Opinion:Source of celebrations
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Opinion:Source of celebrations

 

Opinion:Source of celebrations

Published on :14 Jun,2017

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Srinagar:In a situation like this a match mimics war What is the source of this excitement, celebrations, depressions and disillusionments each time an India versus Pakistan cricket match is on the horizon? Obviously, the two countries share a similar legacy of the colonialism, and have gone through almost a similar trajectory of development since the independence gained from the British, though India has now taken a leap forward, and Pakistan is latching on to the fruits of ongoing projects, like the CPEC. A similar set of rousing emotions is not witnessed when, for example, India plays Sri Lanka or it plays Bangladesh. One might say that the memories of Partition are still lingering and which fuel the furious extremities of various emotions. But even Partition is now a closed chapter, and is merely a part of the academic discourse, and is just good enough to nurture the publishing industry. The generation which had immediate memories of the suffering of Partition has disappeared into the past. What is it then that spurs the wheels of passion every time an India-Pakistan cut and thrust in cricket is in the offing? When everything is said and done, there is no greater fuel than a smouldering Kashmir which sets alight these emotions and keeps them afloat for the next encounter. All the excited, passionate fans on either side should thank the burning homes, blinded children and maimed youth of Kashmir for keeping them in the unending loop of fun and entertainment. Their pleasure and passion is interconnected with the suffering in Kashmir. When the border is afire and images of fleeing refugees are cast around the world, an Indian or a Pakistani cricket aficionado is imaginarily circuited into the playing fields of cricket to wreak revenge for the suffering caused to men and women belonging to his territory. The scores are sought to be settled for the wrongs committed in Kashmir. A pelleted child is the victim whose victimhood is sought to be vicariously avenged with a comprehensive defeat in the circle of the cricket ground. That child is a victim for fans of both the countries. For one set, the child has been provoked to come near the gun and be pelleted, and for the other side, a pellet has stolen the eyesight of an innocent child. An image of a child is split according to the comfortable interpretation and treasured for use in the bilateral encounters on various fora. Come to think of it; what will be a match between these countries in the absence of any bullet fired or child blinded or cross-border firing or even the latest version, the surgical strikes? Such absences will automatically flip over all the hype and glamour of their matches and those who achieve instant stardom in their respective countries for being instrumental in defeating the enemy. It is their presence that India-Pakistan cricket matches have become what they have, and will continue to be until there is an end to the forces of evil that are at large in Kashmir.Disputes between countries have sparked off intense battles in sports. As in the case of the England-Australia, Ashes Series. The period of colonization by England over Australia and its contentious interpretations has spilled over into the playing field. On top of the disputes if wars have been fought over the disputed people and pieces of territory, the intensity on sports grounds also rises up to battle cries. And when the people disputed by the two countries are believed to be playing to the tune of the enemy’s party then a match mimics war. That is natural across the world. It so happens in the case of Kashmir that the “misguided” and “ungrateful” population is perceived to be siding with the enemy which raises the pitch of the battle for, the perception goes, that “our own” people have been taken over by the machinations of the enemy. Or, worse, they have allowed themselves to be taken over. That calls for an even more cathartic win over the enemy, and a collective sigh of relief. An antidote to the bruises caused by the enemy. The pot of cricket is kept boiling by the simmering contention over human beings trapped in a conflict. The boil of the cricket pot is directly proportional and linked to the degree of mayhem, disorder and bloodletting in the disputed part. The more the latter is turned into a blood cauldron, the greater the eruption of emotions in the match and a higher degree of fun and entertainment, as players are sledged, taunted, verbally harangued and pushed around. The relationship between the two is not just symbiotic but embryonically connected. You cannot have a sensational match and a calm and peaceful Kashmir. The availability of thrill, anticipation and sensation in cricket has developed a stake in the availability of bloodshed in Kashmir. While all of the chest-thumping, nail-biting finishes to matches, a flurry of sixes and collective celebrations and mourning are underway, the place and people which essentially whip it all up, remain imprisoned in a cycle of death and destruction. Not just the military-industrial complex of these two nations but their entertainment industries (including Bollywood) are invested in the chaos and violence of Kashmir. The cricket boards of both countries must congratulate the expanding graveyards of Kashmir, thank the blinded children, and send letters of appreciation to the men and women whose husbands, sons and fathers have disappeared because without them the charisma, magnetism linked with the India-Pakistan contests will be wiped away. On the face of it a lot of distance occurs between the commotion in Kashmir and the boards of two countries, and the cricket stars; however, a closer look will reveal that their stardom and prominence are forged on the blood-covered fields of Kashmir. To prove these claims otherwise, it would not harm but do a lot of good if durable peace is given a chance in Kashmir and the sensation on the cricket turf is maintained to the level it was before.




Rayat Bahra University, Mohali