Genocide of TVs – Humayun Gauhar


It was a classic case of killing the messenger because they didn’t like the message. The messenger was the television sets that belonged to Indians in India and the message they gave to India was that their cricket team had been decimated by Pakistan.

It was a veritable annihilation, not just a defeat. For me the most embarrassing part of the message was that Pakistan had overtaken India’s score without losing a single wicket. It will take a long time for India to live it down and this defeat will rankle their nightmares for a while.

It was a sweet moment for Pakistan which was generally expected to lose by an Indian influenced international media. However, Pakistan hoisted India on its petard.

The Indian media has been on an anti-Pakistan frenzy for years, not just in cricket, which made Pakistan’s victory all the sweeter. Very soon, Indian anchors on television fell on the Indian team. The Indian population unleashed a tirade of treason on the sole Muslim player in the Indian team, Muhammad Shami. Disgusted Indian viewers started breaking their television sets.

Indian Muslims were in danger of retribution, something their crazy prime minister would not have disapproved of. Indeed, the Indians made a perfect sight of themselves. The only positive was that the Indians suddenly added a market for new television sets. Their saving grace was that the two teams met each other like gentlemen.

Anyway, now that I have got this off my chest, let it be stated for the record that the bowling of 20-year-old Shaheen Shah Afridi broke India’s back right at the beginning and thereafter Pakistan’s domination continued.

If perchance India and Pakistan are to meet again in a game again in the world cup, India will be out looking for revenge and it will be quite a match to behold. Personally, I hope that it does not happen because another defeat by Pakistan could lead to untold tragedies.

To add the icing to this victory, two days later Pakistan defeated New Zealand. The Kiwis had only very recently walked away from playing in Pakistan just three hours before the toss, citing security reasons which later turned out to be nonsense. It later transpired that the fright New Zealand got was actually originated by India and its captive social media. It was a disgrace and since then I think New Zealand cricket authorities have been pretty embarrassed by their behavior.

England, which was to tour Pakistan just after New Zealand, also cancelled their visit, which was also quite a disgrace. The chairman of the England Cricket Board later resigned for this embarrassment. We have given both India and New Zealand their comeuppance and hopefully we will do the same to the English team in a few days.

Cricket is supposed to generate goodwill but because of India’s behavior, it has damaged that goodwill a lot. Reports have it that India was planning to have Pakistan ousted from playing cricket. It’s about time that the ICC, which is the international cricket authority, sanction India – not by ousting them but by some other less drastic punishment. Cricket is meant to be a gentleman’s game, but the civility is even being taken out of it by its fans.

Look anywhere that there is trouble, and you’ll find that India is at the root of it – whether it is with Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Nepal or whoever. America has decided of late that they will side with India in their futile and childish attempt to contain China. Good – for whoever has allied with America has suffered. We have learnt our lesson. Now it’s India’s turn.

Today, it is Pakistan’s turn to play Afghanistan. Afghanistan has suffered a lot but towards Pakistan, which at one time has hosted over four million Afghan refugees at great cost and still has around three million, it is behaving badly. Every time an interviewer asks an Afghan a question about Afghanistan’s troubles, pat comes the reply that it is Pakistan which is to blame, not realising that Pakistan has lost around 100,000 lives for Afghanistan and a gargantuan amount of money. But as Hazrat Ali said, be wary of he to whom you do a favour; a favour is too heavy a burden for an ordinary soul to bear so they react by damaging the person who did them a favour.

It should be about time we took the political hatred out of all games. All the cricket teams in the World Cup are taking a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. There is only one cricketer, South Africa’s Quinton de Kok who refused and declared his unavailability for a match. He is now going to be sanctioned by the South African cricket board and may well be banned from cricket, which would be a pity for he is a talented player. The answer has to be that politics and political matters should not be mixed with sports.

So, in the end I will repeat something I have said before: when the history of humanity comes to be written, it will be determined that politics did the greatest harm.

The writer is a veteran journalist, political analyst and author.