June 3, 2012

Indian Premier League

Kolkata's IPL celebrations


In the Times of India, Swapan Dasgupta tries to analyse the backlash against the massive celebrations in Kolkata after Kolkata Knight Riders won the IPL.

The answer, it would seem, can be located in Kolkata’s institutionalised schizophrenia. Like Ireland, middle-class Kolkata is blessed with a diaspora larger than the resident population. The exiles, who look back wistfully at the city they grudgingly abandoned, have nurtured an image of a Kolkata that corresponds to their own self-image: gentle, cultured, idealistic, romantic and blessed with an innate sense of decency. It is not that such a Kolkata has ceased to exist, but that this constitutes a fragment of the many enclaves that make up the city.

In the Hindu, Arghya Sengupta says the IPL win was not a victory for the city of Kolkata but for the Knight Riders brand.

Central to KKR's popularity is the reconceptualisation of Kolkata, the city, into Kolkata Knight Riders, the cricketing brand. A Bengali-spouting Shah Rukh Khan professing his love for the city and its people, the ill-fated anointment of Sourav Ganguly as the first captain of the team, the team's Bengali theme song, its wide-ranging merchandise with the KKR logo emblazoned prominently, backed up by arousing chants and electronic diktats at the Eden Gardens galvanising the home crowd into getting behind the team are all elements of the aggressive marketing campaign that has both created and sustained a faithful fan base, which provides the plinth for this reconceptualisation.


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