Recently, twitter witnessed a small routine of Love-Hate between three retired cricketers. One Pakistani, two Indians.
1) On 31st March Yuvjraj Singh tweeted in support of Shahid Afridi’s fund collection effort for Covid-19 patient. He also tagged Harbhajan Singh in the tweet. This garnered more than fifteen thousand likes. Reflecting wide support.
2) This also was lambasted by thousands. Immediately invoking Liberal support and sympathy. Well supported by Pakistani sleeper cells in the Indian Media.
3) On 18th May, Shahid Afridi heaped abuse on PM Narendra Modi through this tweet.
4) Yuvraj and Harbhajan Singh conveyed their repentance through this tweet.
Matter over. Liberal Media hurriedly will throw water on the burning issue. Yuvraj and Harbhajan will be forgiven immediately.
This is happening for the best part of the last 100 years. Since independence, intermittent terrorist attacks from across the border are going on killing thousands. Yet India wants to be friends with Pakistan. In the name of track 2 diplomacy we went out of the way for it. Remember the skullduggery called Aman-ki-Asha? The nonsense started in 2010 under the aegis of UPA 2. This was basically a program through which we sent delegations led by Left-Liberal journalists to listen to ‘Mushayara’ and eat ‘Shami Kabab’! Once back in Delhi they used to write glowing op-eds on Pakistani music, the culture, warm and friendly people. Hand in glove with the regime then, an opinion against a strong action used to be created. This was the mechanism that prevented a much bigger country, a much stronger army and a superior economy like India from taking action against a rogue nation like Pakistan.
Such was the vice-like grip of this narrative, that even after the dastardly 26/11 attack by Pakistani terrorists we didn’t raise a finger. Ṭhis evil cycle was broken, when BJP, led by Narendra Modi took over in May 2014. The Track 2 diplomacy was shelved as we knew it when Modi decided to punish Pakistan for the Pulwama terror attack by bombing Balakot.
Ṇow what Afridi, Yuvraj and Harbhajan performed, was the online version of Aman-ki-Asha. Afridi wanted to collect money in the name of charity. His ‘Friends’ on the Indian side, ever-ready to ‘Help’, obliged him. I am sure Afridi must have been handsomely rewarded for his effort. Eventually, we will find out how handsome were the returns.
And what did his Indian friends get? They will get reciprocal support from Afridi or some other Pakistani cricketer in their business venture. They will also gain cheap popularity in Pakistan. And of course in India back home. For being large-hearted Humans. For supporting a fellow Punjabi! Which may help them politically in the near future. Sounds like an exaggeration?
Take a look.
During his visit to Pakistan on Imran Khan’s swearing-in, Siddhu proudly proclaimed General Bajwa and he is from the same extended family (Biradari)! Sardar Navjyot Singh Siddhu and General Qamar Bajwa belong to the same family? Which family is this? General Bajwa’ s ancestors, in the name of religion attacked Navjyot Singh Siddhu’s forefather’s homeland – Punjab. They forcefully converted and slaughtered generations after generations of Punjabis. In fact today’s Punjab in Pakistan was a Punjab where Siddhu’s forefathers once lived. After killing hundreds and thousands of Sikhs and Hindus, it was taken away by General Bajwa’s forefathers in 1947. Siddhu, in the video, understandably was overwhelmed mentioning Guru Nanak, first Sikh Guru. Does he know how Bajwa’s forefathers killed Guru Tegbahadur (9th Sikh Guru) and his sons? And for what? And why go that long back. The ghastly Pulwama attack, which killed 40 Indian soldiers happened when Siddhu’s Hum-Biradar (हम बिरादर – Relative) General Bajwa was Army Chief!
The low-level drama which Siddhu enacted in August 2018, was performed a few days back by Yuvraj and Harbhajan. And this when they knew this is not the first time Afridi has crossed his limits. He has been a habitual offender. Here is the list of some of his transgressions.
Afridi on 4th April 2018, appealed to the UN to intervene in ‘Indian Occupied Kashmir’.
Nov 16th 2018, he said Kashmir should be an independent country.
On 6th Aug 2019, one day after Article 370 was abrogated, Afridi appealed again to the UN along with Trump to Intervene in Kashmir.
So the duo was well aware of Afridi’s ideology, his political position on Kashmir and various issues that matter to India. Yet Yuvraj and Harbhajan decided to support him. When he abused PM Modi and their positions became untenable they retracted.
Now the question is why likes of Siddhu, Yuvraj and Harbhajan are doing it? Don’t forget, there are politicians (especially from Congress) who hate BJP for its Hindu Cultural Nationalism and seek Pakistani support for its vote bank politics. Siddhu represents that lobby overtly and Captain Amrinder Singh covertly. Harbhajan and Yuvraj are somewhere in between. And of course, there is a small voter base that resists Indian Cultural Nationalism and has a feeling for Khalistan. They still haven’t got over Bhindranwale killing. These three ex-players are playing to that gallery.
You will be surprised to know that Afridi who regularly abuses PM Modi, Indian Army and Indian Nationhood, has only praise for his Friends in Indian Cricket Team. What kind of friendship is this? He or any Pakistani celebrity always takes care that only a certain type of politicians are abused. Siddhu for example is never criticized.
This is a set-up to regenerate brotherhood for Pakistanis in Punjab. And stop Indian Cultural Nationalism from surging. Tomorrow some other celebrities in two countries will connive for petty benefits, by using some other narrow regional symbol. Language may be, or food or Siddhu may come up with new norms of Punjabiyat. You never know. Some other celebrity will pick-up some other cause. People will clap and retweet and like the posts. Crores will be collected. When things go out of control, apologies will be tendered and promptly accepted. The circus will continue. it’s going on for the best part of the 100 years. It will happen again.