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Saturday, December 9, 2023

Bharatiya lives don’t matter

At the opening of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in Dubai, Bharatiya team was on their knees to raise awareness of Black Lives Matter. This gesture is not only hollow but also hypocritical. If the Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI) and its players cannot stand up for victims of Pakistan sponsored cross border terrorism, then how can they genuinely feel for others?

Does the BCCI chaired by Sourav Ganguly have any sense of justice? If the BCCI’s consciousness does not extend beyond cricket, then how can the world trust Bharat’s global leadership? The current T20 World Cup in Dubai provides an ideal forum for Bharat to highlight the killings of its innocent citizens by Pakistan sponsored cross-border terrorists. The failure of the BCCI and the cricketers not to see beyond the narrow passion and profits from the game is certainly being noted by others.

Enough has been done to highlight Black Lives Matter including the award of US25 million in compensation to the family of George Floyd by the US court. What has Bharat done for the poor migrant workers of Bihar who were beaten and driven out of Kashmir last week? Or, the families of Kashmiri Pandits who have been killed and now living as refugees in their country? Or, the jawans who have been martyred? Has the BCCI ever thought of holding a cricket match to highlight the plight of the Kashmir Pandits or Bollywood making a movie?

While Bharat was the first country that recognized the struggle of the ANC against apartheid in South Africa, it failed to protest racism and discrimination against the descendants of Bharatiya indentures in the Caribbean and Africa. The state-sponsored racism against Indo-Guyanese had no response from the Bharatiya government.

Bharat’s foreign policy stated clearly that descendants of Bharatiya indentured laborers were citizens of those country and irrespective of how they were treated, they were on their own. Sadly, this is the policy of a nation that is lobbying for permanent membership in the Security Council of the United Nations!

This lack of response of Bharat to injustices committed against fellow Bharatiyas appears to be congenital among Bharatiyas. Bharatiyas have always demonstrated a readiness to champion other nation’s problems while silent on the pains and sufferings of its own citizens. This is a behavior not confined to Bharat but also in the diaspora whereby the policy of Bharatiyas in power is to appease the aggressors (enemies) by providing houses, roads, schools, jobs and increased wages to appease them while ignoring the needs of their supporters.

Bharatiyas must understand that the enemies would only respect you when you can punish them in one way or the other. If Bharatiyas cannot influence change, it is because they don’t understand POWER … to use it to their advantage.  For example, knowledge is power and Bharatiyas are supposed to have an abundance of it since for the past two decades in Trinidad and Tobago they have been the majority of scholarship winners. But, are Bharatiyas using that knowledge to their advantage? Bharat’s influence and leadership in all walks of life is dim, if not absent. Nevertheless, Bharatiyas are loud in fighting among themselves, not in fighting bigger threats.

Bharatiyas don’t need power as such because they don’t have any use for it. So, if Bharatiya cricketers have gladly taken the knee to support Black Lives Matter, it only demonstrates that Bharatiyas cannot use power to their advantage. Why should any right-thinking nation trust Bharat to hold a permanent seat in the Security Council when its citizens are not secured within its borders?

Bharatiyas need to understand power. Live like a beggar for a year, and you would understand what it is like to be without power. Live like a king for a year and you would marvel at what power can do. Unfortunately, Bharatiyas are not teaching their children about managing power but how to find a job. The average Bharatiya wants to be a worker and not an employer. He is afraid of responsibility… of taking charge and always ready to go down on his knees.

So, while pushing our children to take education is good, more so we need to take a giant step to encourage them to be leaders. The behavior of Kohli and Ganguly demonstrates that they are players of the game of cricket and not leaders. It is time that this servile mentality be removed from the mindset of the Bharatiya people.

One must admire Quinton de Kock, the South African player who refused to take the knee for reasons best known to him. Would Virat Kohli or Sourav Ganguly or any Bharaplayer ever display such courage? I doubt very much!

-by Dool Hanomansingh

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