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Never interfere with your enemy (military mind-set) when he(it) is in process of destroying himself!

India or Indians aren’t really the enemy, far from it. It’s this toxic nationalism mixed with capitalism which is really the enemy. It felt quite strange to see these cricketers donning military caps. Make no mistake, I empathise with the 44 soldiers killed in the incident. They have been dispensed like cannon fodder, their seniors consider them to be, while a young man decided there is no way out for him in this life. The standards of patriotism have changed in India and Pakistan. Roles have sort of reversed. Pakistanis increasingly are questioning the state narrative. If one voice is subdued, another takes its place. But in India, things have regressed tremendously since Modi. He might not have caused as much blood loss as Zia’s policies did (not yet at least) but to India’s collective psyche, serious amount of damage has been inflicted.

The well propagated campaign on Indian media and Bollywood is known to all. Now the like of Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni have decided to jump on the bandwagon. Incidents and killings have been part of our daily life. Pakistan more so than India. If Pakistani cricket team took to such theatrics, it would how many uniform changes would be required for around 80000 deaths (largely civilians)?  Or these changes, this overt display of nationalism is reserved for the armed forces killings only?

This was the 3rd ODI of the series, so it wasn’t just a spur of the moment activity. Caps would have been specially made and BCCI would have approved them. Have the Indian cricket team protested against crime against women (it was women’s day) or for better education or health care? No, because they don’t want to seem political. But when there are commercial benefits attached in the long term, there is no one apolitical. ICC has so far turned a blind eye, unlike when Moeen Ali decided to wear a wrist band for the oppressed people of Gaza.

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Never interfere with your enemy (military mind-set) when he is in process of destroying himself. This quote is often attributed to Napoleon. He possibly said it in war terms. But under Modi, the social fabric of India, a plural India is being torn apart. It us vs. them, and all very black and white. As Pakistanis who has suffered tremendously due to a similar application of fundamentalism, it is a not a moment to start following them. There is no need for PCB to respond in any way.

If Indians are adamant on following this jingoistic, toxic form of nationalism, so be it. If they want to be what they hated most, a jingoistic, religious Pakistan, move aside and watch India hurt itself. Teams wear black arm bands or oberserve a minute of silence to commentate victims. By donning a symbol of aggression, Indian cricket team has only served egos of men, who would happily send these forces in harms way.


Asjad Khan

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