A few weeks ago Virat Kohli made some remarks that went viral and annoyed a lot of Indian cricket fans.
Growing up I was always oceans away from cricket as it didn’t interest me at all however whenever there was a match between India and Pakistan, there used to be a unique buzz in the air.
Even in my home where no one liked cricket, everyone was excited about the results.
There were talks of some bad Muslim families who supported Pakistan and I remember my mom being furious at that. She’d scream “if you eat and earn in India, you’re supposed to root for India”. It seemed absolutely fair and natural.
That would be absolutely traitorous to be an Indian, live in India and support another team.
My naive, cute, patriotic self was happy in her bubble world until I traveled abroad and lived in the UK.
The English cricket team is one of the finest I hear and the match between India and England have that special backdrop of Lagan movie hence the deeply embedded patriotism bursts when the match is on.
I found it weird that Indians who live in the UK, earn in the UK, struggled and acquired the British passport are rooting for India when the cricket match is on.
This confused me to bits.
When one changed their nationality and don’t have their bread coming from anywhere else but this country, why would they not support it?
It feels very natural for us to call someone a traitor who lives in India and supports any other nation.
But when we live in other countries we want all the liberty and freedom to support countries that we want.
What kind of patriotism is this?
Indians in the UK, literally have their festivals celebrated, their restaurants, their cultural and caste-based organizations and groups. They parade around Piccadilly chanting Bharat Mata ki Jai!
But if there is a ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ or Long Live Britain on the Indian soil… there’s sedition charges and national shaming on the media channels.
I fail miserably to understand why one is traitorous while the other is a civil right.