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Straight Bat: Indo-Pak cricket is always a Kashmir war

  • Published at 09:56 am July 13th, 2019
india pakistan
File photo of Indian captain Virat Kohli, left and Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, right

Sports brings out the primal side of humans and it is most evident during Indo-Pak cricket matches

Any sport is a proxy tribal war. Sports violence has been with us since it begun. The fierceness with which people support a team, wear their jerseys and turn on the hate-the-opponents machine is quite revealing. Some ancient memory is revived that makes us all want to kill. 

This has been extensively studied for football but not enough in case of cricket. Our hostilities are determined by both historical memories and current relations.  The supporters are also warriors of sorts, trying to wolf down the enemy. Everyone loves to hate.  

Two countries that literally survive by hating each other are India and Pakistan. Disputed Kashmir keeps both together. The two countries have attacked each other many times. 

However, one can’t go to war all the time due to weather turbulence so the only way to keep the crowd amused while waiting for the next round of attacks, is to have cricket matches. They are substitutes of Kashmir wars. 

The ad wars 

Both India and Pakistan have produced quite obnoxious adverts surrounding this World Cup. It shows the state of the public mind. Pakistan did an ad based on the Indian pilot shot down in the last skirmish, which was linked to the recent Kashmir related conflict.   India retaliated by producing their ones. Having a larger industry meant they also produced more. 

But they also produced one for Dabur India, which showed a fat Indian– presumably a comedian–chewing a Bengali delicacy; it was aimed at puny Bangladesh.  It showed how crudeness is still the mother lode of India’s masses senses. Peasant societies are fundamentally different from industrial ones. It doesn’t understand much beyond its cow pastures, so the advert ended up hurting Bengali Indians, and was forced to be taken down.

Maybe “Modi”s thought they were chewing a metaphorical Mamata.   

However, industrially developed New Zealand never produced an advert of a local person drinking a glass of milk, happily burping and saying, “These Indians are so liquid like our milk. You drink them, you can pee them too. So light and easy on the bladder.”       

“Leave occupied Kashmir”  

A few comments by Pakistani fans on this makes it clear. I loved two comments the most. One was after Pakistan won against England. “We have proved how strong we are. Return our occupied Kashmir. “

The other one was after England beat India: “India is not strong, just faking. Leave occupied Kashmir. “ 

Maybe the UN could hold a series of cricket matches to decide the Kashmir issue. It would certainly benefit everyone including the advert makers. The world could finally see that cricket is the answer to all the problems of the world. 


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