The mindless outrage over KKR – Hypocrisy of the elitist snobs
A little past 11:30 PM on Sunday. Entire Bengal (I daresay India) was waiting with bated breath for the moment. Social media was abuzz with fights, screams, supports and updates. A sixer in the last ball of the penultimate over sealed the fate. The celebrations that followed in Kolkata knew no bounds. Kolkata Knight Riders were the Champions of IPL 7.
Unsurprisingly, there was a huge outpouring of fans on Facebook and Twitter wishing a rerun of 2012 Victory celebrations. Anyone can check my mentions tab on Twitter to verify the fact that I am not exaggerating it when I say “huge outpouring”. Our CM, much to the chagrin of the city-bred snobs, understands public sentiment well. And there it was – WB Government decided to felicitate KKR at a ceremony in Eden Gardens on June 3 (of course, with Cricket Association of Bengal taking care of the nitty-gritty and Department of Information & Culture and Sports and Youth Affairs to help the CAB).
KKR victory celebration, 2012
I am not a Cricket fan – sports and I are poles apart. Yet, IPL appeals to me, because of the format of the game. It’s short, it’s fast and it’s catchy. I wouldn’t care less if India wins the World Cup in Test Cricket or Bengal lifts the Ranji Trophy, but KKR’s win in the IPL fills my heart with pride. Because the team has the name of the city.
Kolkata IS THE home ground of KKR. Many kakima, jethima’s in the households of Bengal who wouldn’t spare a thought on Dhoni’s skills, will still switch to Set Max every night to watch the Knights play. A Poltu in a small village would look up to a Shakib and dream of getting selected one day.
But then the snobbish urban middle class living in high-rises in Kolkata always have a problem with anything Bengal. Facebook updates, opinion columns in news websites again poking fun at Kolkata for celebrating a victory in the city’s known style. Some giving away their political leanings in bashing the Government (making unfounded allegations about funding of the ceremony). I feel sorry for them because in all their arrogance, they have lost an essential part of their soul – unadulterated happiness.
The same people who go around town saying there is nothing “Kolkatan” about KKR, burst crackers and scream like school kids when Manchester United/Arsenal win some League match in UK. Hypocrites. Does the Real Madrid football team comprise players from only Madrid? Or do you laugh and scoff at AC Milan because there are “no Roman players” in the team?
Then there are the lot who are suddenly worried about the hungry kids. Do they think of those hungry kids on the road when they buy clothes from a shopping mall, drink at a pub with friends and switch on the AC as you sleep on a summer night?? I simply fail to understand what’s the harm in celebrating KKR’s win – a team from Kolkata? Kolkata is more spirited from other cities, and that calls for celebration.
I have spent one and a half years in Bangalore and one thing that I admire about them is the extreme level of love and devotion for their city and culture. No matter what, they always root for RCB. Even when Dravid was not part of the Bangalore team, their loyalty did not change. For them their city was their identity – no matter who are the players in the team. Sadly, few “aantels” in Bengal lack such emotions.
It is about time the drawing room snobs in Kolkata open up their minds and try to understand the psyche of the masses. Even a great filmmaker Satyajit Ray had once cautioned Soumitra Chatterjee against looking down upon people who they do not fit worthy of their “class”.