Why do Brahmins prefer cricket? Pramod Navalkar
After reading an article in a leading English magazine, I realised the extent of its reach. The writer, in his article in a World Cup special issue, discusses the castes of our players.
He claims that Brahmins have dominated Indian cricket over the last 30-35 years, and that they keep others away. He offers statistics to prove his claim and points out that there were seven Brahmins in the '70s team, five in 1983 team, eight in 1997, eight again in 2000, four in 2002 and six in the current World Cup team. He has made some outrageous remarks in the article, insisting that Brahmins prefer cricket - no football or hockey for them - because the latter two are contact games and Brahmins don't like others touching them. Also (he claims), in cricket, one need not have a strong physique. He says that Brahmins dominated this game as it was purely urban and he mentions Ganguly and Tendulkar as examples.
No Dalit cricketer could play in the 20th century except Balu Palwankar, and he,too, couldn't play Test cricket. He further claims that other castes, including the Sikhs, Jats and Backward Castes are forced to play hockey and football. These comments are not only outrageous, they are objectionable. So far, our sports have never witnessed such a casteist mindset.
Our cricket administrators were accused of everything but this. There have been allegations of regional bias, but never that of casteism. If we allow this poison to spread, we may have to select all our sportsmen on the basis of their castes, and not on merit. The government must take action now, or the caste controversy is likely to spill over into the space-age.