Our cricket players did nothing wrong…
From outright fatwas of ‘hang them’ to milder sentences of life-time bans to the conspiracies – everyone seems to have been taken by surprise with corruption in cricket. However, does the occasion really call for such disgust? Is it really that shocking for us to learn of the down-payments on no-ball guarantees?
I, for one, am not surprised at all. In fact, I thought people would have treated it like a regular episode and moved on. The contrary response rather amazes me. Young players involved in the scandal and I think they simply did what we told them to do.
In a country where parliamentarians hold fake degrees, the president is branded Mr Ten per cent, the judiciary and democracy maul each other whenever the opportunity rises, mobs lynch innocent boys, three brothers are killed over Rs30, foreign aid is misappropriated, protests are registered through shoe-hurlings and mainstream media thrives upon sensational journalism, this just fits in perfectly. Don’t puff yourself up in an air of self-dignity with delusions that we are not a part of it all. Something clicks in the back of my mind – an oft quoted Urdu saying ‘yahan naik wo hai jis ko mauqa nahin mila.’ How neatly this describes the state of our society.
We all want our cut
All of us make our ‘ten per cent’ whenever the opportunity comes. We derive our per cent when we bribe a policeman to save us the trouble of a ticket for over-speeding or when we vote for people after having secured promises of personal benefits from them. Even when we pursue career with total single-mindedness and without giving a damn about the nation at all we add to the problem. We participate in corruption, misappropriation and embezzlement whenever we get a chance. Honesty comes by cheap these days and it’s only in larger stakes that most of us dither. That way, even the president is exempt of charges – at least from the ethical view-point.
If you’re having too much of an adrenaline rush because you were a die-hard fan of Asif or Aamer and feel the impulse to punch them just ask yourself this question: would you have passed the opportunity if you were in their place? If you were a star player and were asked by someone to simply deliver a no-ball in return for huge sums who would really say no? Let us get out of the cocoons of artificial piety and admit that most of us would have gone for it! Let us give up the portended hypocrisy and accept the fact that we are angry because we haven’t had our chance yet.
Corruption is who we are
From parliamentarians who mint hundreds of thousands of rupees in return for fake degrees to army top-dogs who run military corporation to an average policeman which one of us can say our hands are completely clean? Perhaps those who are clever enough to cover their tracks!
It always ends up with a public trial of the victim and a discourse which is divorced of all decency. We take all this trouble simply to reassert the perpetual state of denial that we live in: that of our own actions. We continue to assume our own innocence and vent out all justice upon others. The new definition of justice today is the treatment we decide for others. It never is about us. It’s always ‘they.’
Our cricket players simply did nothing wrong. You and I have no right to tell our players what to do since they are doing what we have been doing. They are simply following a national trait and are as much a ‘true Pakistani’ as any of the zealot patriots out there! If we must blame lets blame ourselves. Stop blaming the products of a corrupt machinery, rather blame the machinery itself.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.