Journal article Open Access

Testing the Boundaries of Provincialism: IPL's Transnational Spectacles and Pure Play

Damai, Puspa

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been characterized by its detractors as nothing more than a tamasha.
Any defense of the tournament should start with an outright refutation of this appellation. This paper
contends that the IPL must wear the nomenclature as a badge of honor. It argues that tamasha is and
should be the soul of the IPL; and to expect it to be otherwise is to impose on it the usual trammels of
nationalism and other political and cultural ideologies. As a truly transnational spectacle, the IPL mimics
and mocks capitalism, thereby exhibiting its subversive agency; as a carnival both cultural and political, the
IPL crosses the limits of provincialism to champion the politics of cosmopolitanism; and as a tamasha, it
approximates the status of art – pure play.

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