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FairPoint: If politics was like cricket

FairPoint: If politics was like cricket

If politics was like cricket, then at the end of the match, the competing teams, no matter who won or lost, would shake hands, smile and move on. 

When India defeated South Africa by seven runs in a nail-biting final at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Saturday to clinch the T20 World Cup title, the losing team congratulated Rohit Sharma and his team.

South African skipper Aiden Markram said it was still a proud moment for them, and they can draw a lot from the game.

That is the spirit of sports and sportsmanship. But then politics is not like sports and sportsmanship is rarely noticed, especially nowadays.

The 2024 Lok Sabha elections ended, and the results are also out. The new government at the Centre is in place, new MPs have taken oath and Parliament is also in session. Everything was done as per the set and detailed manual of our democracy.

The people have given a little more to the opposition, the Congress in particular, this time, but not enough to govern. The mandate was clear -- it was for the NDA to form the government, which decided to continue with Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister in continuation.

Unlike in cricket, the game in politics is only for power. The Opposition though has decided to sit in the place, yet is eager to unsettle and grab the chair.

The Congress-led Opposition has been attacking PM Modi and the new government, saying that the verdict was a "personal, political and moral defeat" for him and that he should 'understand' the verdict.

In a newspaper article, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi even claimed there is "not the slightest evidence that he has come to terms with the electoral outcome or understand the verdict".

Had cricket been like politics, then Markram would not have, probably, accepted the seven-run loss. But grace is in accepting the defeat and the South African skipper won hearts.

Moving on from the cricket pitch to Parliament, the scenes in the opening session of the 18th Lok Sabha do not appear to be encouraging. Dissent is always healthy so long as it is accompanied by a concrete alternative.

Does the opposition have pointed problem-solving plans on the issues on which it is attacking the government?

The country has enough problems and people want quick solutions. The opposition would certainly increase its influence if it outwits the ruling party with concrete solutions.

Deriding someone's victory is not a healthy trend and certainly not in the best parliamentary conventions.

A win is a win and the winner takes it all. Rohit Sharma's team did it by snatching victory from the jaws of death. When it seemed that the team was certain to lose, something unexpected happened in the last four overs of the final match. South Africa crumbled and India had a dream victory.

However, in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the dream run was not for the INDIA bloc. It did not give the opposition alliance adequate numbers to rule. The Congress, after years of downslide, did see its vote share rise from 19.5 per cent in 2019 to 21.2 per cent this time, giving it a boost and new hope.

The BJP also failed in its dream of winning 400 plus seats. Its vote share fell marginally from 37.3 per cent in 2019 to 36.6 per cent in 2024.

But it bagged an adequate number and together with the NDA managed to continue at the Centre.

The opposition has asked the PM to "understand the verdict" and a similar introspection is needed for it also.

No matter what the opposition says, PM Modi is at the helm, and at the moment, the NDA is placed pretty. Hence, confidence in the mandate for the third term is quite evident. But it cannot ignore challenges, whether they are within the alliance or those in governance. Its hands are full.

The government started its new term with several issues cropping up within a fortnight of its formation, like the NEET exam wrongdoings, terror incidents in J&K, a train accident, etc.

As the political parties are busy in a slugfest for one-upmanship, Team India moves on for another tourney. Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja announced their retirement from T20I format after the World Cup win and have created space for new talent to occupy.

If politicians could emulate sportsmanship, Parliament would be the perfect discussion place, something the people have been yearning for several decades now.

(Deepika Bhan can be contacted at [email protected])


Tags: India T20 World Cup