Ashis Nandy And Cricket

Tehelka has a great profile of psychologist/anthropologist/cultural-critic Ashis Nandy, whose Tao of Cricket I recommend to one and all. Excerpt:

If it was the bottom-up energies of hindi cinema that Nandy found irresistible, ironically it was the top-down construct of cricket that he found compelling. he has been drawn to his two principal tropes for opposite reasons. He saw cricket as part of the imperial project: “It’s not an accident that cricket, not football, was shown as England’s national sport to Indians.”

The arcane rules; the umpire in the white coat who is infallible and inviolable; the constrained aggression; the idea that the close-in fielders are not opponents but the first line of spectators before whom you must not behave in a ‘wrong’ manner: it was Nandy who demonstrated that the cricket match was a means of sublimating colonial class hierarchies.

To Indians it became a means to grapple with issues of ethics and chance. “Cricket is a game of fate passed off as a game of skill,” Nandy argues, “it is not a game against the opposition; it is a game against your own destiny. The weather conditions may change when you are batting, the ball may swing more when the opposition is bowling. That’s why I used it to explore, for instance, the phenomenon of astrology.” The full name of his frequently quoted book of 1989 is telling: The Tao of Cricket: On Games of Destiny and the Destiny of Games.

The profile doesn’t quote the most famous line from the book, which is something like: Cricket is a game invented by the English but discovered by Indians. Read the whole thing if you’re interested in a model for analyzing cricket for larger cultural lessons.


2 thoughts on “Ashis Nandy And Cricket

  1. Icc says:

    Even if you are not watching the game live scores are at your fingertips by the source like radio. This medium gives equal pleasure with mind-blowing commentary by cricket experts. Nowadays, science has given us mobile phones, net-books, laptops and tablets with net accessibility to keep us well updated with all kinds of happenings around the world.

  2. […] An occasional series of cricket sightings in the home of the brave, to accompany my related effort to catalog Aaron Sorkin’s love for the game (see here, here and here). Episode 1 is slightly misleading — the show Downton Abbey is made in England, but it’s been discovered by the Americans (to paraphrase Ashis Nandy): […]

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