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Sinister games

Sinister games
Highlights

The obnoxious developments of the past three days amply demonstrate that the proxy war being waged across the border has penetrated right into the mindset of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) mandarins.

The obnoxious developments of the past three days amply demonstrate that the proxy war being waged across the border has penetrated right into the mindset of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) mandarins.

There is no denying that at a time when the relations between Islamabad and New Delhi have been more fragile than ever before, the situation has been aggravated by the utterances of ‘responsible’ leaders from both nations.

In the absence of sincerity in their approach, statements like ‘sports and culture should be kept away from politics’ sound as gibberish as they can be.

Although, hatred is kept under a warp, it bursts into the open in a rather awkward manner whenever celebrities come as ambassadors. This has happened both in Pakistan and India because of which a nation’s image is getting buried, once and for all.

Nipping the Sena threat in the bud should be the immediate priority. This was not the first instance of the Sena holding the country to ransom. They have done it in 1991 and 1999. It makes no difference to them whether it is the players or the PCB administrators or their umpires.

This has been their stated opposition. True what the activists did was condemnable. Such vandalisms are deplorably despicable ways of expressing one’s ire and angst.

It is not just Pakistan hockey, kabaddi and cricket players or cultural icons, but even Sri Lankans had to stay away from their Chennai engagements during IPL because of political ‘compulsions.’ However, a reality-check on such volatile protests will reveal how politics are played out in the country.

It is not whether some rowdy elements took to the streets to shame the nation while demanding the exit of Pakistanis but uncovering the ‘supportive’ mask of its sadistic form. Cultivating ‘committed’ individuals who double up as hired goons and take up the party’s cause to settle scores with the political opponents,

who patronise their own field soldiers, as a measure of silencing the lambs remains the country’s most avoidable bane.

At a time when Mumbai was on the boil following Sena trouble, fixing the crucial BCCI-PCB meeting in the city was a sure-shot recipe for disaster. Politicians like Mamata Banerjee are willing to play host not for love for the game but to cash in on the political goldmine that waits in the form of sympathy wave.

Anurag Thakur, a BJP leader, had only a couple of months back warned that cricket and cross-border terrorism could not go hand in hand only to get a India ‘boycott’ threat from PCB.

As things stand, more than the political blame-game that is on show, it is the shrewd behind-the-scenes mind-game moves that bear the hallmark of a chess Grandmaster that are killing whatever miniscule bit of camaraderie that exists. It is time the buck stops somewhere. The question is where and on whose table?

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