By Anubha Khan
Fawad Choudhary, Pakistan’s minister of Information & Broadcasting stated, “The celebrations in Kashmir after the defeat of the Indian cricket team should be enough to open the eyes of Modi & Co”. Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper printed an article on India’s loss to Pakistan and gave it an intentional headline as “Pakistan makes a mauka-ry of critics” thereby mocking India’s victory over Pakistan in 2015. Amidst this backdrop, some reports hogged the headlines related to a handful of Indians celebrating Pakistan’s victory by bursting crackers in Uttar Pradesh and by raising pro-Pak slogans in Kashmir. Some self proclaimed liberals tried to brush it under the carpet by labelling it as ‘Sportsmanship’. However, when celebrations for Pakistan’s victory by some Indians is seen in combination with Fawad Chaudhary’s statement and Dawn’s headline, the definition of sportsmanship gets blurred and spectrum of anti-nationalism gets emboldened.
All the students accused of celebrating for Pakistan’s victory belonged to the Muslim community. This gives an impression that there are some Muslims in India who still have a soft corner for Pakistan- an allegation, if found true, is a perfect case for sedition. If it was a matter of sportsmanship then many cricket fans across India irrespective of their religion would have celebrated Pakistan’s victory. In fact, not only Pakistan’s victory, a good performance by any other country would have been welcomed by bursting crackers or raising slogans. This clearly indicates that there is a political undertone attached with Pakistan’s victory which is being utilised by a handful of Indians not only to demean the ruling dispensation but also to defame an entire community.
Indo-Pak rivalry is going on since the formation of Pakistan. Pakistan is a threat which is leaving no stone unturned to destabilise India. Memories of 26/11 and Parliament attack are still afresh. Be it Kargil war or earlier effort to occupy Kashmir, Pakistan has continuously maintained its position as enemy number 1 for India through a varieties of treacherous and terrorist acts. In these circumstances, cheering for Pakistan in any form by any Indian is totally uncalled for. It is a mockery of thousands of soldiers and people who lost their lives due to treachery of Pakistan.
Students form the backbone of any country. They provide the solid foundation required for the prosperous future of a country. Constitution of India has provided a fundamental right in the form of freedom of speech to its citizens. However, this freedom of speech is not absolute. If freedom of speech affects the sovereignty and integrity of India then freedom of speech automatically gets curtailed. Instead of demeaning and defaming their country, students should focus on shaping their own future and contribute in nation building. Indian history is filled with examples of Muslims like Veer Abdul Hameed, Ashfaqullah Khan etc. who sacrificed their life for their homeland India. The Muslim youth should aspire to become like A P J Abdul Kalam. Raising pro-Pak slogans or celebrating Pakistan’s victory would only bring shame on the entire community which in turn would help in fanning the hate mongering politics.
(The author’s views are personal. It has nothing to do with janlekh.com management.)