Cricket is an opium of the Indian and Pakistani masses

Justice Markandey Katju-

Justice Markandey Katju

Justice Markandey Katju is a former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own.

Cricket is really one of the opiums of the Indian and Pakistani masses ( the other opiums being TV, films, petty politics, religion, etc ). Its whole purpose is to divert the attention of the people from their wretched condition so that they do not rise up against it. India has slipped from position number 101 to 107 out of 121 countries in the Global Hunger index, and has massive problems of unemployment, price rise, lack of proper healthcare and good education, corruption, etc, and Pakistan is not far behind.

India’s victory over Pakistan in the recent T20:World Cup match was hailed as a great achievement, and resulted in huge celebrations, festivity, merry making, and jubilation by Indians across India, and even by NRIs abroad.

When I saw the flood and plethora of tweets on Twitter in this connection trumpeting and celebrating India’s victory over our ‘arch enemy” and rival, I started posting my own tweets, to pour some cold water over this outburst of stupidity. Some of these are given below :

“Cricket is one of the opiums of the Indian masses ( the others being TV, politics, religion, etc ). It is an excellent way2divert attention of people from real issues like poverty, unemployment, price rise, lack of healthcare&good education, casteism&communalism, corruption, etc ”

” Roman Emperors used to say: If u cannot give d people bread, give them circuses. India has slipped2position number 107 out of 121 countries in Global Hunger Index. So in India, it can be said: If u cannot give people bread (or jobs, healthcare&good education), give them cricket ”

“Virat Kohli, Virat Kohli, Virat Kohli”.

Indians, keep uttering that mantra & all ur unemployment, price rise, hunger,lack of healthcare&good education will disappear.

It’s a brilliant diversionary tactic. Roman Emperors used to say ‘If u can’t give people bread, give them circuses’.

The celebrations on India’s victory in the cricket match against Pakistan remind me of the sher of Urdu poet Aatish:

“Fasl-e-bahaar aayi, piyo sufiyon sharaab

Bas ho chuki namaaz, musalla uthaiye.”

In August 2016 this article of mine was published:

In January 2022 this article of mine was published:

So Indians, please do celebrate India’s victory over Pakistan as much as you like, but don’t expect me to join in this puerile asininity, as I refuse to be part of a stupid pantomime.

Such celebrations are an insult to the poor people of India, who constitute 75-80% of our population of 1.4 billion, as they divert the attention of the people from their real problems, and I refuse to insult my people.


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