Pass the ball aroundThe Indian hockey team is understandably miffed at the (predictable) outpouring of largesse for the Indian cricket team. I have no qualms with Commerce, with one unwavering eye at the return-on-investment column, showering its gifts on any product that it sees as being investment-worthy - their money, their choice. However, criticism is completely valid when it is a question of maharaja-like patronage being showered by politicians dipping from the state coffers. It is a commercial act for them - to be associated with events that enjoy the greatest eyeballs, and gain something from their "benevolence" by being in the same frame. I suppose other sportsmen could do with a hoarse shout or two too.
It is a sad state of affairs all-round: what positive effects this week has on Indian cricket remains to be seen, forget Indian sport. Sure, hockey is not a patch on the marketability of cricket, even in the latter's leanest periods, hit movies notwithstanding. For a nation that still has hardly any real sporting culture, and therefore no real appreciation of sport, masala will rule.