I am not passionate about cricket as a sport. But I am certainly passionate to see the festivity in my neighborhood. Yes, my mind says not to relate cricket with Kashmir dispute, but my heart goes the other way around, and I am sure it’s same across the disturbed region, a region which hardly hears the sound of firecrackers – only thrice a year – on Eid and Diwali. And of course, when Pakistan wins against India, or India loses against any other team.
As soon as West Indies beat India by seven wickets to qualify for World Twenty-20 finals, I could hear firecrackers all around. I soon updated my Facebook page with the news (yes, it’s the most interesting news in Kashmir) and also stated that firecrackers were heard in parts of Srinagar. But before I could even ask anyone from other parts of Kashmir, the messages started pouring into my newsfeed. And the environs were the same there too.
Let me make it clear, before some of you start abusing me, the celebration does not hold true for every single Kashmiri, but is certainly the voice of a clear majority. You need proof? Check out social media.
Many of my friends from India, who know nothing about Kashmir conflict other than the word terrorism (courtesy: their media), sincerely want to know why we people of the land, which they consider the integral part of their country, were soooo thankless of India’s ‘mercy and blessings’. They also seek logic and reasoning behind our support to Pakistan or other teams opposing India.
Friends, we know India has a strong cricket team, but some things go beyond logic. They are driven by emotions. And emotions are driven by experience. And experience here covers numerous massacres, mass rapes, disappearances of thousands of people, and mental trauma of all others. Army for you is a security force, but when we see it, we see danger. Similarly, militants for you are terrorists, but when a post-graduate, who would have made a great career, succumbs to bullet injuries in Kashmir, thousands, sometimes lakhs, of people assemble for his funeral, not because he is a terrorist, but because he is widely considered a martyr in the cause of justice.
Oppression has its offshoots, and they are everywhere, even in sports. No doubt cricket is not the oppressor, but its colour represents one.
My only advice to every loyal Indian is not to be furious against my land or suggest my name for the never-ending list of sedition cases. Just introspect. Instead of abusing Kashmir for not supporting your team, just look for the reasons. I am sure you will have a better knowledge. God bless you! After all, we do not want your bad, we just want good for us too.
Vijdan is the founder and editor of JandK Now. He studies convergent journalism at Central University of Kashmir.
Disclaimer: This is an opinion article and does not represent the editorial policy of the website, which aims at impartial news reporting