My Blogs.
to Share my Life Events and Experiences

Football for All | Making India a Footballing Nation






I am often asked, what did I do for my masters? Media and Cultural Studies isn’t an easy answer to explain, especially within the Indian education system. Our course was an attempt to understand culture and its nuances through the means of academic works, theories, and ethnographic frameworks. Media is just another tool to do so.

So, when we say culture, what does it mean? How do we define such a complicated thing like culture? In an easy way, it’s everything. From the way we live, to the way we in vibe things. From the way we comprehend notions, to the way we approach things. Everything basically forms the base of what we call ‘culture’. The stakeholders obviously are the topography, language, and upbringings.
From the region I come from, football forms a very basic and subconscious part of our culture. Some might say Assam isn’t just a hotbed of football, but the North-East India is. But it’s not just about the state, it’s also a lot about the surroundings. The school I studied in had football as a very integral part of its ethos. Years back I wrote how football matches and the annul football tournament in our school shaped our childhood days.

So, when I enrolled myself in a course that studies culture, I fulfilled my appetite and desire to understand and study football as a culture and evaluate the framework behind making a footballing nation, a lot of what is being talked about to day.

Subsequently, I joined the Local Organising Committee of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 after graduation and became fortunate enough to be a part of its legacy programme, Mission XI Million.
Now, many would say that this is an advertorial post for the programme and the event I work for. But as someone who just completed his dissertation on understanding the football culture in India in the current times, trust me this writing is just an extension of the thought process that I invested in my two years of understanding culture within my academic curriculum. Here is one of the last lines from my dear study:
‘There is no survival of the game if people don’t love it enough. A team has no existence if it doesn’t have any fans.’

This precisely is the reason why I love and is moved by the idea and philosophy of Mission XI Million (MXIM). Many of us dream of seeing India as a major footballing giant of the world, but at the same time, we also dream of it being a popular choice of game for majority of the billion population that we have. And for that to happen, we must make this game reach out to everyone, irrespective of the various socio-cultural, religious, and economic barriers that we have.

Kids are the best way to begin with. The philosophy of MXIM is simple - every child has the right to play football, irrespective of the background he or she comes from. The beauty of football lies in the fact that anyone can play it anywhere. To inculcate a healthy culture of football in India, we must start from our schools. The dynamic characteristic of culture is curated by the fact that generations often overtake proceedings. So, if we make the upcoming lot fall in love with the game, a proportion of the task of awaking the sleeping giant of world football is already done.


 
As some of us perceive, football isn’t just about the World Cup, the Champions League, or any other European Leagues. It’s about inclusivity. The fact that football played a major role in cohesion of nationalistic feeling during India’s freedom struggle makes it obvious as to why reaching out to everyone with the game is important.

As a part of MXIM, I have been fortunate to learn many stories as to how important football can be for someone. Even otherwise, be it the girls from Mumbrah or the Yuva team from Jharkhand, the game has shown how empowering the game can be. 

Every day we receive stories from across India, from the interior rural parts, and these stories aren’t just inspiring, but also sentimental to an extent that we start questioning our commitment; are we doing enough?


Amlan Das Amlan Das Author

Total Pageviews

Follow by Email

Follow PseudoFiction on Facebook

Popular Posts

Contact

Please write to me at:
amlandas@pseudofiction.in

Translate