A few days back, a certain Shahid Afridi was caught in a media onslaught when he made comments claiming that Indians are not as large hearted as them and are bad hosts. It is an absolutely uncalled for accusation or is it really?
The gentleman that we are talking about was courteous enough to refrain from blabbing such things while standing on the Indian soil. Have no doubts, ladies and gentlemen, his remarks would have been hearted with much generosity if he dared make such a blunder here. After all.. "Ghar aaya mehmaan bhagwan samaan hota hai!"
Lets ponder on the reasons behind this episode's occurrence. Here are a few:
1) Afridi's just a sore loser
2) Afridi was maintaining their tradition of cribbing and wanted to graduate to the next level of name-calling.
3) He was trying to divert media's attention from their shameful defeat and focus on India-Pak rivalry instead
4) Or maybe he fell prey to sensational journalism that led to his comments being captured and misquoted.
Maybe, all of this is true or maybe none of it. We can only speculate. However from all these speculations i realised that retaliating to his comments will make no difference to his opinion at all.
I am Indian and extremely proud to be so too. However, considering that, shying away from the truth and not accepting criticism regarding my countrymen is not a part of it.
On the eve of India-Pakistan semi-final showdown, Vodafone, Airtel, Reliance, Docomo and the likes earned big bucks on account of the endless number of Pak-related sms jokes that used words that were so beautiful (this is sarcasm, note for those who don't understand it) that i cringe even when i think about it. I don't think i need to explain the contents to you. Just pick up your cellphone and check your inbox. The media didn't hold back either. There were hour-long special telecasts ridiculing "Afridi aur 11 chor" and they went on to further exemplify India-Pakistan rivalry.
Forget that! Catch a hold on this -
On the night when a billion Indians were celebrating the World Cup 2011 title conquered by Dhoni & Co., the streets were inundated with revelers that were dancing, screaming, cheering and hooting at the top of their lungs. One of the several popular chants that was prominent was, wait, can you guess it? - "Pakistan murdabad!"
I wonder, what kind of hosts serve their guests with a smile on their faces and swords uncovered behind their backs? What kind of large-hearted people make fun and hoot at another country's national anthem?
India-Pakistan cricket rivalry is well-known and even upheld with much respect in the international circuit. These are two bulls that are worth watching when they lock horns. They match up to each other because at the end of the day, they've been born of the same soil. This rivalry will flourish like old wine as the years roll on.
However, it is the lame loser attitude of a bunch of over-zealous so-called "patriots" that tarnishes and leads to slandering of the kindness of a hundred other respectable countrymen. Loving your country does not involve demeaning another's. Even after this insulting backlash from a famous Pakistani player, i am sure that we will welcome them with open arms to India.
Giving wind to such disgraceful misunderstandings will only catapult the animosity which is really just a bittersweet friendship. Lets forgive the poor lad; Be Indian!