Swati CA

Swati_CA column in The Hindu Business Line

Monday, June 12, 2006

Far away from football

How nice if the Indian team had made it to the World Cup
Wherever I turned, I could notice that the event had transformed Germany into a massive football ground, with the country's economy getting a terrific kick in the bargain. Almost every inch of space was turning in money for the country, what with ardent football fans pouring in.



  • At 12:26 PM, Blogger Virtuous Enterprise said…

    Dear Swati,
    I am trying to detect a common thread between your last week's and this week's poser.Both can be considered as indicators of the quickening pace of the process of Globalisation.
    I tried to argue last week that we must know Chinese and the Chinese not just to leverage each one's competences and resources to forge ahead in the race for economic supremacy but also to strengthen our cultural bondage.Economics is all about (atleast till now)things material and culture has less to do with material prosperity. But today they are increasingly converging.Even otherwise as Sri Sri Ravishankarji observes "opposite values are complimentary".
    To this week's poser of the possibility of seeing Indian Football Team in the next edition of the tournament in South Africa in 2010,I would like to offer my observations from the economic perspective.
    An interesting piece by no other than the Secretary-General of the United Nations,Kofi Annan (The Hindu dated 15th June 2006)shed some illumination from the Globalisation perspective.Globalisation is much more than Coke or Pepsi ruling the beverage market at the global level.The Rise and Rise of English is also Globalisation.In the same way,Football represents Globalisation from the Sports constituency.Yoga represents from another constituency though how much India benefited out of this is another question.
    The whole process can be viewed from seemingly two different angles:identifying,nurturing and competing in few areas where not many would find it easy to outcompete you.The other aspect is being part of those which have pervasive influence.This again can be of two types.The first one consists of things like English,Football and Yoga.The first two came outside India.But we are as smart as anybody in English but in the case of Football we are nowhere.In this category,our motto should be "India Everwhere".We are yet to open our account here.The objective here is not winning but effective participation.Whereas in the first category (IT & ITES) winning is the objective.As far as Yoga is concerned,it went from India but we failed to take owership.It could at present rate lose its right to the status of the creator or originator.
    To a less extent England faces a similar situation with regard to English.The language has truly become global but it is less of British English and more of American English.
    The challenge therefore are different.In the case of Yoga it has to lay claim to the concept and practice in an appropriate manner.In Football india has to gain the status of a playr of consequence.Whether it could happen by 2010 is difficult to say with certainty.But the play has to start right away.
    S.Gnana Haran.

  • At 10:30 AM, Blogger Virtuous Enterprise said…

    Dear Swati,
    Further to the earlier posting,I would like to furnish some more interesting insights about Globalisation and Sports.I quote from Thomas Freidman's The Lexus and the Olive Tree(this is prior to his best selling The World Is Flat):
    "If the Cold War were a sport,it would be sumo wrestling,says John Hopkins University foreign affairs professor Michael Mandelbaum.'It would be two big fat guys in a ring, with all sorts of posturing and rituals and stomping of feet, but actually very little contact,until the end of the match,when there is a brief moment of shoving and the loser gets pushed out of the ring,nobody gets killed."
    By contrast,if globalisation were a sport,it would be the 100-meter dash over and over and over.And no matter how many times you win,you have to race again the next day.And if you lose by just one-hundredth of a second,it can be as if you lost by an hour.
    To paraphrase German political theorist Carl Schmitt,the Cold War was a world of "friends",and "enemies".The globalisation world,by contrast,tends to turn all friends and enemies into"competitors".
    The above extract,I am sure would help relate sports to globalisation in a correct perspective.But I still feel that Football can be related to globalisation,particularly to the level of participation and competition.Today it is the only game attracting maximum number of countries,fought fiercely, and the winner takes all.But as Carl Schmitt observed it is all about competition and competitors.Increasingly even in B-Schools examples from the Sports arena are used to teach Stratgy and not War as it used to be.
    S.Gnana Haran.


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