The thin line between smart puns and distasteful jingoism

India defeated Pakistan to be in the Cricket World Cup Finals 2011. The social networking world (at least for people from the subcontinent) has been a frenzy of activity with people posting newspaper articles, status updates, comments, discussions, strategies and analysis before / during and after the match. It all made for some interesting reading (for us) and some annoyance for some others (who don't follow cricket and wondering why this word that sounds like the name of an insect has taken over your friends' pages).
Facebook, twitter and other social networking sites have given people a chance to express themselves in ways that we could not have imagined before. However, it has also made people believe that one can get away with saying anything. Comparing a cricket match to war, bringing politics and mythology into it, using profanities and attacking the opponent's culture does not show your support for your national team, it just shows your lack of character. For every 'retweet' or 'like' you might be getting, have you thought of the people whose sentiments you might be hurting ?
Attacking the opposition's culture will not help your team win. Cheering them on will. Hate messages on social networking sites does not make you more of an Indian than anyone else. However, it makes you less of a human being.


Sivaguru said...

the habit of a winner gloating over comes from the nomadic days of our civilizations.
the Roman gladiators were at times proxies for battles.
while we have come a long way as the human race, some of these tenndencies still remain.
that is what many politicians exploit to their gain.

Balaji Sharma said...

Very true. The Oz got a lot of it a while ago, and now the greenbacks. Being graceful in victory doesn't come easy.