Speculation is on whether India can win their second successive World Cup title or whether Pakistan can repeat their feat if 1992 when they came from nowhere to lift their maiden title.
A World Cup victory could put the minority sections in India under more stress
But given the growing tendency of homogenisation in the Indian society now under the leadership of the right-wing power-holders, one feels that it will be better for India if it doesn't win the cup for the third time. Sounds blasphemous?
Ever since the right-wing leadership took control in New Delhi in May last year, India has seen its pluralism being put under a serious challenge by those seeking to make India a homogenised Hindu state. The right-wing forces have asserted their nationalism at every opportunity and the minority sections have been at the receiving end.
The constant targetting of religious minorities in India hasn't improved even after PM Modi's assurance
The situation hasn't improved even after Prime Minister Narendra Modi stepped in at various instances to appeal for religious harmony. Churches are being regularly attacked, religious conversion has become a trend while beef has been banned with strict measures.
The nationalist forces could become more assertive if India wins this WC
One is afraid that if India wins the World Cup over this, the majoritarian nationalism will get more aggressive and the minority sections may have to bear more brunt. We have seen in history that sports often becomes a major medium of expression for the vigour of nationalism and a World Cup title in cricket could see the same story unfolding in India as well.
Do we really want a national feat turn into a bitter experience for our fellow countrymen who are increasingly being targetted as the 'others' since they belong to the minority sections?
Pakistan should also not win the WC as it may boost its divisive forces
A success for Pakistan in World Cup cricket could also prove to be counter-productive for as sociologist Ashish Nandy feels, just like making India's macho and hypermasculine nationalism more intense, Pakistan's winning the cup would feed its divisive forces like the army and the extremist factions.
One is not sure whether anti-India activities in Pakisan could gain momentum if Misbah-ul-Haq's team clinches the title in Melbourne on March 29.
In 1993, just a year after Pakistan had won their only World Cup in Australia, we had seen how serial blasts had rattled the city of Mumbai, resulting in the death of over 250 people. Did the success in cricket boost the minds of the merchants of death in Pakistan to settle scores with India?
Is it better hence to hope that any one team from Australia, South Africa or New Zealand win the trophy and stop cricket from fuelling the nationalist or extremist minds of the sub-continent?