although everyone was saddened by the recent rape case in Delhi, that nothing could match the sadness people are feeling over Tendulkar’s retirement! Do these people not think before they speak???

It is not a matter of thinking before one speaks; it goes on to reflect the state of mind and the order of priorities of many people. It staggers me that a country such as India which shows such reverence to basic societal facets like motherhood can simultaneously treat women with such disdain. Perhaps what the news presenter allegedly said is sincere and genuine. If an Indian Cricketer died today would there be the same amount of emotions running raw in India as it does now? It is likely not to be for the emotions would be much higher, the news of the death of a celebrated Cricketer would sell much more than the death of a rape victim. Sadly, the Cricketer is seen as speaking for many whilst transcending gender boundaries and the rape victim dies relatively alone.

My facebook and twitter feeds have been dominated by news of the deaths of two individuals this morning. One is of the victim of the afore mentioned rape, the other is of English Cricketer turned commentator Tony Greig. Tony died of natural causes and I sincerely do grieve his death, for he amplified the little squeaks Sri Lankan Cricket was making as it began to come of age in the Benson and Hedges cup in Australia in 1995/96.

But here lies the problem, the media space given to the rape victim by one’s own initiative is marginal compared to what I see on Cricket related matters. Further, whilst the death of Tony Greig seems to have united the genders, the cause of the rape victim and that of rape rather regrettably seems to be espoused only by females. Though I am sure there are men who had expressed their sympathy, I am yet to see one.

I tread carefully here. What affects women, has an affect on men. As clichéd a statement as this may be, a woman is a mother, wife, sister or a friend of a man and the converse is true for women. But as the gulf between men and women increase and modern societal doctrine tends to empower any one gender without reference to the other without regulation, where mutuality and co-existence between genders is a thing of the past, then both genders will be in a race to be superior to the other and this is harmful to women as it is to men. As it stands, yes there is an imbalance in modern society and men largely consider their gender to be superior to that of women, and that is reflected in some of the ills in this world. I have no time for such men in the same way that I have no time for women who consider their gender to be superior to that of men.

It so happens that most evils committed today happen to be committed by men. Even though I partially agree with this post and the actions described, marginalising men as a whole is detrimental to the cause. I hate to revere Cricket by this analogy, but just like sub continental Cricket, issues of women (and men) are best resolved when it galvanises both genders, not just one.

Image from here.


Filed under 2012

2 responses to “Of Cricket and Rape

  1. I totally hear you that it’s not a good sign when a cricketer’s death is more widely covered than a rape victim’s one, but does it really reflect a society’s sentiments? Are really media a society’s mirror? Or are they just the attempt to manipulate the mind of their society in their own terms and for their own gains? In the end, a newspaper, a magazine, a TV channel are a private company working for their own private interest, just like any other private business.
    I do think India has a major issue when it comes to the respect and safety of its women, and this goes beyond my understanding ability. I fail to comprehend how such a mentality can exist, as detrimental as it is for the society as a whole. However, the protests that are taking place now in India I’m yet to see them anywhere else. Do you think in Italy violence against women doesn’t exist? You have no idea how many times we read news of rapes, violence and murders of women by their husband/boyfriend, just there has never been any protest for this, demanding the government to do something about it. For soccer, you wonder? When a team loses a match, its supporters take it to the streets vandalising anything that comes their way as if in civil war.
    Not denying any problem India obviously has in this sense, and hoping for a swift change, it saddens me a lot to realize that violence against women is very much underestimated all over the world.

  2. What I would like to see is more men galvanizing other men for the cause. The categorisation of violence against women as a “women’s issue” is the biggest barrier to resolving the issue.

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