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Let us Face it Square

We must face this unpalatable truth square and address our own stupidity and hypocrisy first. Not doing so and continuing only to blame politicians or media or others can’t help us, as it has not helped us over past decades. We have been continuing to crib, great works of cartooning included, without achieving much corrections, because we ourselves have been allowing those whom we blame to continue to fool us!

There is a very old and common saying, ‘Commonsense is very uncommon.’ Whoever coined this phrase will find today that it was an understatement, not at all an overstatement. In fact, any objective mind today will be compelled to yell, ‘Extreme Stupidity is too common.’ Let us not take stupidity here as something undesirable, to be looked down upon. We take it objectively, as a human trait signifying absence of commonsense or its application. If it is so, it is so. Let us not feel bad about it, let us realize it. Whatever traits we have, whatever brains we have, it is not our own doing. We don’t know yet whose doing is it and how? So there should be no reason for us to feel bad, but I desire (probably it is nothing but my personal desire) that we should be truthful and honest in our realizations? Why? Because only then we can find better ways forward or improve upon. I may be wrong in thinking so, I don’t know. If I use stupid, stupidity, foolish, foolishness etc. in writing now, please don’t feel offended. My purpose will not be to deride anyone, but only trying to understand and convey what is what.

Could be that some power is making me write this piece, since over past two days (as on 10/2/2021) I felt too shocked to see the limitations of human brain, the hardened conditioning over life time, through my interactions with three people close on heels of each interaction – a close friend, a very close relative cum friend, and a sports editor. They are highly qualified, holding or having held very high responsible positions in the society, and men of great intellect. I hold them all in high respect. Hopefully, they also equally respect me. I had interaction with the first two, and read a piece written by the third. Regarding the two, I felt taken aback when they started discussing or saying something about the first Test match against England as if it was cricket, meaning competitive cricket.

They are quite aware of all my efforts, and yet till date they couldn’t bring themselves to comprehend what present day cricket was. That’s when it is too obvious what cricket is and that is a matter of public knowledge through me, my books, and my efforts. The fact that people were not able to comprehend this massive fraud and it’s far reaching implications was mentioned in my PIL WP (C) 1163/2017 in the Supreme Court of India. They just proved and confirmed it; yet I felt shocked like because I had thought they would/should have understood it by now. They had knowledge of my painstaking efforts with Supreme Court of India and its betrayal. But as it transpired, they simply had their own conditioned brain to go by (I also have a conditioned brain, all of us have), and fixed opinions without having bothered to apply their mind to all what lied in the public domain bringing out too clearly what a massive and all-encompassing public fraud cricket was.

The two are no exceptions though. They just represent the incomprehensible stupidity of the millions of the intellectuals, super intellectuals, and not so intellectuals. It is same old story as years back many of my close friends and relatives would tell me that cricket just could not be fixed as ‘I thought or assumed‘ without bothering to apply their mind a wee bit to why I said so, what was the basis of my claims! (Though a few, especially ladies, also found what I said too obvious  even years back). They didn’t/don’t stop to think that who was making extraordinary claims had no axe to grind in doing so and was a man of proven prudence and public credentials. That what he was doing/had done was at great personal risk and cost. What leads them to behave/act as they do? Is it extreme stupidity, or ruling ego, or long conditioned blocked mind that make/s people know that the other fellow is talking bunkum without applying mind to what he/she has on plate?

They don’t give a damn that there should/must be some basis on which someone is saying something extraordinary. This tendency is too prevalent, especially among intellectuals and super intellectuals. In the process, they achieve or display pitiable stupidity! Naturally, the comprehension of those two stupefied me since what was what was conspicuous, and in their easy reach. But probably they never bothered to apply their minds and think! Or simply their minds failed to grasp the truth. As I said, they are not alone; they are joined by millions in similar comprehension or lack of it. I have come across many like that during past decade or so, even very recently. The haughtiness or/and stupidity reign supreme! That is not good for us, for humanity, or for our advancement.

Is comprehension of what is what so very difficult? Not at all, rather it is too easy. What is required is only to free the mind from the conditioning and camouflage it has been subjected to over the life time (probably it is where the majority fails) and its application a little bit. Without going into encyclopedia of evidence that is available to prove the total, ball by ball or almost ball by ball, institutionalized fixing of cricket, or into nuances of cricket betting; let us try to think about fixing just as a man of common prudence. We are told and hence believe that sporadic fixing takes place now and then by some players at the instance of some bookies.

Is it possible today when everything in the field is continuously recorded by cameras? Won’t any wrong doing by any player on his/her own be caught by scores of cricket coaches and experts who have access to all the recordings, if not by co-players in the field there and then? Can any player risk indulging in fixing on his own? Also can a player or two fix outcome of a match or even scoring in overs? In Sreesanth’s case, it was discussed for weeks by great journalists and great experts that bowlers alone were fixing runs to be scored in an over. Could there be anything more ludicrous? But this stupidity prevailed those days all over and must be prevailing in many minds even today! Everyone chose to be blind to the obvious 7 years ago, as everyone is choosing to be blind today, continuing to act blind all these years.

What is a game of cricket or any team game? Two teams are competing fairly as per laid down rules and regulations, the objective being to win or to defeat the other team. The players chosen to represent league teams or countries are men/women with extraordinary talent and are much trained. If we see any cricket match with an open/unconditioned mind, we shall come across many instances of inexplicable performance by these highly gifted players, making us wonder what was happening. Were these players playing to win or to lose? Can fixing be limited to only those plays which appear doubtful to us, say, dropping of a dolly catch, repeated wide balls in limited over matches by bowlers who are capable of bowling straight even if blind-folded, a batsman hitting straight to the lone fielder in the deep when he could have easily hit the ball anywhere, bowlers bowling juicy half volleys or full tosses easily hit for boundaries when defending defendable totals, and so on? Is it possible for a match to be played competitively in parts and to be scripted in other parts? Will not scripted play even in a small part affect overall outcome of a match? There just can’t be anything like partial fixing without getting noticed by the concerned coaches, management, and the experts.

More difficult than comprehending fixing itself is to comprehend its implications. The fixing in cricket as it exists means a lot. Denying its existence will be like denying the existence of sun or moon. The continuing institutionalized fixed cricket means hundreds of white collared gentlemen having millions of fan following together, legendary cricketers and those belonging to the cricket world – Kapil Devs, Pontings, Laras, Richards’, Tendulkars, Kumbles, Dravids, Harsha Bhogles, Vikrant Guptas, Boria Mazumdars, Bouchers, David Lloyds, Vaughans, Shane Bonds, Gillespies etc. etc. – all are and have been first rate cheats over and above whatever else they are. They are the ones who have been fooling the masses through their utterances on cricket, misusing their popularity. It means that boastful governments like that of PM Modi in India are subservient to syndicates and underworld mafia. It means that the Media we consider as our conscience keeper and get influenced by 24 x 7 is the key facilitator of an ongoing gargantuan public fraud and crime. It means that not only countries of the sub-continent, but also first world countries playing cricket are as rotten in succumbing to a massive open public fraud and crime. It means that the Corporate leaders and big celebrities are part and parcel of an all-encompassing fraud actively or passively. Today it does mean that the judiciary including the highest Court in India – the Supreme Court of India – everyone feels obliged to express faith in, itself is a culprit beyond any doubt. Over and above everything else, it brings to fore the bogey of India-Pakistan enmity. Doesn’t psyche of majority of Indians and Pakistanis lie influenced to the core by this sham enmity?

How does one comprehend all these and more implications that underline how phony has been and is our very existence, how fake and useless are our systems and institutions including Media that we have so assiduously built and cherished? It could be that almost impossibility of accepting these implications forces many of us to deny the existence of institutionalized fixing in cricket even after it has become too conspicuous for anyone to see. Today scores of tipsters on social media, necessarily the agents of the betting mafia; themselves announce loud and clear that cricket was all fixed. But still majority of us feel happy to keep our eyes and ears closed, probably since our ego doesn’t let us accept how foolish we have been or how we have been fooled all our life?

No less concerning was the write-up by the sports editor that I came across today. He is one and probably the only sports editor in the world who has written vehemently against prevailing fixing in cricket and corruption in sports. He has uncompromising integrity. Yet his article today left me bewildered. While he started with pointing out inexplicable transformation of Indian team from historic Brisbane win to meek surrender at Chennai against England, he shifted to the justification given by Bumrah and company appearing to be accepting it, to ball swinging or not, to pitch condition etc. It appeared like someone saying that a murder (not attempted murder) had been committed and the victim was alive in the same breath! Something like that, to my mind.

How can cricket be fixed and not fixed (governed by swing, spin, pitch, weather etc.) at the same time? It can either be governed by a pre written/decided script or these natural factors. Not by both simultaneously! No? As mentioned in my last book, I have come across many saying things in the same breath implying that same cricket match was fixed and also natural. What is wrong with human brain? Here I must concede that it could be that I didn’t not comprehend what the sports editor meant to convey. But surely clarity about what was what was missing. Whose responsibility is it more to tell the world clear truth about today’s cricket and sports? Is it of Atul Kumar or of sports editors and journalists? Has telling or not telling truth to depend on the liking of the readers/listeners? Will majority liking decide what the Truth was or will Truth have its own legs to stand upon? Should Truth be browbeaten by Falsehood or should it steamroll the Falsehood?

It is not that it is impossible to comprehend the truth about cricket. There, today, are many, people unknown to me or were unknown to me, though a countable minority, who comprehend clearly what Cricket is, it being scripted ball by ball and movie like as Sanjeev Chawla reportedly said, as a result of my efforts or otherwise, though I doubt whether they also comprehend the implications or bother about those as I do, barring one or two. Again a majority of those who understand and comprehend cricket fixing as it is are bettors or having knowledge about betting. Those not comprehending are ones who don’t want to apply their mind or are unable to comprehend for differing reasons.

These gentlemen I talk about are probably more honest than me, have no axe to grind in continuation of thoroughly corrupt cricket except probably the entertainment they get from it; unlike the political and Corporate leaders, the legendary cricketers, the cricket world and many celebrities who have vested interest in continuation of the fraud and falsehood; and yet their stupidity in comprehending or weakness in standing up against the massive fraud that cricket is immensely helps the perpetrators and the facilitators of this gargantuan crime. They are only representatives of the vast majority like them. That is what is too worrisome! Who should stand to more blame for a crime? Is it the perpetrator or the victim who is foolish not to realize it or accepts it with open arms? I am not meaning blame to be something bad here. They all have their limitations, limitations of mental abilities or arising from compulsions of survival or on account of other reasons. Those limitations, but, must be acknowledged and overcome. Without doing that, continuing to blame political leaders or others for our ills may make us happy, may satisfy us, but can’t be of much use!

We must face this unpalatable truth square and address our own stupidity and hypocrisy first. Not doing so and continuing only to blame politicians or media or others can’t help us, as it has not helped us over past decades. We have been continuing to crib, great works of cartooning included, without achieving much corrections, because we ourselves have been allowing those whom we blame to continue to fool us! That also has been the implied crux of the book ‘We the Oodles’, along with bringing out the culpability of Media, Supreme Court of India, and the Indian Government under PM Modi; how and why there was no scope left for anyone to question the thorough institutionalized fixing of present day Cricket, and a lot more.

It is not unnatural that some may find my writing in the past or now, at least in parts, atrocious or egotist. But I wonder if that should matter at all, given what is brought out. I ask myself whether I am being factually wrong or subjective, and go ahead in saying what I must only when answer is in the negative. Truth, especially never faced earlier, is bound to be bitter and shocking! Also I must mention that there is hardly anything new in whatever I have said above. In fact there is not much new I have said through my books or other efforts in last about eight years which was not conveyed through or implied in my book ‘Inside the Boundary Line’ published in 2012 (except that probably my last book ‘We the Oodles’ was at a different level than earlier books because of the developments in the interim). When a child doesn’t listen to something you have to tell it repeatedly, trying to tell in different ways and more forcefully or explicitly, so that what you want to tell it for its own good registers in its mind. Probably my continuing efforts are something like that! More so, because the stakes are tremendous and what needs be addressed and needs attention of the world is too big. Unfortunately the world and the intellectuals continue to sulk till now. Let us hope tomorrow will be another day!

The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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Written by Atul Kumar

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