3 Cs of India – cricket, cinema and corruption

What has not changed in India is its 3 Cs – cricket, cinema and corruption. But, the combination of the three is donning headlines now days like never before.

Cricket because its idol Sachin Tendulkar is retiring next week. Cinema as it is time for release of some big bang movies. And corruption as the election season is around the corner.

The 3 Cs may look distinct but there is one common thread between them – the Indian people. They relish all three and life may become difficult without any one of them.

Someone may say that Indians would like corruption to end. In reality, they don’t. Everyone wants to make easy money in India and blame others for corruption.

A pan-wallah charges a little more for a loose cigarette, even though under law it is an offence. One has to pay more than the MRP to an ice-cream vendor at India Gate because the vendor claims he has to pay hafta for putting up his cart there. The poorest tries to make a few bucks by allowing a fair price shop owner to pilfer ration meant for him or her.

An auto or a taxi buy fix their electronic meters to claim a little more fare. Most people in offices give inflated, if not fake, bills to claim re-imbursements. All in government offices may not take money but many seek favours from people who may have benefitted from their decisions.

As corruption is in our blood, we cannot survive without our daily dose of cricket too. So much so that even Test cricket makes money in India unlike in most other countries. A match between two low lying teams being played some-where in Zimbabwe can have viewers here.

If an insignificant Ranji match between Haryana and Mumbai got huge television viewership just because Sachin Tendulkar was playing should not surprise anyone. The craze for the game had been exploited fully by Tendulkar’s marketing angels to reap in quick money before his retirement.

It is rarely heard in any sports that a great sportsperson announces his retirement months in advance and then participates in an inconsequential match. We did not see Brian Lara or Don Bradman, two of the finest batsmen ever, turning their retirement into such frenzy like Tendulkar has done. But, he has got away without any eyebrow being raised because we cannot think our cricket idol can do any wrong.

Cinema, another C that engulfs Indians, is a mirror of our present day society. Lata Mangeshkar rightly said a few days ago that movies are no longer inspirational or trying to undo the wrongs in the society. They are just made to earn a quick buck at the box office, whose projections are not beyond doubt, and vanish within weeks. This, I think, is also an indication of India’s growing mindset of ‘chalta hai‘ attitude, which is showing its implications for movies, especially from Bollywood – the recall value of the present day movies and songs have gone down dramatically.

The present state of 3 Cs should be an eye opener on how we are moving towards the 4th C – crooks.

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