Ram Guha loves cricket and hates Modi. So far so good. The problem is that he is also a historian and should be able to grasp that Prime Ministers and the conduct of foreign policy are much more important than a game for school-boys- even if that game is played inside the Modi Stadium.
Guha, while not playing with himself far away from that sporting venue, writes in Scroll about
How Narendra Modi is using India’s most popular sport to bolster his ego
Guha doesn't understand that the Prime Minister of the world's largest democracy does not need his ego boosted by watching a cricket match.
In November 2009, the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad hosted a Test match between India and Sri Lanka. Sachin Tendulkar had just completed 20 years in international cricket. Two months prior to this match, the then chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, was elected president of the Gujarat Cricket Association. Thus, when a decision was made to honour Tendulkar, Modi did the honours.
because he was President of the relevant Association.
I remember watching the proceedings on television; before the Test began, the chief minister handed over a memento to the cricketer and posed for a photograph with him.
Guha became very jealous. It should have been him being photographed with Tendulkar! There and then Guha decided to wield his pen like a poignard against that dastardly Modi fellow.
Back in 2009, Sachin Tendulkar was far more famous than Narendra Modi,
Not to the people of Gujarat or those Indians who think cricket is a shitty game played only by homosexuals.
far more of a brand name and a household name. Associating with Sachin made for good publicity. Now fast forward four years, to October 2013. Modi has just launched his campaign to become prime minister, and in this endeavour, it is not a great living cricketer but a great deceased statesman he wishes to attach himself to. Hence the plan to construct a giant statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Which was good for Gujarat and popular with the highly influential Patel community. Modi was doing what any other smart politician would do. Guha takes a different view. Modi was using Cricket to get close- maybe even touch- the divine Tendulkar! The cad must die by the thrust of my trusty poignard! After that, Imran Khan can do what he likes to me!
In speeches on the campaign trail, Modi claimed that Patel would have made a better prime minister than Jawaharlal Nehru and that had he been in the job, India would have been from the beginning a safer, stronger, more self-reliant nation.
Evidently, the voters agreed. I suppose Nehru's stock fell because Rahul turned out to be useless.
In 2009, Narendra Modi briefly needed an identification with Sachin Tendulkar.
only so as to cause Guha to burn with jealousy
In 2013-’14, Modi less briefly needed an identification with Sardar Patel.
Modi became Prime Minister. That was one up on Patel.
Fast forward another seven years, to February 2021. In the interim, Narendra Modi has led the Bharatiya Janata Party to victories in successive general elections. He is now entirely his own man, in aid
need, not aid
of no other Indian – not his former mentor, LK Advani, not his former prime minister, AB Vajpayee, not even his former hero, Sardar Patel – to bolster his image.
Quite true. Modi has outshone all. He is a super-star who looks set to get a third term.
Eleven and a half years after watching Narendra Modi present a memento to Sachin Tendulkar, I – along with millions of other Indians – was again in front of my television screen to watch the commencement of another Test match played at the Sardar Patel Stadium.
No. That Stadium had been knocked down.
Except, as we soon learnt, this was no longer the Sardar Patel Stadium.
It was a newly constructed, much bigger Stadium named after Modi. However the larger Sports Complex in which it is cited is called the Sardar Patel Sports complex.
Just before the Test (played against England) began, the then president of the Indian Republic, no less, with the home minister of India at his side, unveiled a plaque which informed us that what was once a stadium named after an Indian
that stadium was knocked down
whom Narendra Modi professed to admire, even venerate, had now been named for Modi himself.
This was not his decision. Anyway, the whole complex was named after Patel.
In having a sports stadium named after himself while in power,
Modi was not CM of Gujarat. The decision was the Gujarat's government to make. They chose the name Modi because Modi is extremely popular- even among people who hate sports of all types.
Modi joined the ranks of (among others) Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Saddam Hussein, and Gaddafi.
No he didn't. He joined the ranks of Jawaharlal and Indira and Rajiv. Modi is an elected leader. Only Guha would compare him to Hitler.
It did not seem the sort of company the prime minister of “the world’s largest democracy” would like to keep.
Nobody wants to keep Guha company. Sad.
Nonetheless, Modi was clearly not at all discomfited by the honour – if one can call it that.
Why not? The Government of Gujarat names a big Stadium after you- what's not to like?
For this past Thursday, he made history afresh by actually watching a match in the stadium named after himself in the company of the visiting Australian prime minister, Anthony Albanese.
Guha is a shit historian because he doesn't understand what truly makes history. In this case, the least important aspect of the meeting with Albanese was the fact that they watched cricket together. What direction is Quad heading in? Will India get a piece of the submarine deal? Apparently, Australia is going to recognize some Indian degrees. Is that a game changer?
I do not know whether Mussolini ever watched a football match at the stadium in Turin once named for him, or whether Stalin ever watched athletes compete in the stadium that carried his name in Moscow.
Because Guha doesn't know about History.
It may be that when Narendra Modi arrived in style at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, he was making history not just for himself but for India and the world.
But it wasn't really. Guha is a cretin.
As an Indian democrat, I have watched the growth of the Modi personality with dismay.
He means 'personality cult'. Modi always had a full grown personality because he was a full grown man while Guha was still having wet dreams about Tendulkar.
This last example of its expansion also offends my sensibilities as a cricket fan.
But nobody cares about the tender sensibilities of a hysterical tosser.
To enable the prime minister to be welcomed at the Narendra Modi Stadium by his most devoted followers, the Gujarat Cricket Association seems to have withheld, from the open market, a large number of tickets for the first day’s play, with a view to distributing these through political channels instead.
So what? Who gives a toss? If cricket fans mattered politically, they would have been catered to.
I was first alerted to this mischief by a friend, who, hoping to travel to Ahmedabad for the Test, found that tickets were on sale to the general public only from the second day.
Perhaps there was a security issue. Still, if the pageantry went down well, this might become a fixture for State visits involving Cricket playing countries. The two Heads of Government will give caps to the team captains and then do a victory lap.
The truth is, Test cricket is as boring as shit. The maximum crowd on the first day for such an event would be 30 or 40 thousand. Still, since India needs to show itself competitive with China, the big stadium events sends the right message to Australia. The good news is that the Stadium looked full enough for the TV cameras though the crowd thinned out after Modi and Albanese left.
Even in Bengaluru or Mumbai, currently ruled by the BJP, turfing out genuine cricket fans in favour of Modi bhakts would have been impossible to achieve.
So, the BJP isn't really Fascist at all. The plain fact is Test Cricket is dull and best watched on a screen while you get on with other work. Still, if people will pay for tickets, Cricket Associations should take the money. In this particular case, I suppose, there just wasn't that much demand and so the Central Government was footing the bill.
It was only in Gujarat that the demands of the personality cult could have been adequately satisfied.
No. It is only Gujarat which has a special liking for Modi because he was Chief Minister only of Gujarat, nowhere else.
With, this time, the once great, now greatly corrupted, game of cricket as its vehicle
Nobody gives a shit about Test cricket even if Guha jizzes all over it. Arrested adolescents may dream of touching Tendulkar or being bummed by Imran but they don't make history nor are they capable of recognizing those who do and can.
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