Behind the spectacle of entertainment, sport is a subject with political issues at every level. These issues range from the social, with divisions created along gender and class lines, to the use of sport to pursue diplomatic and statecraft goals. In addition, some sports are positioned and promoted as national events both in public opinion and in the media.
This book seeks to explore some aspects of the notion of power in sport in south Asia and among south Asians abroad. The first two chapters deal with the internal societal dimensions of the politics of sport; the next three relate to the politics inside the sporting world in the subcontinent and its bridge with the broader arena of the society through the media, while the last five relate to the use of sports in statecraft, consensus building and international politics.
This book was based on two special issues of the International Journal of the History of Sport.
This is an exacting social history of Indian cricket between 1780 and 1947. It considers cricket as a derivative sport, creatively adapted to suit modern Indian socio-cultural needs, fulfil political imperatives and satisfy economic aspirations. Majumdar argues that cricket was a means to cross class barriers and had a healthy following even outside the aristocracy and upper middle classes well over a century ago. Indeed, in some ways, the democratization of the sport anticipated the democratization of the Indian polity itself.
Boria Majumdar reveals the appropriation, assimilation and subversion of cricketing ideals in colonial and post-colonial India for nationalist ends. He exposes a sport rooted in the contingencies of the colonial and post-colonial context of nineteenth- and twentieth-century India. Cricket, to put it simply, is much more than a ‘game’ for Indians.
This study describes how the genealogy of their intense engagement with cricket stretches back over a century. It is concerned not only with the game but also with the end of cricket as a mere sport, with Indian cricket’s commercial revolution in the 1930s, with ideals and idealism and their relative unimportance, with the decline of morality for reasons of realpolitik, and with the denunciation, once and for all, of the view that sport and politics do not mix.
This book was previously published as a special issue of the International Journal of the History of Sport