Sports and the Indo-Pak divide

via Dr Vijaya Rajiva published on September 15, 2010

The question ‘Can sports bridge the Indo-Pak divide ?’ was debated on the CNNIBN show, with Radjeep Sardesai doing an excellent job of moderating. He raised most of the problems associated with thinking that the victory of  the tennis duo Rohan Bopanna from India and Aisan Qureshi in the semi finals of the U.S.Open, is a prelude to peace between India and Pakistan. These two young tennis stars did exceedingly well and they are to be congratulated. But does this change anything on the ground ?

The answer to that question is no. There have been close associations between Indian sports people and Pakistanis in the past and this has not produced any change on the ground politically. Pakistan continues to be hostile to India. Indian soldiers continue to be killed at the border. Pakistan has not stopped its overt and covert interference in Kashmir. The possibilities of  terror attacks are still there. The army and the ISI continue to see India as the main enemy etc. . . . .

Why then does the Indian elite continue in their Aman ki Asha project (hope for peace)?
There was something charming about the many participants at the CNN discussion. All displayed that polyannish /boy scoutish élan when they celebrated not simply the victory of the tennis duo but of the ability of sports to bridge all differences.! Even the normally sensible G.Parthasarathy (former High Commissioner to Pakistan) waxed eloquent. He did begin by pointing out that even as he spoke three Indian soldiers had  been killed and what about their families’ feelings ?

But then he went on to become romantic about the possibilities of friendship with Pakistan, displaying the similar attitude of Mani Shankar Aiyar  who waxes eloquent about the uninterrupted , uninterruptible dialogue with Pakistan. Here, as the present writer has pointed out on other occasions, the key to Aiyar’s position is his obsession with the Pakistani elite, represented by Mohammed Shah Qureshi, the Pakistani Foreign Minister.

And now comes the courteous charming Abdullah  Durrani , the Pakistani ambassador to the UN. Mention was made of the close friendship between him and Parthasarathi. One is reminded of many such close friendships between Indians and Kashmiri Muslims such as that between Nehru and Sheikh Abdullah. Here the friendship was ideological because like Nehru, Abdullah was something of a socialist. His communalist sympathies seemed to have surfaced clearly only in the 1950s when he not only demanded autonomy for Kashmir but also, according to reports, schemed for independence. It was at this stage that the betrayed Nehru had him arrested.

While dialogue and diplomacy are necessary between neighbouring countries, the irresponsible courtship of a country that is clearly out to administer the thousand cuts that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto talked about, is to be severely criticized. Nothing has changed since the days of the destructive hatred of Hindu India which the erstwhile Mohammed Jinnah showed when he unleashed the Direct Action Program of 1946 which launched the largest and most violent ethnic clash between Hindus and Muslims in Bharat. Today, we have the situation in West Bengal where as one writer has pointed out we have another Jinnah-Suharwaddy situation developing.

Hindus fleeing from Bangladesh cannot find comfort in communist West Bengal which turns a blind eye to their woes. The most recent has been in the last few days, when Muslims migrants from Bangladesh who have crossed to India have harassed, murdered and killed Hindus and injured many more, raped the women, desecrated temples and destroyed property etc.

(See V.I. Sundaram’s article ‘Green Terror in Deganga’ Haindava Keralam,09/09.2010).

The destructive elements in Bangladesh are not just Muslims of the region, but sympathizers of Pakistan, Maoists and the lumpen elements of Bangladesh society which have reduced the Hindu population there to a minuscule minority. An MP from the Trinamool Congress, Nusrul was seen openly instigating the rioters in West Bengal  against the Hindus. Mamta Bannerji, leader of the Trinamool Congress is silent on the plight of Hindus and is openly courting the Maoists and the Muslim vote bank. Her ambition to become the Chief Minister of West Bengal has sunk to the lowest levels.

In such circumstances, to continue to clutch at the straws of so called peace making with Pakistan is not only silly but unforgivable, because in the last analysis it is the aam admi Hindu who is assaulted and who pays the price for government inaction and dalliance with the enemy. The Belgian scholar Dr.Konraad Elst had once pointed out that there is a daily low level violence against Hindus in some part or other of Bharat . This is reported quite frequently in local papers but is ignored by the mainstream media.

The Aman ki Aasha project as it stands, is a sham and a hypocritical  device which uses the aam admi, the common man on both sides as fodder for their ill thought out agenda.

(The writer is a political scientist who taught at a Canadian university)

Welcome to Haindava Keralam! Register for Free or Login as a privileged HK member to enjoy auto-approval of your comments and to receive periodic updates.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

nine + 18 =


Latest Articles from Bharath Focus

Did You Know?