India, a land famous for mysticism and sages, is now seeing a new phenomenon where the men of religion and philosophy are moving out of their tantric way of life to give their opinion on more materialistic issues of the world. So, starting from politics to sports, everything apparently warrants an opinion from them these days.
So, in keeping with this tradition, India's most famous God-man is going to host a football match in the country.
Famous for brilliantly twisting his body to seemingly impossible pyrotechnics, Baba Ramdev of India has made his name among one of the most vocal ambassadors of “Indianness”. With a genuine disregard for everything Western including medicines and music, Babaji has emerged as the frontrunner for jingoism in the country in recent times.
Now he wants to expand his reach to other things which is, of course, natural. A man of his calibre is capable of much more than what he currently portrays.
In the first of its kind event, the Yoga Guru has been named as the brand ambassador of a charitable football match to be organised at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. The match will be played by a team of BJP MPs against a team consisting of Bollywood celebrities on July 24 in the capital of the country.
This match is a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's promotion for his Swatch Bharat Abhiyan. Although, the jury is still out on exactly what football has got to do with the nationwide cleanliness drive.
The team of Parliamentarians will be captained by singer turned politician Babul Supriyo while the Bollywood team will be led by actor Abhishek Bachchan and will include the likes of Ranbir Kapoor and Dino Morea in the team.
To woo more donations and raise up the maximum money that is possible, the program will also include a short performance before the match. Music composer and singer Pritam Chakraborty will be teaming up with Babul Supriyo to entertain the masses that actually turn up for the game.
What's more? They will be singing a tune that is not totally unexpected.
“I along with Pritam will compose the theme song of next year’s cup and we will try to create a super-hit song like Shakira’s Waka Waka,” said Supriyo.
On a more serious level, the match is also intended to create awareness and promote the game of football in the country before we gear up to host the U-17 FIFA World Cup next year. In fact, AIFF chief, Praful Patel has designated the responsibility of coming up with the official anthem of the event to Supriyo.
What this event is raising money for is still unclear at this point but it certainly seems like an innovative method to draw attention to the game. How the match turns out will be interesting to watch and follow.