Friday, April 8, 2011

Love Thy Neighbour……. Only if he lets you to!!!

As Misbah-ul-haq was caught by Virat Kohli to bring curtains to Pakistan’s World Cup endeavour, one could see the Pakistani captain, sitting with an almost stunned expression in the dressing room. After the post-match conference however, Afridi had rejuvenated himself and his quirky and positive remarks on Indo-Pak friendship and cricketing ties had won many an Indian heart. A day before the famous semi-final match, stories were carried out in the Indian print media declaring Afridi to be a true lion-heart and a patriot of Pakistan because of his charming and effervescent ways. Social networking sites like Facebook were agog with Indians praising him almost everywhere terming him a ‘true sportsman’ and the likes. He left India as a captain who had lost a match but won millions of hearts. However, things in life never cease to surprise you and the sudden transformation of events in not even a week has left everyone here in India shocked, baffled and if one could say cheated, which I am afraid has somehow always exactly been the case with the whole of Pakistan.

In an interview to a Pakistani news channel Afridi said Indians do not have "large and clean" hearts as Pakistanis. The Pakistan captain also criticized Indian media for its "very negative approach" and it played a "very dirty role in spoiling relations" between two nations. Quite an about turn that from his earlier stance of friendship and mutual respect. (As was expected though, Afridi the very next day said that he was misquoted out of context... Where exactly was the misquotation is hard to understand) Exactly why Mr. Shahid Afridi felt that is anybody’s guess; although one can safely bet it has a lot to do with yet another drubbing against their arch-rivals in a World Cup match.

The media here has been surprisingly sedate in its response to Afridi’s statements, almost as if it’s too scared to react. Quite similar to our Government’s nature, when dealing with Pakistan. That in itself is quite a hypocritical approach given our media’s habit of delving deep into each and every ‘controversial – type’ statements ; one would have definitely expected a more aggressive response especially given the fact that the media too has reasons to be ‘insulted’ directly if you might say that. Surely they could have gone on to scrutinize this issue with their wide array of ‘specialist’s panel’ and try and see reason in those baffling statements.Why exactly they chose not do so is hard to fathom.

For now let’s just try and dissect the moronic statements made by the Pakistani captain in little more detail. His first comment: "In my opinion, if I have to tell the truth, they (Indians) will never have hearts like Muslims and Pakistanis. I don't think they have the large and clean hearts that Allah has given us," Not for once do I remember any Indian player, leave alone the captain of the national side making these kind of comments..We all know how religious our players are too but do we ever hear things as “Jai Hanuman” or “Krishna Bhagwan sabse accha hai” or other such idiotic things. The other part of his statement which I find even more offending is the one where he says “hearts like Muslims and Pakistanis”, again showing his idiocy to the core. To say Muslims and Pakistanis as one is quite demeaning and one would really like to remind Afridi bhai once more that the amount of Muslims cheering for India in our country with the Indian tricolor etched on their faces are perhaps far more in number than the whole of Pakistan taken together. Statements like these only bring a bad taste to the already soured relations, especially when sporting personalities bring religion into cricket.

His second statement criticizes the Indian media’s “negative” attitude towards Pakistan’s team and he also holds the Indian media responsible for further spoiling the relations between the true countries.. Right... It is true that the Indian media does tend to go overboard at most times, but it also is quite responsible in its own way and moreover for the match in question Shahid Afridi had got more than favourable reports all over the print media on the eve of the match lauding him for his jovial and friendly nature. How exactly Mr. Afridi felt this ‘negative approach’ beats the normal senses. I guess he was referring to the comments he made on Sachin Tendulkar of them not letting Sachin get to his century. The media might have gone into overdrive with this comment, but the question that begs to be asked is what exactly was the need to make such a statement in the first place? Umar Gul too had gone on to say that he would target the Indian top order, its another matter though that his bowling figures at the end of the match showed quite a contrast.. Compare this with the Indian camp, no tall claims no bizarre statements, just going about their work calmly. Mr. Afridi didn’t help his cause by obviously trying to create some pressure on the Indian camp, by those rather foolish statements and the fact that it backfired perhaps made him sour enough to go on with his outlandish remarks.
It would perhaps do no good to delve into these comments any further. As far as I am concerned, following Indo-Pak cricket for some time now, these comments neither come as a surprise and neither do they hurt my sentiments, so to speak. This has always been the case with Pakistan; they make insulting statements against us, and yet have somehow managed to get away without, any long lasting damage. The IPL snub to the Pakistani players brought out the worst in them , with many of the senior ones like Abdul Razzaq going in to say it was a ”saazish” against the “aavaam” of Pakistan. Moreover, I seriously doubt that if Ajay Jadeja for example had behaved with a Pakistani bowler the way Aamir Sohail had with Venkatesh Prasad in the ‘96 Quarterfinal, he would ever have been allowed entry into Pakistan. Fact of the matter is their ex-players quite comfortably mint money in India with their media stints and “expert advice”, while any such similar behaviour from the opposite side is unheard of. This kind of ‘appreciative’ behaviour has always been the case with Pakistan, and yet it is somehow always India who seems to be creating the trouble.

If one were to look at the larger issue India seems to paying for its docile and lukewarm response to Pakistan as a nation. Its eagerness to extend the hand of friendship with a neighbour that doesn’t want to be befriended is rather frustrating. The thunderous applause that was followed after Shahid Afridi made those comments to the news channel clearly states their approval of his thoughts. And yet, goodwill gestures from our side never seem to end, like the recent one of inviting the Pakistani PM to watch the Indo-Pak semi-final clash... Yet, we are well aware of the manner in which Pakistan has carried out its endless ‘promises’ to look into terror suspects and numerous other instances where they have been well known to be hurting us in a planned manner. It really needs no debating. But one thing that is hard to accept is India’s anxiety in extending the hand of friendship. What saddens me is that our country has no dearth of intellectuals who leave no stone upturned with their “Aman Ki aasha” amd “dosti ka paigaam”. A few songs and tall words will not change the situation. The hatred that simmers in the hearts across the border cannot be doused by some bold lyrics and a few trains. Although it is true that dialogue is the way forward to end complicated issues, but you can’t talk to a person who refuses to see reason, and who keeps stabbing you on the back while making false promises. It really is time that our administration gets a little sterner, and tries and forgets the “dosti yaari” bit. After all you can’t try and love someone who wouldn’t let you love him...


  1. well done bhavesh , bohut achcha likhe ho .

  2. bhai belive me this is one of ur best article..m sure every body will agree with ur points,,,in these kind of articls there r lots of limitaions..we cant discuss each an evrything, its very tuff to write these kind of article..but still u tried ur best and i really liked it specially the last paragraph was really good..and i truely belive this sentence..''U CANT TRY AND LOVE SUM1 WHO WOULDNT LET U LOVE HIM'' this is really true bhawes,,its not only afridi or cricket from the begining they r proving this statemnt correct bas problem ye hai ki hum logo ne apne kaan aur aankhe bandh rakha hai..newaz it was a very good article,,send this to every1..specially those who wants to hav frndshp with our neighbour cuntry

  3. sorry for my late comment...actually didn't get the time to read it. But now that i went through the article, i must say that whatever u have written, shows the exact feeling of the INDIANS right now. the comments made by the Pakistani captain is indeed demeaning. he just changes his color like a chameleon. Mr. Afrridi says that their country have larger heart than ours. but he should be ashamed of the fact that out of the four Asian countries, their country didn't get the chance to host the biggest tournament only because of their negative attitude. other countries are not willing to play in Pakistan because of the fear of any attack or something. u should be ashamed of urself Mr. Afridi. think 100 times before making such comments. i remember one of the statements Yuvraj Singh made after hearing the comments.. he said " yes Pakistan showed us warmth by dropping our vital catches, sorry we couldn't show them that much warmth. he he he he :D... thts the perfect way u answer them..

  4. Ho ho ho Bhavesh...what an article yaar...It's amazing how effectively you have depicted the cunning and hostile approach of our so called "Dost".Its an inevitable truth that no matter how hard India tries, this relationship would never work as long as our neighbor mentally accepts the fact that its high time we gave up our bitterness. India has always been a tolerant nation but I don't understand something -- Why don't we react until the last hour..why are we so apprehensive and waiting for another 26/11? Every Indian sleeps peacefully while the Jawans in the border stay awake to counter crossborder shelling that happens almost everyday.. We don't need this..The world has witnessed how pakistan has always backed the terror organisations..US reacted when it came up to them in 9/11. But they did nothing when our homes were at stake every other day.. But they intervened between Iran and Iraq and bombed Iraq so that they could get the oil..As said -- with power comes great responsibility..So, is this the true meaning of being a superpower??? why should I wait for my home to be ruined..why not I barge into their homes and teach them a lesson they would remember for decades. But Alas !! Well, Bhavesh I must say that by your article you have revealed - how painful it is to be a silent Indian .

  5. And so far shahid afridi is concerned..its always the same story and as expected from a pakistani national..according to me a loser actually loses everything when he loses his dignity. By his foolish remarks he has proved - WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION IN LIFE.