Indo Pak Cricket match – misplaced hopes
PCB Chairman Shahryar Khan visited Kolkata to meet BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmia to revive the Cricket ties between India and Pakistan. Shahryar Khan said “From what I know the Board of Control for Cricket in India is also willing to play the series with us but now everything is in the hands of the Indian government"
Media in its part has been pumping up volume, no doubt spurred by appropriate incentive to the reporter and the media house. I heard someone saying that ‘Indo-Pak’ series is very special and many look forward it. Nice words indeed. But it never said that there are many who are opposing to that. If BJP has reasonably good memory, it would remember that most of their leaders too were opposing cricketing tie with Pakistan, not too far in the past.
Primarily there is nothing for India to gain by playing Cricket with Pakistan. There is no goodwill that will be built by the game; in fact the opposite will be the outcome of competitive games.
So the question arises what can be the rationale or justification BCCI can provide to restore cricketing ties with Pakistan? Most of them are fig-leafs not large enough to cover the ugly truth.
It is always stated that Games pave way for peace between India and Pakistan. Competitive sports do not result in deeper friendship but rather it aggravates animosity. The famous Muzafer and Caroline Sherif experiment shows that a competitive sport that sets one as winner and the other as loser is anything but a bonding experience; it is a sure shot divider. Such games only widen the fissure, create more animosities, and make each group become more prejudiced against the other. If people want understanding between India and Pakistan to improve, competitive cricket should not be played between India and Pakistan.
At this time, when PCB’s financial status is a mere dust in comparison to BCCI and in doldrums, this cricketing event will breath oxygen into the dying PCB. Imposing advantage on Pakistan’s cricket coffers is typical Indian stupidity that also deeply damages national honor.
However, Jagmohan Dalmia pursuing the matter shows that neither thrusting money into enemy’s hands nor belittling national honor seem to matter to either him or BCCI. What matters is revenue to BCCI, a legitimate reason, behind which the cronies will make a killing. The personal gains is a bigger reason, the elephant in the room, gains to BCCI cronies, the media, TV channels, sponsors and their fixers.
The real reason is money. Let us have no illusion about it. Indian cricket is awash with money. Pakistan cricket board is simply dried up due to its own folly. Indo-Pak series, by virtue of its size is a killing to be made for BCCI and PCB. Both gentlemen at the forefront know that once the game starts, it is easy trick to pull money out of the pockets of gullible Indians and Pakistanis. It is money and nothing else.Probably some underhand dealing by PCB to BCCI officials, greasing required for decisions to be made.
From national honor perspective, there are many reasons why we should not play. I list some of them one by one.
1. Kashmir Policy: Pakistan pursues a hostile policy in Kashmir against India. As a result Pakistan fires into our border regularly, sends in terrorists into Kashmir to kill Indians. In this backdrop, Pakistan pursuing a Cricket opportunity with India reeks of hypocrisy. Probably.
2. 26/11: The wounds of 26/11 will not heal unless the perpetrators are brought to justice. There are overwhelming evidences to nail Pakistan’s culpability in 26/11 attack. The terrorists in India were in constant touch with Pakistani Handlers. There were links to LeT. ISI. David Headley interrogation tied up the missing links. Yet, Pakistan not only refuses to punish the guilty individuals (we cannot expect Pakistan Government to punish itself) but also gives honor and respectability to such people
3. Dawood Ibrahim: It is a common knowledge that Dawood was given asylum in Pakistan. Dawood is also is one of the top 10 most dreaded criminals according to Forbe’s magazine. He is supposed to have had close contact with Al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden. He was provided asylum to escape Indian law and supported by Pakistan’s Governmental and Military agencies that made him grow to International notoriety. While Dawood Ibrahim, the man who has killed hundreds of Indians, continues to get Pakistani protection, only callous Indian government would opt to shake its hands still dripping with Indian’s blood.
4. Bangladesh Hindu genocide: The Bangladesh genocide is an issue still not settled till date. Unlike Germany which apologized for the ‘holocaust’ Pakistan has made no statement resembling an apology. None was demanded by the then secular governments. The toll is put between 300,000 to 3,000,000 people. Hindus were targeted, identified by physical differences and selectively killed and left to rot. The number of rapes, women who were used as sex-slaves was in the range of 200,000 to 400,000.
Should Arun Jaitley be once again found to be instrumental in resuming cricket diplomacy, this surely will be one more step to take Narendra Modi ji towards the opposition seat in 2019. I have a feeling that the triumvirate is arrogantly confident that they will be able to bulldoze their way with public opinion by offering economic growth. Modi ji should remember that 2014 was won because of the Hindu votes coming together. By acting like Congress, by trying to befriend Pakistan when Pakistan has offered nothing in return, in fact, added insult to injury, BJP is in self-defeating path. BJP is not Congress. BJP supporters, especially RSS kind of organizations that have minds of their own, will not pay mindless obeisance to Modi ji.
The support that brought BJP to power is pride incarnate, to a fault. Insulting that pride is not without consequence. Modi-Amit-Arun triumvirate cannot put a Pakistan appeasing act above the sentiments of its supporters. It will be disaster for BJP and consequently for India.
The question that needs to be asked is this: "What will happen if India and Pakistan do not play a match?" Answer is NOTHING for India and everything for Pakistan. So if someone supports resumption of cricketing ties with Pakistan, whose side is he/she?