Monday, March 28, 2011

India-Pakistan World Cup Semi-finals: The Buzz on Twitter is only Growing Louder

Looks like it's Wednesday Fever this week, all over the media. There is expectation in the air - along with anxiety, excitement, and even a thirst for each other's blood! Well, that's what is being made of the India-Pakistan Semi-finals of Cricket World Cup 2011, at the "encounter" at Mohali. Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai of CNN-IBN tweets: "after watching most of our news channels, feel we want to make it out to be world war 3. jingoism 'sells'. sad.". And features a story that reads: "Nothing is more important than Ind-Pak"!

Yes, this is Big - no doubting that. Anything associated with cricket is Big in India, and anything that has to do
with Pakistan triggers an odd combination of hormones spontaneously in the general public. And this is World Cup Semi-finals, featuring arch rivals India and Pakistan! As another prominent journalist, Barkha Dutt, has tweeted: "India & Pakistan are dysfunctionally fixated with each other. As Bono would say, Cant live with or without you". Now, with the Pakistan Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani having been formally invited by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the India-Pakistan Semi-finals, there is pressure mounting on not just the players and people of India and Pakistan, but even those involved in organising the event and the security forces, who would be geared up for "World War 3"! 

Chill folks, this is a match. This is definitely THE match, but still, it is just a match. There was a commentator who said on Radio, "Lose the Finals, boys, but Win THIS one"! If you are not from India or Pakistan, you may not be able to actually feel it - but the mood is very much that of two nations all set for War! "India-Pakistan", "Mohali" and "Gilani" are three among the top ten trending topics in India on Twitter. Ever imagined "Gilani" being among top tweets in India? So, how would, or rather, why would people on either side of the border settle for the "this is just a match" theory? 

One has got to admit - this is NOT just another match, going by the popular sentiment that is fed liberally by the media fuel. There was a Tweet by a user: "News networks already going bonkers building up the India/Pakistan match. How can either team afford to lose?". That was, at the time of writing, a "Top Tweet", already Retweeted 12 times! It's getting HOT - and the "war" is still two days away! 

Rajdeep Sardesai tried to put things in perspective: "Pak manager intikhab alam bang on: says its a do or die match for both teams, but it aint war, and no one will be killed.". Well, hopefully so! In any case, Twitter is bound to be abuzz with live updates and do its bit to build it up beyond boiling point. It's not all in the game any more! 

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