Successive Cricket World Cup Wins and Its Effect on the Psyche of India
Hurrah! semi-finalists India!! #CWC15 #INDvsBan #WontGiveItBack…
Cricket in India is indeed a religion and is the biggest behaviour change phenomenon..read this lovely blog if you want to understand cricket & India better http://www.sumit4all.com/cricket/how-cricket-unites-india#sthash.QkPWbs8o.dpbs
NOW, in all the celebrations of reaching the semi-final, let’s pause to congratulate Bangladesh, for their journey and also the tough f(r)ight they gave us! As a passionate cricket fan, I was worried for an hour or so there. Let’s not forget to be humble & gracious in our victory! Not because we are the big brothers – but out of respect for a respectful challenger brand – like how HUL respected Cavin Kare in its hey day with KBCK (Kaun Banega Chik Ka Kaatil) over Fair & Lovely! We should not be giving Bangladesh its respect, they have earned it & demanded it from the entire world by the merit of their performance!
But back to the main thing “what does it mean to win the World Cup in a row” for India!! “In a row / successively”: is the operational phrase here.
In 1983, in an economically pre-liberalised India, under the Nehruvian socialistic approach, India was desperately seeking hope. India was seeking for a cute-acceptance in the world ( “hey look at me, am not just another 3rd world country” ), it wanted to create space in world’s TOM beyond being the land of Maharajah’s, Snake Charmers and the land that Briton brought civilisation to (bearing the White Man’s Burden – ha ha ha). India needed contextual-hope.
Then post the brilliance of Gavaskar, amidst the brilliance of Tendulkar came “dada” Sourav Ganguly. In a conformist, communal (by society & not by its political approach) India which prayed, celebrated and still does – celebrate individual Gods and “One above the rest”, Sourav Dada Ganguly taught India what passion, aggression and team spirit was. Sourav (Dada) represented a new India which was breaking away from the hierarchical babudom – a British IAS system seeded deeply into the Indian DNA! (A complete article can be written about the new laws of leadership that Sourav Ganguly taught India – but maybe for later).
Sourav represented an India, which was new-age aggressive, wanting to not bow and be gracious only anymore, but to be taken seriously (even if it was at the cost of its brahminical elegance & restraint). But he had to fight a babu system, the stupid coach and the war between Jagmohan Dalmiya & IAS Bindra. But he stood for the first time in India for “meritocracy & talent Vs experience & hierarchy”. In a way it was the harbinger of calling your boss by name and being your boss’s team mate and watching his back rather than being a disciple at his altar!
Sachin, Dravid, Kumble – legends in their own right, came and went as captains – but it was a Dhoni who came into his own and truly took dada’s legacy forward (the way it deserved).
By the time Ganguly sat on the throne of India’s mass-pop culture, India was liberated by Mr. P.V Narashimha Rao (always forgotten by the history created by the residual Gandhi family) ably backed by Mr.Manmohan Singh almost a decade ago. An economically liberated India if plotted on Maslow’s hierarchy was looking for status at the world stage and not just love. Loud, brave, buoyant legacy left behind by dada (which was needed to break the cacophony of the conformist clutter & the obsessive celebration of individual Gods) was truly taken ahead by Dhoni – the calm, yet defiant, the rebel with a cause – Dhoni!!
When India won the 2011 WC – it was a way to state its claim on the world stage (the IT based knowledge economy, the young population boom, the capitalistic & consumeristic aggression were waiting to be celebrated again – to assert its new status to the world).
T20WC win confirmed to India its own irreverence (the format & the tone perfect semiotics of irreverence),WC2011 represented a strong play for its individualistic identity (Unlike 1983 – which represented sweet/cute hope), Champions trophy via Dhoni represented the discipline needed to be considered seriously.
Precisely that! The need to feel consistent in its global presence & merit! But the India now is focussed on telling the world that it is here to stay, its not a mere flash in the global economic/socio-cultural pan!!
As a behaviour strategist, I have to admit that brand India is brilliantly endowed with being an assertive brilliant challenger brand (to China to the west, etc;). We love the flashes of brilliance that we display all-round to remind the world of the brightness we are capable of and reminding the world that we deserve our place in the global Sun.
But till now, we have always been weak & have been excusing ourselves from the responsibility, commitment and stability of being part of global leadership! Happy & convenient to be the bright challengers and too afraid to be the assertive leaders with the responsibility of consistent performance and the ruthlessness & discipline that true consistency demands.
Dhoni as the high priest of the Indian Social-psyche / religion represents a minority part of India, which compels change in the entire psyche of India.
A leadership-apologetic, power-shamed, happy to be celebrating the righteousness of the challenger brand status, India will experience a great psyche-change if India were to win its 2nd world cup in a row. “With great power comes great responsibility” India is both ready for it and celebrate it jingoistically but at the same time as a society resent the claustrophobia that consistency shall set on its wonderfully liberating cacophony!
India is truly an Idea of being free, and hence the dichotomy core to the Idea of India shall continue! ‘Win’ – is a responsibility of discipline enforced on its mass psyche and ‘lose’ is a celebration & re-confirmation of its challenger status…the Idea behind India cannot be ignored anymore!!
Wake-up world!! Possibly the world’s largest democracy is having fun with itself and its wonderful plurality!!
Cricket as a “mirror of Indian psyche”..true that!!
…wolfz’OUT!! log in later!!