If you would like to read something about the British manners that does not exactly sound like British in taste, then you should visit Mihir Bose’s blog at the BBC. Mihir Bose, the BBC’s sports editor of Indian origin, is facing an arguably very hostile white British audience these days. His fault: he pokes his nose in the British sports affairs, which is what his job is anyway, and hurts one or the other group of sports followers, who then start questioning his journalistic credence.
The tirade against him became more vicious since the recent reporting about Stanford’s wrongdoings in the USA. Obviously, the controversy has hit the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) ethically and financially both. Now Bose keeps them reminding, (in his own words) first of all, why they shouldn’t have jumped into bed with an individual, not even a board, who was discarded by other cricketing bodies, and secondly and more importantly, Bose opens the Pandora’s box by asking the ECB to live on with the IPL’s success and BCCI’s monopoly in world cricket. And this is enough to hurt an already fragile British identity, in cricketing terms in particular.
Now, the Brits have always had this great admiration for etiquette in public life, which also suggests they wouldn’t call Bose any names either targeting his skin color or indicating his place of birth, both. Definitely not so at a forum like the BBC. Neither would the leading broadcasting corporation allow it, even if they desired. So what they do instead, is to target Bose with more acceptable other names, such a shoddy writer, shame for the BBC and a waste of taxpayer’s money etc. These accusations often take an alarming proportion, and start sounding monotonous and boring. You would get the hint of whatever annoyed them in truth though, all along. A small group of readers follows Mihir whatever he decides to write about, be it cricket, football or rugby. Very few try to intervene, since that would mean spending hours responding back and forth to Mihir bashers. On offenders’ part, they seem to be prepared for playing long innings with plenty of time and purpose behind their devious effort.
I remember watching and admiring English cricket in the 80s, as a kid and teenager, and the fact that British players came across as the most gentlemanly in those days. With a shift taking place in the world cricket and world order both, during the last three decades, British etiquette may have also vanished, one assumes. Some English fans are going overboard, as a result, watching an Indian state them the obvious about their sports. The language and the game the British invented may not be entirely British anymore today, the players they patronized so proudly may not be entirely native anymore today; a brand of the stature of Jaguar may not be their own entity anymore now, neither may the Commonwealth they were the chief patrons of, till recently. Yet, some of them can be found stating their opinions publicly in a manner that is nothing else but pure colonial in nature, as witnessed in the above weblog.
Either the BBC has goofed up in allowing a worthless journo like Bose to where he may be now, difficult to assume it might be the case though, or those moaning against him can safely be assumed to be racially driven in their actions. The BBC should make its stand pretty clear at least, by stating whom they saw as the chief culprit here, Bose for his alleged poor writing or his accusers for continuing to harasse him without any principled stand?