Disclaimer: It is hereby certified that the writer is not a religious fanatic or a jingoist. He is not a RSS agent [In case Digvijay Singh reads this!] and doesn’t support Shivsena. He’s just a common man who loves cricket and is giving vent to his thoughts, after being annoyed by the continuous torrents of arguments on the topic. He’s, in fact, an admirer of the movie ‘Mein Hun Na’ and believes that real life can also have the same happy ending. So, it’s advisable to leave your prejudices and read along.
Recently, the BCCI proposed a cricket series between India and Pakistan in December this year. As it was expected, this news went viral and many people came forward to support or condemn this step. Sunil Gavaskar reproached this step while Bishan Singh Bedi supported it. Political parties are also divided on this issue. The striking point in the arguments of these people, including both supporters and protestors, is that their arguments are purely based on emotions and sentiments. Your support makes you a traitor in the eyes of the protestors and a real ‘Human Being’ according to the supporters.
Personally, I’m against this move. I believe there is no need of reviving any mutual relations with Pakistan at the moment. So here are some practical reasons and facts which I believe will suffice for my statement.
· The only reason Pakistan Cricket Board [PCB] and Pakistan government is desperate for this series is their financial instability and not any change of heart towards our country. They know that they would earn huge amount of money in the form of gate-money, just by hosting the series either in India or a neutral venue. Profits from various other sources come along. Also, other teams won’t play in
Pakistan due to the fear of terrorists, which are again prepared by only. Pakistan
· It’s not that only they will benefit from this; BCCI will also get its share of profit. However, there are some things far above than just the monetary profits!
· Pakistan is still not cooperating with India on the 26/11 terrorist attack. Despite the confessions of Abu Jindal & Ajmal Kasab and various other proofs, the Pakistani officials are adamant and not accepting the fact that ISI has been the mastermind behind these attacks all along. They are just beating around the bush.
· Politics and Cricket are deeply intertwined in Pakistan. The chairman is always appointed by the President, who then nominates the other members. Muhammad Zaka Ashraf, the present chairman, is also a member of Central Executive Committee of Pakistan People’s party (the ruling party). As the custom, he was appointed by President Zardari from the same party. One doesn’t need to have the I.Q. level of Einstein to understand how the monetary profits of PCB would be supporting the ruling party and, in turn, ISI itself.
· Indian cricket team is already facing fitness problems due to the tight schedule, and forcing this series in between will only be a burden, leading to increased pressure on the players.
· Pakistani court has declared Dr. Shakil Afridi as a traitor for helping CIA forces in killing the terrorist Osama bin laden by obtaining DNA samples and sentenced him to 33 years imprisonment. On the other hand, in spite of the US, UK and Indian declaration of Hafiz Saeed, leader of terrorist organizations Jam’at-ud-Da’wah and Lashkar-e-Taiba, as a most wanted terrorist, the Pakistani government is protecting him. He has been giving public speeches and demonstrations on a large scale. He is connected with most of the terrorist attacks in India.
Other than the above-mentioned facts, I would like to comment on some ‘myths’ spread by the supporters of this move.
· Myth: This would lead to better understanding between the two nations and would improve their relations.
Truth: It’s been 65 years after independence and all sorts of efforts, talks, meetings and even the past attempts of reviving the cricket ties just went in vain. So this would be just another fruitless attempt. Also, what sort of understanding are we talking about? Is it - "Come and play cricket with us, earn profits, and after being silent for a year or two attack on us?"
· Myth: Cricket and politics shouldn’t be mixed. Not playing with Pakistan would be an injustice to the Pakistani players.
Truth: Cricket and politics are deeply woven together in Pakistan, as mentioned in the facts. Also, the Pakistani players are playing with all other International members of ICC, and they don’t need to play with India for their bread and butter.
· Myth: Due to International pressure, India has to maintain its relations with the neighbor. So, BCCI is just providing a platform for the government to do so.
Truth: India is obeying international regulations by NOT attacking Pakistan. Even a fool knows what would have been the results if the USA was in place of India, and New York was the victim rather than Mumbai. Pakistan would be swiped out of the world map! There is no need of any fucking platform.
· Myth: We should not let the past incidents interfere with this. They may be solved later too. Those who are against this are against humanity.
Truth: Well, ‘Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.’ Do I need to say more? And, for those talking about humanity, I would just like them to meet the family members of those who died or were injured in Mumbai attacks or any other attacks. Then, they will know what ‘humans’ they are supporting.
· Myth: The people living across the border in Pakistan are just like us. They hear the same songs and watch same movies which we do. Then why because of certain people we should boycott every one of them?
Truth: They are NOT like us!! I’m not saying we should hate them; I even like them. Well, to be honest, I accept that I like to see some Pakistani cricketers playing like Shahid Afridi, but hearing them praising their country is just unbearable. These people support and praise their officials and the ISI. I know everyone loves his/her country and there’s nothing wrong in that, but I know for sure that somewhere deep inside their heart even they know that they are wrong. What their country is doing, is wrong. Moreover, most of the people support and believe in Hafiz Saeed, who has openly said, “There cannot be any peace while India remains intact. Cut them, cut them so much that they kneel before you and ask for mercy.” How can anyone expect me to maintain friendly relations with these people.!
I believe true redemption is when guilt leads to good. This problem could be solved only when these people of Pakistan realize their mistake and would condemn their officials and stop supporting them. This could be achieved only when they themselves suffer; suffering not from any attacks, but from a simple boycott by us. Until and unless these people change, India should totally abstain from observing any sort of connection with them.
I wish if only those people were sane enough to remember what Dumbledore told us- “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”