Cricket can't ease Indo-Pak relations
Their educational system says 'B' for Bandook (gun), ingraining hatred towards India in innocent minds. But India remains insistent on 'B' for Brotherhood, whether Pakistan rejects accountability for its heinous acts or, worse still, claims innocence and incognizance.
Indo-Pak relations are becoming incomprehensible for the Indians and a subject past its sell-by date for the Pakistanis. And the latest act of inviting Pakistan to play cricket is like buying a raucous kid an ice candy: if you accede to our demands, we will relieve you of your cricket starvation. It's like striking a deal at the expense of those who expect India to hold the culprit by his collars. Instead, India is trying to pacify, while it should have been the other way round.
It's definitely not the right time to revive cricket ties with Pakistan. India can't do something for the cricket fans at the expense of its countrymen's sentiments. What has changed from the time India put a stop to cricketing ties with Pakistan, for the authorities to pull out that stop? Why is cricket made to look like a slave to Indo-Pak politics? It can't be; no sport can. On one hand we say a sport needs to be alienated from any kind of politics, and on the other hand we try to make the most of it to restore political normalcy.
On the contrary, it's difficult to understand how cricket can be the peacemaker between two archrivals. If we see at the history of Indo-Pak cricket, it rests on the bitter ground that the 1947 partition laid. The USP of India playing Pakistan is the 'hatred' it brings along. The rush of adrenaline is more to humiliate each other than to win - be it in the ground or in the stands, on both sides. And not even a word of that is untrue. In that light, it's inexplicable to think cricket as a balm to ease the tension.
It hurts to know that instead of going all out against the perpetrators of the atrocities, India either stops playing cricket with Pakistan and thinks of it as a punishment or starts playing cricket to appease them in hopes of a positive response. It is juvenile thinking on part of those who run a country and are accountable for everything that the citizens go through.
But now that the Indian government and the BCCI have taken this decision to play hosts to Pakistan, all one can hope for is that it is the beginning of a more transparent relationship that leaves cricket a sport played on the field and not off it.
More about Jaspreet SahniAfter becoming an expert in the hook shot that ends in a six over the third-man boundary and scoring a few goals in hockey after all the hard work was done by the other 10 players, I confessed to myself that studying the two games from the ropes was a better option. Though I wish I had started that process earlier than 1996, around 15 years of watching, reading and sometimes still practising that 'hook shot' over has allowed me this space on Cricketnext and IBNLive to write and get read.
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