A group of my friends were chatting on WhatsApp yesterday regarding the poor performance of the Indian Cricket Team in the current cricket match being played out at Old Trafford in England.
I pointed out that the Indian Cricket Team does not deserve a win with their series of ducks against some great bowling from the England Team. I also made some caustic comment about the money politics in Indian Cricket, where the infusion of significant money has not only damaged the mindsets of the players, but has also tainted the entire sport. India is the biggest money generator on the world cricket circuit.
I stated that what the Indian team apparently lacks is a serious commitment to play well and win, a passion to excel, and hard work to persist in their endeavour. They seemed to be giving up too easily against not so great a team on the English side. There was no evidence of the Indian Captain’s strategy to win the match.
Someone else commented that may be conducting prayers on behalf and in support of the Indian Cricket Team might be helpful for it to win !
In my mind, given the points I made above, prayers was not a solution at all. If that were the case, meaning that prayers can solve the team’s problems and challenges and help it to win, then why not apply prayers to the intractable conflicts of the world such as the India-Pakistan one, and the current Israeli-Gaza war ? Why not have the Pope come down to Jerusalem and pray to stop the war ? Will Israel or the Hamas listen to the Pope ? Will they listen to their own religious gurus ? Nope. Not going to happen.
There is serious lack of diplomacy and commitment – whether be it sports or wars or conflicts. While there is no connection between the two apparently, I do not subscribe to the view that prayers, or faith, or hope would resolve the issues that the world is facing currently.
Wars are raging in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Western Pakistan, Afghanistan, and now Ukraine. What is the solution ? Is it bombing everyone out, or engage in a multi-faith prayer at each one of these countries ? Or, play the role that the United Nations was endowed with, and strip the powers of the UN Security Council – which knows only one thing, which is veto ?
I think there has to be more active discussions about these conflicts in the social and business circles, as the world is dangerously moving towards a pattern of unending conflicts with no solution in sight. Nobody would be able to solve inter-faith or inter-ethnic conflicts which are thousands of years old. What can be done is to force every one in a conflict to come to a negotiating table at the UN.
So, in a nutshell, prayers are not a solution. It is not even a solution for solving one’s own personal problems. Unfortunately, an emphasis on prayers and religion takes away what an individual or a country (or a cricket team for that matter) should be doing – which is hard work, commitment, passion all combined with honesty and integrity, and in the case of conflicts, a respect for civilian lives. The last piece is sacrosanct, a lost life cannot be replaced. Just look at the damage in Gaza and other war-torn countries. Unbearable. And, the world just passes by as though nothing is happening and nothing indeed can be done by the world community. Abhorrent to say the least.
Think about it for a few minutes today.
09 August 2014