March 01, 2008

OK, not Sweden

Off the face of my bat, such as it is ... I can find little respect for someone who publicly refers to someone else as an "obnoxious weed", perhaps especially when that someone else is an opponent on a sports field.

I would love to hear, though, any thoughts you might have about these:

1) Would there have been as much fuss had it not been Hayden who said that about Harbhajan, but some Indian player who has, for example, played Ranji Trophy against Harbhajan? Consider that there have been incidents in Ranji Trophy matches where players have gone after each other with stumps. It seems likely that they also yelled names at each other.

2) Is an insult from an Australian cricketer to an Indian cricketer assumed to be an insult to all Indians? Why? Is an insult from one Indian cricketer to another Indian cricketer assumed to be an insult to all Indians? Why?

3) How is Hayden's use of "obnoxious weed" significantly different from any of these:
  • Raj Thackeray saying in public about "outsiders" that they "come and spread filth" in Bombay.

  • Columnists and politicians publicly referring to people whose ideology differs from their own, or who merely think differently, as "traitors" and "anti-nationals".

  • Bloggers publicly calling other bloggers "bastard" or "sicko", "congenital idiot" or "prize ass". Or worse.

  • Aamir Khan referring to Salman Khan in a newspaper interview as "unprofessional" and refusing to work with him ever again, which apparently happened after they did work in a film together.

  • Harbhajan saying "Teri maa ki ..." to an Australian cricketer.
4) Friend had a colleague who changed sex, M to F. Friend got asked by all who knew the situation, what's it been like working with this person? Finally, friend said to several of us gathered one evening: "I don't care about the sex, male or female she's just obnoxious!" Should we, or someone, have reprimanded friend, as Hayden got reprimanded?

5) Is it possible Hayden thinks Harbhajan is from Sweden, and so actually said "obnoxious Swede"?


Anonymous said...

the tour came full circle when the aussie manager clarified that Hayden was only praising bajji in Hindi for always aiming for a line and bowling the non-scorable deliveries on the spot -- "ab naksha ye wide".

Anonymous said...

Hayden thinks Bajji is noble. We know Nobel was a swede. therefore...

Transmogrifier said...

The difference between Hayden's comment about Bhajji and the other examples you mention is this:

1. Both Hayden and Harbhajan have a legitimate arena to compete in - the cricket oval - an prove their prowess, instead of bickering about who said what to whom. The fact that instead of just slogging it out on a cricket ground both sides are engaging in word-fights annoys me more than anything. Stop talking and start playing.

2. In most other examples you mentions (politicians, bloggers etc.) word-fight is the main arena they play in. No matter how shallow and petty their words are, using words and ideas to express their opinions about their opponents is their main means of confrontation. So even though it sounds bad when politicians and bloggers say or write stupid things about other politicians and bloggers, I am not worried as long as they keep to words, ideas and opinions. When they start using other areas of confrontation (other than legitimate means like running for a public office), politicians take to attacking people, breaking car and bus windshields, burning etc. and generally behaving like whackos.

Thankfully I haven't seen this tendency to duke it out on the streets among bloggers yet...

The gist of my lengthy comment is - confrontation is a fact of life, you can't escape it. We have designed legitimate arenas of confrontation such that people from all sides can duke it out while imposing the least cost on society. For politicians the legitimate arena is the world of ideas and opinions and the halls of the legislative bodies of the land. When they step out of this and start duking it out on streets...they look stupid and we as a society bear the brunt.

Same applies to cricket players.. when they start duking it out on the air-waves instead of on the ground, they look stupid and the game as a whole bears the brunt.

Anonymous said...

Unless there's something more in there, I cant see how Aamir's 'unprofessional' comes even close to being bracketed with the others.


Dilip D'Souza said...

Anon both: very good! I suspect there's potential in "ab naak se ..." something. I'm working on it.

Tmog: confrontation is indeed a fact of life, and you're right to underline that. Like you, I think, I have no problem with that. I'm now so tired of the constant accusations and counter-accusations. The victory in the first final, like the victory in the 3rd Test at Perth, is far and away the best response to the insults and so forth.

Anonymous said...

bajji is already an over-enthu guy. He dont need no weed, ab naak se.