ICC – Indian code of conduct

Published on Times of India on 28th February 2011 http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tiger-trail/entry/icc-indian-code-of-conduct

There is an unwritten code of conduct that had been drafted in thin air from time immemorial, a set of guidelines for the day to day functioning for us Indians. I call this handbook the Indian Code of Conduct (ICC) and I am yet to determine who authored the peculiar set of protocols, procedures, policies and practices.

We have to prove time and over we are the most emotional creatures on this planet. The vagaries of the emotional Indian cricket fan’s mind are quite fascinating. We praise the men in blue to the bluest of skies when the going is good and we showcase it by no ordinary means. We build statues for our cricket players (actors & netas too) garland them with currency notes, raise their cut outs to the heavens, fast for them, write poems for them, build places of worship for them and much more causing vertigo at a fervid pace. It takes a partial slump; a defeat and we abandon the same men we worshipped. We drop them like hot potatoes, abuse them and chart out all kinds of inappropriate relationships between them and their family members in different vernaculars that echo across the length and breadth of this country on social networking sites. Some take to the roads, burn their effigies and conduct funeral processions for them with garlands made of slippers. And over time or sometimes, in no time when the fallen idols have resurrected themselves, we do what we do best; we begin our adulation and fawning all over again. There is no such thing as consistency. Maybe there is, we consistently give vent to emotional extremities.

Yesterday’s game of cricket perfectly highlights this conduct. My timeline on Twitter was filled with tweets praising the Indian team to the celestial spheres in the first half; it was music to the senses. Alas, it all changed in a flash, the Indian team was receiving the highest form of abuse in the second half of the game. Compare this to the way the Aussie team gets treated by their fans. Through thick and through thin, the fans are consistently backing them. Is it difficult to keep our emotions in check? Somebody proudly tweeted, “We are like this only!” Cute.

“We are like this only”. That’s why we imbibe the “chalta hai” attitude. The “chalta hai” attitude is an attitude that has been proudly bequeathed from generation to generation without strictly skipping even one generation. We have bettered this attitude with time and money. If there is a rule to be followed, we will break that very rule. Traffic rules are to be broken, overtake from the left, honk endlessly, drink and drive, over speed, park in a no parking zone, stop the traffic behind you because you are involved in a transaction at a busy intersection buying fake Ray Ban glasses from a ten year old kid, who cares, you are the King of the road. Hundred rupees will take care of that sooty-faced cop who has sucked in all the carbon monoxide on this planet and is till surviving and now fortunate enough to fine you. A fabulous surname and political clout will ensure you are not jailed for committing the worst road offence that may take a few lives too. We enjoy breaking civic rules or any other rule, which has been formulated for easier day-to-day living. How many stand in a line at ticket counters? How many don’t buy tickets in the first place and enjoy free commutes? If there is a garbage bin that the municipality has installed on your road, how many actually dump their garbage in it and how many actually walk up to the bin and dump rubbish outside of it despite burning twenty calories walking the full length. Posters get stuck on walls which clearly state, “Stick no bills”, men walk up to walls, which have signboards stating “do not urinate” and urinate on the same wall. We offer bribes without a whimper, no questions asked, with utmost servitude we part with our hard earned money. Bribes today have therefore become an accepted norm. I was disgusted to learn that bribes are taken even for a death certificate! There is no respite even for the dead.

Can we change this attitude, pick ourselves up and do the right thing? Let’s start small and finish big. Back your team or your idol with passion. Criticize constructively, it helps everyone. Revolt against corrupt netas, not against a badly performing cricket team (unless they are guilty of match fixing) or an actor whose movies are bombing at the box office. Support a cause for animals, for earth, a needy person or somebody who you just believe in, share your knowledge, educate someone, follow the rules, question the offender, don’t pay bribes. The society is rotting at a fast pace, only you can rewrite your own code of conduct and save it.


10 Responses to “ICC – Indian code of conduct”

  1. […] post: ICC – Indian code of conduct « Sharmila says… Related Posts:ICC World Cup Live Cricket Streaming, Live Cricker Match … … tollywood […]

  2. Sharmila,

    Everything you say here is right and I agree.

    But let me caution you, too.

    Go to Germany sometimes and you will see why.

    It’s like your description of the perfect world. No bribes EVER. Traffic rules are followed even at 3am or when nobody is looking.

    Rules for when you can mow your lawn, rules for when you are allowed to hang up your laundry in public or when you must sweep the sidewalk in front of your house.

    But, Sharmila, go out into those perfectly clean streets and meet the people who live there. You will soon realize that happiness is not at all the result of this kind of order in daily life. The average German is rather grumpy, not happy and easygoing as I found the average Indian on my too short visit there. In have to admit that I adored the Mumbai drivers and rather enjoyed the exercise I got as a pedestrian constantly on the jump.

    Again, Sharmila, please don’t get me wrong, everything you say is right. Bot every coin has two sides.

    Also, could it be that my affair with India is still in the honeymoon stage… 🙂

    • Fabulous perspective from a non Indian. Yes, i agree, rules are not the barometer for happiness. Despite all the irregular rules, dare I say that the average Indian is not grumpy. Even in Australia, rules would be followed. Somehow, we are just not able to come to grip these rules in India. We have never been able to crack the plot as to why too!

  3. BTW, where are Reader & ML?

  4. MonaLisa Says:

    Nicely written post…
    I wonder where did my first comment vanish which I saw up here after posting it…

  5. Anand Khare Says:


    Social behavior and social conduct are tough subjects to understand. It is a pity that hardly any research is done on this in India. Code of conduct of any society is most difficult to flout and most of the old civilizations run and depend on them to maintain their social fabric and identity. Constitution and legal frame work is only there to help the rulers whose religions,intentions and background keep on changing.

    I don’t understand what is wrong with being emotional. Emotional Intelligence is something which is taking over IQ in most of psychology tests. So let us be like that and enjoy our cricket. Cricket players who doesn’t perform should quit themselves rather than being pushed or stoned.

    However, we definitely need to work on ‘chalta hai’ and ‘ expletives made with blood relations’. There is definitely some scope on improvement in every country.By the way, what about those four letter expletives four times in a short sentence used in developed world .

    Thanks for this timely post on TOI. Time runs fast. I feel like commenting on a rather stale blog. I wish to see this page vibrant and happening always.

    • Thanks Anand. Emotions are great, EQ is important and rightfully so. But, my point is the extremities within a few minutes. This does not garner well. DO you find this blog less vibrant? I put up the posts here two days after it goes live on TOI. Cannot do so before. I said I will write my some blogs exclusively here. Will surely do that too! 🙂

      • Anand Khare Says:

        Yes. In pre-TOI days, by this time comments count would be 100.:).
        Different subject on this page is a welcome idea. May be you can divide categories. Political etc on TOI blog and filmi,social etc on this page.

    • Fair enough and feedback taken. Reader too had a lot to say about this. Probably the reason for Melwyn & Shubha & Aish & Lakshmi not to surface here any more too!

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