Cricket's contribution to India's national solidification
Brightman, Jason H.
Kapur, Paul S.
Khan, Feroz H.
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India's extremely diverse society has managed to hold together for over 60 years. There are a number of possible explanations for this, but one explanation that is often underappreciated is popular culture, and especially sport. Specifically, cricket has had a number of effects that would appear to have contributed to social cohesion. This study asks the following question: What effects has cricket had on the solidification of the Indian nation-state? This thesis focuses on three of cricket's contributions in particular. First, it finds that cricket served as a catalyst, reflection, and expression of India's independence struggle. Second, cricket provided a central social activity that created shared experiences and memories; and doing so helped represent and meld many ethno-religious sub-cultures into one broader Indian polity. Finally, cricket served as a tool for international diplomacy and as one of India's greatest expressions of national prestige. This study looks at Indian solidification by shining the narrow light of cricket through the prism of Indian nationalism. Thereby providing a small, but important piece to the complex puzzle of what brought India together.
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