Following the heinous Pulwama terror attack that took the lives of 44 Indian CRPF personnel, the Indian government has managed to isolate Pakistan globally after it launched a diplomatic offensive against the terrorist state of Pakistan. With emotions running high, demand to ban Pakistan from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 or at least calls to Indian cricket team to boycott its match against Pakistan has been growing increasingly.
Reacting to the issue of isolating Pakistan by banning them from participating in the ICC Cricket World Cup, Rajdeep Sardesai – the self-proclaimed cricket expert and the “journalist” who had expressed excitement over the terrorist attack on the Indian parliament, claimed that banning Pakistan from World Cup to be held in England is ‘unthinkable’ especially on the basis of ‘one terror attack’ on India.
Speaking on the might of the BCCI, Rajdeep Sardesai said that any Cricket World Cup without India is unthinkable and similarly banning Pakistan in a World Cup is also unthinkable on a pretext of just ‘one terror attack’. He said India can only take the decision to boycott unilaterally and he did not expect of any such ban against Pakistan by the ICC.
Rajdeep went on to say that there was no precedence of boycotting any country from multi-nation cricket tournaments barring the suspension of South Africa during 1970s because of the then South African government’s policy of ‘apartheid’. Rajdeep also objected against the boycott of Pakistan saying that it was difficult to equate the policy of state-sponsored terror of Pakistan to ‘apartheid’. Instead, he suggested that the Indian team should forfeit the match against Pakistan, which will be held on June 16 at Old Trafford, Manchester.
In an interview with Former Indian cricket captain Sunil Gavaskar, Rajdeep carefully directed questions at him asking whether the decision to boycott Pakistan was just a knee-jerk reaction after the tragic Pulwama attacks. Rajdeep Sardesai throughout the show also contended that the decision to boycott has been some form of emotional outburst as contrary to a coherent policy to isolate Pakistan.
Rajdeep Sardesai has also expressed his disappointment over the removal of Imran Khan’s portrait from the Cricket Club of India, Mumbai. Rajdeep Sardesai like other peaceniks still pretends that socio-cultural interaction with the terrorist state of Pakistan is a necessity despite Pakistan using terror as an apparatus to target India.
Rajdeep Sardesai further trivialises the idea of boycotting Pakistan to an ‘event’ by depicting it as an intrusion of politics into sports. In their attempt to casualise the terror policy of Pakistan, Rajdeep and the other ‘peaceniks’ forget the fact that foremost responsibility of any national sports teams is not only representing their country but also to respect the sentiments and wishes of the country.
The peaceniks like Rajdeep also deliberately ignore the fact that it is not the just the responsibility of the political class to stand up against the menace of terrorism but also the commitment of every citizen to support the choice that a political system chooses to execute. So, cultural issues such as sports tournaments, movement of artists, people-to-people interaction are indeed political and should follow the general sentiment that persists in the country at a given point of time.
We are a nation who often indulges in conceding laughable analogies of religious symbolism to a sport like Cricket and has often even equated some of its icons to the ‘God’, which has now resulted in the petty issue of a Cricket World Cup taking preference over country’s national interests. Cricket is a mere sport, while tournaments come and go, what matters the most is the resolve of the Indian political establishment which has decided to teach the terrorist state of Pakistan a lesson.