The liberal world’s proclivity for anti-Hindu sentiments is certainly not disguised. Subscribers to this notion continue to promote their goal of Hindu hatred in whichever domain they deem appropriate. Cricket, being India’s most popular and frenzied sport, has become the latest target of liberals. It is the unfortunate new arena into which they have decided to inject Hinduphobia.
The way incidents in cricket have been reported in the media and in the sports world in recent years reveals the rise of anti-Hindu viewpoints throughout the community. Several international cricket pundits and journalists have openly endorsed this stance of corrupting one of India’s most popular and cherished sports.
“India has eroding image of tolerance” reported CNBC citing a cricket match
Although many news organizations have been doing it for a long time, recent developments in cricket commentary writing and reporting suggest concerning patterns. Back in November 2021, a piece published on CNBC wrote that the image of India in the west is poor with respect to tolerance. The soul basis of such conclusion by Ananta Agarwal, the author of the article, was the T20 match between India and Pakistan held in October 2021, in which Pakistan won.
Citing the match, he wrote that “ethnoreligious tensions boiled over” in the country. Also, he went on to add that some Kashmiri Students who cheered the victory of Pakistan on social media were suspended, detained, and charged with sedition.
To begin with, in response to Ananta, there were no religious conflicts following India’s defeat in the match. The performance of the team as a whole, rather than any individual player, disappointed Indians. The claims made in public about the mocking of Indian pacer Mohammad Shami proved to be unfounded and without substance. The entire story of Shami’s abuse in India was cultivated by Pakistani social media bots and magnified by the Indian leftist ecosystem.
Secondly, the suspension of Kashmiri Students and charging them with sedition was never because they celebrated the victory of Pakistan in the match. It was because they hurled anti-national slogans and chants that were supportive of the Pak-sponsored terrorism in India.
Ananta also made it a point to raise Hindu nationalism by labelling the Prime Minister as a Hindu Nationalist leader. He vehemently quoted Nikhil Mandalaparthy saying that Hindutva is an “exclusionary political ideology that relies on a vision of Hindu identity as being North Indian, upper caste and patriarchal.”
Well, citing anyone and drawing inferences about Indian culture under the guise of a sport like Cricket is a remarkable attempt to further the liberal cause of defaming India and Hinduism but, views of Nikhil don’t hold any legitimacy and are incongruent with the present conditions of India. Also, labelling Prime Minister Modi as a Hindu Nationalist leader would not work to their advantage. It is widely known and accepted that PM Modi is a Hindu and he is a Nationalist out and out. His nationalistic policies have led India to the path of development and global recognition.
The fading image of tolerance in India is a figment of the western imagination and has no substance in reality. Efforts to depict Hindus as bigoted and minorities, particularly Muslims, as downtrodden is a myth that no one would buy except a few devoted liberals.
“Chauvinism and patriotism not the same” headlined ESPN portraying Indians as melodramatic
A report by ESPN back in 2014 stated that the sedition act is against the security of the country. Surprisingly, such fervent opinions have begun to find traction on sports platforms as well! Similar to CNBC, they resorted to the same strategy of portraying India in a bad light just because some Muslims, who celebrated the victory of Pakistan in a cricket match and raised anti-India slogans were charged with sedition. The report quoted Shiv Visvanathan, who wrote in The Hindu that such action “reflects idiot officialdom in the country and its people as paranoid and melodramatic.”
This erroneous stance eulogizes those who celebrate Pakistan’s cricket victory over India and raised anti-India seditious slogans by thumping their chests. What the author overlooks is that Pakistan is the same country that has gone to great lengths to incite unrest and bloodshed in India. Anyone who defends values that aren’t intrinsically national and justifies the acts of a country like Pakistan should indeed be prosecuted with sedition.
This might be simple for groups of people to cheer for Pakistan and then defend it in the name of cricket spirit, but it is not easy for the “idiot officialdom” to make judgments when proof abounds that such people have openly backed Pakistan’s separatist and jihadist agenda in the past.
Wisden India: A platform full of anti-Hindu Journalists
Wisden India, a well-known platform among cricket fans, has numerous journalists who are not afraid to wear their anti-Hindu attitude on their sleeves. Many reporters and news writers have openly abused Hindus on Social Media portals and elsewhere. One of them is Sarah Waris.
Sarah’s work has appeared in a number of well-known left-liberal publications, including The Quint and NDTV. Sarah publicly referred to Hindus as rapists in a 2013 tweet, which has now been deleted.
Her hatred for Hindus is evident from her tweet. Not only do they demonize Hindus, but they also laud foreign sportsmen while dismissing Indians. Sunil Gavaskar, the former Indian cricketer, had criticized the portal last year for favouring white English cricketers.
Wisden has a history of making nasty remarks towards Indians. Before the 1983 World Cup, David Frith, a veteran Wisden editor, penned an op-ed objecting to India’s participation owing to their dismal performance.
The cricket section of ‘The Australian’ spread anti-India propaganda
Gideon Haigh, a journalist, authored a column for The Australian’s Cricket section on February 19, 2021, in an attempt to mislead its primarily Australian audience. Haigh touched on a variety of themes in his 1000-word post headlined ‘Ugly trend that can poison Indian cricket,’ and presented his biased and constricted view of complicated situations as ‘oversimplified facts.’ He discussed the farm protests, partisan appointments to the BCCI, India’s allegedly shrinking scope for dissent, Rihanna, and other topics.
In the article, he alleged, “Unfortunately, India is a democracy in worsening decay, thanks to seven years of the BJP’s Hindu majoritarianism, at odds with the country’s traditions of pluralism and tolerance. And that’s got implications for cricket, even Australian cricket, of which we should be aware. The ruling BJP’s modus operandi is demonising minorities, subverting institutions, intimidating media, criminalising dissent and, not least, tyrannising the internet.”
Using the religious identity of Wasim Jaffer, who was in the spotlight for allegedly favouring Muslim players in the team during his stint as the coach of the Uttarakhand team, as the foundation of the argument, He alleged, “Jaffer, though, is a Muslim. So Verma trumped-up counterclaims of “communalism”: Jaffer’s preference for coreligionists. This is a classic trope of Hindu chauvinism, obsessed with the existence of a Muslim fifth column.”
He further claimed that the BJP engages in vicious online trolling of liberal celebrities, independent journalists, and academics who don’t toe their line. He then suggested that India’s cricket board has somehow been ‘pervaded by Modi’s myrmidons.’ This is despite the fact that India always had a political appointee in the form of Rajiv Shukla and Sharad Pawar as the BCCI President, unlike now, when the coveted post is occupied by an actual cricketer aka Saurav Ganguly. He claimed that India’s cricketing elites such as Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Rahane, and Rohit Sharma echoed ‘BJP’s talking points’ when they came out in support of the hashtag #IndiaAgainstPropaganda.
Jacobin, a left leaning American Magazine headlined, “Cricket in the Service of Hindu Nationalism”
Jacobin is a communist magazine that publishes articles on politics, economics, and culture. In 2019, an article titled “Cricket in the Service of Hindu Nationalism” was published on 4 August.
According to the report, the Indian cricket team’s 2019 tour of the United States was an attempt by Narendra Modi’s ostensibly Hindu Nationalist government to expand its influence in the US. The article stated that “the Modi government sees the Indian cricket team as their best PR weapon, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the governing body for cricket in India, as just another tool to be controlled.”
Alleging bias of the players, it stated “The players, too, have lined up behind the prime minister.” It further added, “When Modi was re-elected in May, a slew of Indian cricket legends tweeted their support — inconspicuously similar language, with nationalistic tropes like “new India” and “greater heights” appearing across several players’ tweets.”
It would seem like the sole motive behind the article was to prove that the tournament is being held under the influence of the Modi Government and it is to endorse the government and its policies. It adamantly mentioned that cricket has been influenced by the prevailing “Hindu Nationalism,” which is publicly endorsed by everyone, including cricketers.
The article clearly mentions that “Modi, elected in 2014 and re-elected by a startlingly large margin earlier this year, has represented the sharp end of ‘Hindu nationalist’ politics.”
Interestingly, Nakul M. Pande, a cricket writer, presenter, and cricket pundit living in London, is one of the co-authors of the article. One can see Nakul’s animosity towards Hindus in India and the Modi government just by looking at his Twitter profile. For a long time, he has been tweeting anti-Hindu slurs.
In a tweet made on 17 June 2019, he wrote, “The BCCI has become the reputation laundering arm of the Modi government. The BCCI is to Modi as Manchester City is to Abu Dhabi, or PSG is to Qatar.”
In another Tweet, he mocked the belief of Hindus by saying, “In Hindu mythology, Hanuman the monkey god was once so hungry he mistook the sun for a mango and tried to eat it.”
In a tweet made in 2016, he wrote, “I am a big fan of Hindu”? Fuck you, Donald, your smarmy pandering isn’t going to save your campaign.”
Another tweet reads, “I don’t speak Hindi, Punjabi or Marathi (my parents’ first languages). I’m not religious. I eat beef. I speak in a very English-coded accent. I’ve been criticized by my Hindu relatives for ‘looking like a Muslim’ when I’ve had a longer beard.”
Pushing anti-Hindu propaganda in Cricket
The firm resolve of writers and commentators such as Nakul Pande and Sarah Waris to show the Indians, and particularly Hindus in a bad light can be measured by their writings and their expressions on social media platforms.
Liberals have finally chosen the game of cricket to play their anti-Hindu card and mock them. Being a game followed extensively by Indians across the globe, these people find it easy to disseminate hate openly.
Even though such malevolent propaganda will not alter the international image of India, it is becoming clear that the anti-India liberal gang is meticulously engaged in peddling their anti-Hindu hatred and would stop at nothing in their sinister quest.