Are world cricket and Team India being used as political tools? Ten questions that need answering

Even if we accept that fighting against racism in the West is more important for Team India than protesting against Bangladeshi Hindus, endorsing BLM amounts to subscribing to a specific, politically funded group

File image of India skipper Virat Kohli. Image: AP

Last Sunday, the Dubai International Cricket Stadium turned into the Times Square of political advertising. As India and Pakistan fought it out in the T20 World Cup opener, spectacular propaganda unfolded, blazing across the collective psyche of millions, convincing and confounding equally.

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement managed a publicity coup in the Indian subcontinent. The Indian cricket team unexpectedly took a knee in support of racial discrimination against blacks many thousand miles away, while Hindus and Sikhs in one’s own Kashmir and neighbouring Bangladesh are being butchered, made extinct in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Questions linger.

Why did the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) allow this bizarre political ritual?

Why did Team India coach Ravi Shastri, and skipper Virat Kohli readily agree to an International Cricket Council (ICC) suggestion?

Why should India, which overwhelmingly contributes to cricket revenue, so readily do ICC’s bidding?

Does the Indian cricket management not know that BLM is funded by forces like the Open Society Foundation and the Ford Foundation? Open Society Foundation is funded by George Soros, the Hungarian-American tycoon who has openly pledged a billion dollars to bring down governments like Narendra Modi’s and who globally wages a war against the concept of a nation-state. Ford Foundation was proscribed by India for funding anti-government and anti-democracy activities, being financially dodgy, and which funds far-Left movements around the world while using the name of one of the world’s greatest capitalists and entrepreneurs, Henry Ford.

Are the Indian cricket management and players unaware that BLM supporters wanted to tear down the Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi statue in London, branding him a racist?

Even if we accept that fighting against racism in the West is more important for Team India than protesting against Bangladeshi Hindus, endorsing BLM amounts to subscribing to a specific, politically funded group, not exactly embracing the larger cause. Should a national team endorse a political group, however noble the cause might seem?

How different is this support for BLM, a movement irrelevant to India, from Gandhi and Indian Muslims bizarrely embracing the 1920s stir to establish an Islamic caliphate in Turkey, and later cleverly named it the ‘Khilafat movement’ to make it sound local and secular?

Why did Pakistan player Mohammad Rizwan offer namaz in the middle of the game? The evening prayer time or Maghreb begins around 5.47 pm in Dubai. The match started at 6 pm. Rizwan could have prayed before the match or between the innings.

Former Pakistan pacer Waqar Younis made an openly communal remark, praising Rizwan for offering namaz in front of Hindus. Generations of Pakistani cricketers like current Prime Minister Imran Khan, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Saqlain Mustaq, Mohammed Yousuf, Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanveer and others have boasted on video trying to convert other cricketers, or taking ahead the holy war or Ghazwa-e-Hind against India. Has the BCCI asked players to take a knee, or more importantly, moved for sanctions against this cricket jihad ever?

Why do Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and his wife actor Anushka Sharma selectively campaign against crackers on Diwali but not against mass slaughter on Bakrid?



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