Linking cricket to politics is unnecessary. They are coming to play a game and not as ambassadors of Sri Lankan politics or of what has happened in the past. In fact, they are representing our own Indian states and wearing their jerseys. They are here to spread some cheer and smiles and hopefully help their franchisees win. While politicians do have a point in terms of what they are saying, why drag sports into this. How have the cricketers played any role in whatever happened? I believe both sports and politics have their own place and must never be mixed.
Nikhil Sebastian, Chartered Accountant
I think mixing politics with sports is just a form of petty politics. This is done just to eyewash the political supporters and gain public support. But to what extent it is going to change what had happened or even pave the way for a positive change, I have no idea!
Obed Joshua, II M.A. Communication, Madras Christian College
I think it’s ridiculous that people are reacting this way. Honestly, there are far more important things that we choose to ignore. A few days ago, I was taking photographs near Marina beach when cops questioned me if I was planning to bomb the commissioner’s office. The situation is getting out of hand and I honestly think people should get a life.
Aamir Ahmed Khan, 24, Trainee, Ad Agency
I find it absurd that the Government thinks banning Sri Lankan players from playing in Tamil Nadu would bring the issue into limelight and give it due importance. If the ban was that there could be no Sri Lankan players in IPL, maybe the general audience would note that and might get curious enough to find out why. The current effort seem futile and not one that could bring about a change.
Vignesh Swaminathan, 22, Trainee, Ad Agency
Banning Sri Lankan players from playing in Tamil Nadu is not going to change anything. If not Tamil Nadu, the teams will play in other states. This could possibly mean more press coverage but will that solve the problem? Will that bring an end to the way people are treated in Sri Lanka? Quite doubtful.
I strongly condemn the idea of Sri Lankan players playing in Tamil Nadu. As a nation, we should stand by the sentiments of Tamil people in Sri Lanka. I cannot enjoy watching the match in TN while people there suffer. Let our Government echo the voice of the people and say a "NO" to this cruel treatment. When it comes to humanity, let us set the entertainment quotient apart and be there for the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. We Indians are great fans of cricket. But more than cricket, we should respect the pain of the lost lives in SL.
Saranya Dayanand, 24, Research Analyst
Cricket and politics are two separate entities and should not be mixed. Evidently, our policymakers seem blind to this simple thought. People do feel for the plight of the Tamils in Sri Lanka but I fail to understand how the refusal to host the Sri Lankan team in Chennai, while they tour the rest of the nation, can further the cause of offering the Tamils justice. Clearly the entire country is not in unison, with the Centre merely giving in to Tamil Nadu’s stand.
Whether it be the ancient Olympics played between Greek city-states, the ping-pong diplomacy during the Nixon era or even Aamir Khan’s victory over British Imperialism in Lagaan, politics and sports have always been mixed. Sporting loyalties are perennially equated with nationalism — remember the Tebbit Test? Aren’t the sports pages filled with hyper-masculine images and words like ‘war’ and ‘battle’?
The more pertinent question would, therefore, be to ask what politics should be mixed with sports. The iconic images of the Black Power salute during the 1968 Olympics and that of Nelson Mandela wearing a Springbok rugby shirt after the 1995 Rugby World Cup come to mind.