Cricket’s Darkest Hour

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reign has been characterized by a number of divisive choices and policies that have had a significant impact both domestically and internationally since he came into power in 2013. The Modi administration’s advocacy of a Hindu Rashtra and its reorientation of foreign and security policy toward a stronger partnership with the United States need to be evaluated. We also look at the current controversies surrounding the Pakistan cricket team’s travel to India and the worries expressed about its possible effects.

In India, millions of people have a special place in their hearts for cricket. Cricket transcends political lines and is valued for its sporting spirit, with raucous crowds that fervently support their favorite teams and players. However, as the Modi-led administration keeps enacting laws that support the ideology of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), even cricket, a sport that epitomizes sportsmanship and fraternity, has not been an exempt from the influence of politics.

The RSS has exerted significant influence on the Modi government, which has brought about a new type of politics that occasionally casts a shadow over cricket. Sports in India have been influenced by the RSS’s concept of a Hindu Rashtra in a number of ways. Some see this as a worrying tendency that jeopardizes the nation’s inclusive and secular spirit.

Cricket must continue to be a sport that unifies nations and upholds the values of justice, sportsmanship, and friendship, and the ICC, as the sport’s custodian, must make sure that this happens.

The Modi regime’s aggressive foreign policy stances, typified by recent killings of Hardeep and Sukhdool, have brought into light a horrendous face of RSS agenda both internally and abroad. These elements have helped to create a climate in which even cricket is enmeshed in politics and ethnic divide.

The event, however, is tainted by scandal as the start date approaches. The cricketing community has been shocked by a phone chat between journalist Aditya Raj and Khalistan movement leader Gurpatvant Singh Pannu. Pannu’s admission that they want to turn this Cricket World Cup into a “Terror World Cup” has caused a lot of people to express their severe concerns. One cannot help but wonder whether it is necessary to make this call public. States normally avoid making such calls public unless they have specific proof of a real threat in order to avert panic and maintain calm before a global event of this size. The choice to reveal the call has sparked anxieties and produced a state of suspicion surrounding a possible political benefit Modi Sarkar is looking at to discredit otherwise genuine concerns of Sikhs around the world.

The debate has spread to social media, where users like defense expert Major Pawan Kumar have made upsetting comments linking the Pakistan cricket team to terrorism. Similar to this, Major Sureandar Poonia has started threatening the Pakistani team on social media. Such acts run the risk of escalating tense situations. As the dispute intensifies, some analysts believe that certain individuals are trying to incite RSS extremists holding radical views, which could lead to unrest or drama surrounding the event. The players, officials, and spectators’ safety and security are the most important considerations in such an environment.

In the realm of cricket, the International Cricket Council (ICC) plays a crucial role in upholding and maintaining the values of sportsmanship. The ICC must constantly be on the lookout for political meddling in the sport and persistently ensure that cricket maintains its integrity free from outside pressures. Even though India is a significant contributor to international cricket, the ICC’s main priorities should be ethical principles rather than financial interests. It is crucial that the ICC adopts a moral stance and does not hesitate to address political situations that have the potential to tarnish the image of this cherished sport.

In India, cricket has always been a source of pride and harmony that cuts across socioeconomic and political barriers. The difficulties surrounding the 2023 Cricket World Cup, however, have brought up important issues regarding the place of politics in the sport. India must strike a compromise between its political aspirations and its dedication to upholding cricket’s traditions and ensuring everyone’s safety. Cricket must continue to be a sport that unifies nations and upholds the values of justice, sportsmanship, and friendship, and the ICC, as the sport’s custodian, must make sure that this happens. The goal is that cricket would once more represent peace and harmony between India and Pakistan, despite their political tensions, as the globe watches the competition take place.

The writer frequently contributes to issues concerning national and regional security, focusing on matters having a critical impact on these milieus. She can be reached at omayaimen333@gmail.com

Courtesy by Omay Aimen – Daily Times

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Omay Aimen is a researcher, with an interest in national security, international politics, hybrid warfare & geopolitics. She can be reached at manahil.jaffer786@gmail.com

Omay Aimen

Omay Aimen is a researcher, with an interest in national security, international politics, hybrid warfare & geopolitics. She can be reached at manahil.jaffer786@gmail.com