CSK Fans in Dilemma: Hold Black Flags for Cauvery Issue or Cheer?
It’s not an easy choice.
‘CSK is not a team, it is an emotion.’
Thousands of yellow jersey clad men and women scurried to find a spot in the queue which didn’t seem to end. Sudden loud cheers of ‘CSK! CSK!’ were drowned in ‘Cauvery for Tamil Nadu’ slogans. The mood outside the Chepauk stadium in Chennai on Tuesday, 10 April, was something the city hadn’t witnessed in a long time.
As dusk crept in, scores of people blocked traffic in Anna Salai, one of the most important routes of Chennai, protesting against IPL matches being conducted in the city. They urged the fans to not go for the match and instead join them in raising their voice against the Centre for not constituting the Cauvery Management Board.
By the time the slogans grew louder, police personnel managed to quell the situation.
As fans waited to enter the stadium, many discussed in hushed whispers why they do not want to mix politics and cricket, while some didn’t want to let anything dampen their excitement to watch their favourite players in action.
Vendors selling flags, caps, face paint, and other CSK merchandise were disappointed over the meek sales they made all day.
Divided By Issue
Cricket fans are divided, though.
In the past few days, a number of film personalities and political leaders have appealed to fans to not cheer for the IPL matches as a sign of protest.
Superstar Rajinikanth had also appealed to the players to sport black bands as a mark of protest. A fringe group had even warned that they will picket the stadium.
As a precautionary measure, over 4,000 police personnel were deployed to ensure law and order.
Fans were given strict rules to be followed at the stadium. The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association said in a release that spectators would not be allowed to carry firecrackers, inflammable materials and firearms, as well as bags, mobile phones, brief-cases, pagers, radios, digital diaries, laptops, computers, tape-recorders, binoculars, remote control devices, remote control car-keys, or any other electronic devices.
A question posed by most protesters was how the people of Tamil Nadu can cheer while their farmers are suffering without water. Isn’t joining the protest for the cause of the state a priority, they asked.
We spoke to cricket fans across Tamil Nadu and some said they were too excited to watch the CSK back on the field after a two-year dry spell. Some, however, felt they were in no mood to celebrate.
What do you think?
Would you hold a black flag in protest for the Cauvery issue and ask for IPL matches to be shifted out for Chennai, or do you believe the two shouldn’t be mixed and the show must go on?
Let us know in the comments below.
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