Dear “Patriots”, Cheering Pakistan’s Cricket Win Isn’t Sedition

More than two dozen Indians have been arrested for celebrating Pakistan’s Champions Trophy victory. 

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The thekedaars of nationalism are back. Their new subject of policing? Whom you should support in sporting events, and whom you absolutely should not (read: Pakistan).

And adding to the chorus from hyper-nationalist trolls on Twitter is the Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi. Here’s what he thinks should happen to Indians supporting Pakistan in sports.

I was asked about people, including those in Kashmir, who celebrated Pakistani win (in the Champions Trophy final). I said these are people whose mind and heart are actually in Pakistan, just their bodies are here, so they too should go there. Or better still, they should be deported across the border.
Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi, speaking to The Indian Express

Don’t even think of disagreeing with Rizvi. You’ll be branded ‘anti-national’ faster than you can ask, “Have we all gone mad?”

It seems like many of us have though. More than two dozen Indians have been arrested for celebrating Pakistan’s victory against India in the Champions Trophy final on Sunday. Most of them have been booked on charges of sedition.

Let that sink in for a moment.

A provision in Indian law which is meant to punish those who excite disaffection towards the country is being applied to people who chose to support a sports team of another nation.

What’s next? Sedition charges for celebrating Pakistani literature? Or Pakistani music perhaps? Their Coke Studio is, after all, unarguably better.

Arrest Kohli, Yuvi and Dhoni Too?

Look at how Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni were chilling with Pakistanis!

Should they be arrested too, dear thekedaars of nationalism?

Remember Chennai, 1999?

We weren’t always loony enough to arrest fans celebrating a Pakistani victory, even if it came against India.

Take a look at the standing ovation that the crowd in Chennai gave to a Pakistan side that had just defeated India in a hard-fought Test match (yes, the one in which Sachin fought a searing back ache to score a century that almost took India home).

In the words of Harsha Bhogle:

You’ve had a fascinating game of cricket, but this is the best sight you will see anywhere in the world. Pakistan are going on a victory lap here and this crowd here, at Chennai, are standing up and applauding them. If you’ve ever wanted to see a victory for sport, here it is.

Hearing Bhogle praise the Chennai crowd must really anger the thekedaars, right?

A Gold Standard of Hypocrisy

The trolls must be busy abusing Bhogle on Twitter already, so to the rest of you still reading this article, here’s an “anti-national” statement coming up.

Remember the time last year when a Pakistani fan of Virat Kohli was arrested for celebrating a match-winning knock of his? 

A number of Indians had mocked Pakistan on social media at the time. We called them crazy and undemocratic. “Typical Pakistan”, we said.

Well, by that yardstick, where does that leave India today?

They arrested one person, we arrested 26.

Our Advice for the Over-Patriotic

In public interest, here’s what we think the hyper-nationalists should do.

They should stick to boycotting India-Pakistan matches, and let the rest of us be, supporting whichever team we please. And to the cops making these ridiculous arrests, this is our suggestion:

Step One
Read this article - Those Weren’t Indian Muslims Celebrating Pak’s Win in Viral Video.

Step Two
Go arrest the people spreading fake videos and trying to incite communal hatred.

Step Three
Chill.

*Bracing myself for the trolls on social media*

Bye.

Cameraperson: Athar Rather
Video Editor: Sunil Goswami

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

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