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You know they know you want to rise to their bait. Grit your teeth and ignore

One of the things you learn as a parent of a newborn is to not react every time they cry. Sure, there are times you have to get up and soothe or say “No No”, and when you do that is what judgment is and grandparents are for, but you just cannot get flustered every time your child’s wail presses your invisible buttons. Instead you need to grit your teeth, and let the tantrum blow out by itself, knowing fully well that if you give in, the next episode will be worse, because the baby will have realised that they succeeded in what they were trying to do, which is to get your attention.

I wish our politicians in power got that too. That they do not have to react to every toolkit, every celebrity tweet, every standup comedian’s every YouTube video, every college union leader’s incendiary speech, every cartoon forwarded to an email list.

The power of the state is so overwhelming that it really has no need to feel insecure over a tweet that gets 1k RTs or a YouTube with 10 million views. The superstars of Bollywood do not feel bad about bad reviews of their movies, because they know their audience don’t care for reviews. By reacting to the most insignificant of affronts, the government only hurts its own image by feeding fuel to the worst stereotypes of authoritarianism against it.

This is not just “the right thing to do”, it is realpolitik. By rising to the bait, the government ends up boosting the careers of those they believe they want to get back at, ensuring simply that there will be more of them the next day.

Have you seen Pujara bat? The bowlers want him to drive outside off-stump but he just refuses to. He lets deliveries outside his stump go. Hour after hour. Pujara does not let the pressure of not scoring affect him, because he knows, that his greatest strength is his emotional control over himself, and the bowlers know that too, and that is why he is one of the most fearsome batsmen in Test matches, not because he blasts them out of their attack, but because he grinds them into submission.

Simply by his power to ignore. There is a lesson here. And not just for budding cricketers.

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Disclaimer

This article is intended to bring a smile to your face. Any connection to events and characters in real life is coincidental.



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