It is amusing how the crusaders against caste discrimination and champions of inclusivity are usually the ones to point out non-existent ‘discrimination’ at play. We had earlier reported how journalist Shekhar Gupta, most known for his coup story floated a conspiracy theory questioning caste dynamics in the fodder scam verdict where Lalu was convicted but an ‘upper caste’ Jagannath Mishra was acquitted. Amusingly, when Gupta became the chairperson of the Editors Guild of India, there was no Dalit or Muslim in it.
Following his footsteps, controversial journalist Rajdeep Sardesai also put out a casteist tweet which he later deleted after a major public backlash. But the ingrained casteism raised its hood again after France won the Football World Cup last night. While many in the liberal world were hailing how many of the players in the French team were immigrants and Muslims, closer home Sardesai, not to be left behind, woke up to a topic which would interest Indian ‘intellectuals’ more. Sardesai took to Twitter to remind how out only 4 Dalit cricketers have played for India since 1947.
The reason for success of French football is a bit like ours in cricket: we have ‘democratised’ the sport just as the French have built a multi-cultural football identity. But we need to do more: only 4 Dalits have played for India since 1947 and no Adivasi test champ yet!
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) July 16, 2018
As seen above, Rajdeep decided to insinuate that athletes belonging to lower caste don’t get representation in sport. He further argued that he meant to say that there should be greater access to sporting facilities for all Indians.
The upper caste internet army doesn’t like being shown the mirror! 290 test cricketers for India, just 4 Dalits.. this is not an argument for reservation but for greater access to ALL Indians to sporting facilities.. have a good week friends!
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) July 16, 2018
It is interesting he would talk about access to sporting facilities, which are many times limited owing to financial constraints, rather than caste. And Indian athletes from humble backgrounds have soared skies, despite the limitations they face. Most recently, Assam’s Hima Das, who won a gold in Finland in the IAAF World U20 Championship, used to train on a muddy football field because of the absence of a running track.
And interesting of Sardesai to specify only cricket, when so many other athletes, who once brought laurels to India, are now struggling to make their ends meet, irrespective of their case.
Coming back to Sardesai, many pointed out to him the flaw and glaring hypocrisy in his argument.
I normally agree with you on most of the topics but this I don’t agree on, everyone in our current national team has earned their stripes and I don’t think anyone looks at what caste the players are from before supporting them.
— ????????? (@NawedKhan_) July 16, 2018
From Royalty, Nobility and the educated elite it has now come to a pump operators son in Ranchi……
It is a “class” thing and not caste. We need to upgrade the schools used by the economically weak….. Do not bring caste or religion into sport.
— Mohan Raman (@actormohanraman) July 16, 2018
Now quota system in cricket too… So that like our talented doctors engineers MBAs… Cricketer too leave the country and play elsewhere
— Muhammad Obaid (@Obaid_MUFC) July 16, 2018
Some even reminded him how it is merit and ability which took them to the French team and not their religion or immigrant status.
Let me remind you that they were selected on the basis of their footballing ability not because of their origins if you want to shove that reservation agenda https://t.co/N70mGn92mE
— ; (@CurryMerchant) July 16, 2018
True. Sport needs to learn from the media ecosystem that hasn’t yet given us 10 ‘star’ editor-anchors who are Dalit-Adivasi.. https://t.co/pHav6bfMx7
— pracchannAstrin (@WordOfTheFree) July 16, 2018
Arjuna awardee and Indian national basketball team player Prashanti Singh also expressed her disbelief at Sardesai’s strange comparison.
— Prashanti Singh (@prashanti14) July 16, 2018
He also got ‘coached’ by coach and former captain of Indian women basketball team.
The reason for success is perfect practice, good coach, good players and team game. Bhaiya ji hame maf kar do. Sports ko baksh do please. Yaha bhi Jaat pat religion kar ke foot mat dalo. Please keep you fine judgement with you. Had hoti hai opinions ki..#KuchBhi https://t.co/pVSfnF8Ojo
— Divya Singh?? (@Divyasingh04) July 16, 2018
It is interesting to see even the celebrity journalists being all ‘woke’ to casteism like the hipster millennials from South Delhi who have recently been introduced to Karl Marx. Because till a few years back, he was taking pride in the achievements of ‘upper caste’ athletes (read cricketers) without really feeling bad about the Dalits who missed out.
did you know that the saraswat brahmins have scored more than a 100 test hundreds between them, led by sachin and gavaskar!
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) March 7, 2010
But that is how the ‘ecosystem’ works. As Rahul Roushan said, ‘establishment’ is not the government which comes in power for five years, but the people in media and academics that control the thoughts and build the narrative. Watch out this space as we inch closer to 2019 elections.