Yes, India lost to Pakistan on Sunday. Pakistan won the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. But how long are we going to break our hearts over it? And why? These are some of the questions that Nazreen Fazal raised in her Facebook post, now garnering attention on social media. Although the cricketers seem to have taken the result of match quite in their stride, many tasteless remarks were made on social media. Many trolled the cricketers for losing to Pakistan, others took unwanted jibes at the people of Pakistan. In response to all of them, Fazal, a 25-year-old Muslim woman from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, wrote a Facebook post addressing this very ‘deep sense of personal loss’ that many are feeling right now.
“ATTENTION DEAR DESI CRICKET FANS
We need to talk.
So a couple of days ago some sports happened. Dozens of men in different colored shirts sported. They sported hard. But the thing with sports is that only one team can win. At the most, a draw can happen. But what fun is that eh?
This time Pakistan won and India lost. Last time India won, Pakistan lost. After all, it’s a game, that’s what happens. No one apart from the players, bookies, and advertisers gain or lose a thing. The sun still rises from the east, the cows still roam the streets, and politicians on both sides continue to cheat.
Then why this much heartbreak? You can’t say it’s because of your team’s loss. It’s because of who it lost against. You see we have been brainwashed on both sides of the border into thinking that something good happening to your enemy automatically means it’s bad for you. The scars left behind by the bloody partition haven’t healed. And this kind of loss, even though only in a sport, is like salt in that wound. It shouldn’t be.
Why this hate and abuse? Who is it serving at the end of the day? Why waste your heart space? Why abuse someone on the internet and spread fake news? Why take it so personally? India losing in a cricket match doesn’t make one any less Indian. The most Indian thing would be to demonstrate sportsmanship and accept this defeat gratefully. Abusing, trolling, and viscous cyber bullying is wrong and anti-Indian. You are not going to drive our team to victory by doing that. They are not going to do a la #SteveHarvey and announce “oops we meant India won”
Get over it. If you want to be outraged, rage against the other evils in our country. Speak out against the rampant rape culture, against corruption, against communalism, against innocents being lynched, against farmer suicides. Focus on all the good things going for us, celebrate the hard working athletes who are excelling in other sports, honour our incredible scientists, engineers, ciders, doctors, and dreamers who are trailblazing as we speak. Work towards actually developing the country. Instead, if you choose to invest all your energy into abuse and hatred, you are truly just magnifying India’s loss.
It’s time we move past this toxic rivalry and seek ways to come together on the many things we share. We both have an intense love for spices. Our biriyanis are awesome (unless it has elaichi in it). Our people love their chai. Our dramas and films are masaledaar. Our weddings are shaandaar. Our uncles and aunties are nosy. Our politicians are thieves. We agree on more things than we disagree on. We are neighbors, and we must learn to live and love in peace. Will you take the first step with me?”
“As an Indian I obviously wanted to see India win, but I am so disappointed in some of our people who associate every aspect of our lives to (faux) nationalism. I hear slurs from both sides of the border and it breaks my heart,” Fazal told indianexpress.com, when asked what prompted her to write this. “We have so much in common and yet we are focusing our energy on the differences,” she said.