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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2856

‘Sledging’ To Win Indo-Pak Match

By Atul Cowhish - Syndicate Features

Sledging seems to have become an inseparable part of cricket matches played at any level anywhere. In India cricket is said to be a ‘religion’ which joins another religion in being kept out of the recent citizenship law. That may be seen as unfortunate by those who question the new law for being discriminatory. But that is another matter.

The passion that the game of cricket arouses among the masses in India and its western neighbor is perhaps unmatched anywhere. There should be little quarrel over the description of an election contest in India as a cricket match between ‘India and Pakistan’ which is an apt metaphor for rivals. Elections in India do generate a lot of heat.

After declaring that the forthcoming Delhi assembly poll on February 8 will be an ‘India-Pakistan’ cricket match, the BJP candidate from the Model Town constituency, Kapil Mishra, well prepared the ground for ‘sledging’ by his party members for the crucial ‘match’ which the BJP desperately wants to win to settle scores with its AAP rival.
The fledgling party that has the broom as itselection symbol had made a near clean sweep in the polls five years ago.

The political form of ‘sledging’ in India takes many shapes. It can be downright abuses, intimidation and even violent attack. A major difference is that unlike what may have been witnessed on cricket ground non-participating members who are not actually contesting polls are welcome to display their ‘sledging’ skills.

Many have been left breathless by the knowledge of science—as of many other subjects—displayed by BJP leaders. The scientists are scratching their heads with amazement with the Sangh Parivar claim that the sun emits the ‘Om’ sound and it can, contrary to what science believes, travel through the vacuum in the space.

It is perhaps the force of an unseen divine power which the blessed BJP stalwarts can transmit to their followers. So, be ready to witness how electric current travels from an election booth to an area inhabited by ‘Pakistanis’ without the help of wires.

The AAP had scored 67 while the BJP was bundled out for three in the last round of polls which were held in 2015, a time when the ‘pitch’ was expected to be highly favorable to the BJP: It had won a big majority in Parliamentary polls only weeks earlier and made a clean sweep of all the seven Lok Sabha seats from Delhi.

The BJP poll strategy is not to waste breath on irrelevant issues like the current state of the nation or its economy, the travails of the daily life and the falling image of India on the world stage. Instead, it seems to believe that all forms of ‘sledding’ that help demonize people it thinks will not vote for it. The ‘audiences’ enjoy nothing more than a verbal joust between two rivals and so much the better if it is accompanied by some ‘action’, described by the misguided lot as ‘violence’.

And what better way to demonize people than to brand them ‘Pakistani’, which has more venom than any expletive used freely on the streets. The BJP has adroitly turned ‘Pakistani’ into the worst form of indignity that no Deshbhakt (patriotic) Indian would accept. It can be uttered without the moral compunction associated with the four-letter words that echo during street brawls.

We will know a couple of days after February 8 how the voters decide the fate of political parties fighting for their say in the Delhi Legislative Assembly.

- Asian Tribune -

India Vs Pakistan Cricket Match - (File Photo)
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