Anger against Pakistan is justified but boycotting Pakistan in the ICC World Cup is not right

Biranchi Narayan Acharya

Post the heinous attack on a CRPF convoy at Pulwama which killed 40 Indian soldiers, the entire India is angry and has been seeking retribution against the master minds of the attack hiding in Pakistan, which is a safe haven for the terrorists.

Throughout the length and breadth of the country, candle marches are being organised. Traders shut their business for a day on 18th February to show solidarity with the fallen heroes. The Indian film fraternity issued a ban on Pakistani artists. India has scrapped the MFN status of Pakistan. Security cover of separatist leaders has either been removed or scaled down. Some 155 politicians including MLAs from J&K too scrapped of protection.

In the meanwhile, Kamran and Ghazi, the masterminds of the Pulwama attack have been neutralised although another five Indian heroes fell in this encounter. The Army and J&K police, in a joint statement, gave Pakistan, the JeM, and other terrorists' organisations a stern warning of retribution. The youth of Kashmir Valley have also been warned sternly that 'if they pick up the gun, they will be killed'. The parents (especially mothers) in the Kashmir Valley have been asked to ensure that their kids do not fall in to the trap of terrorists.

I have a point at the moment which needs to be realised. I can understand that Indian media has gone hyper post this attack and rightly so because their duty is to show the national sentiment. But then, there must be some merit in some of the demands, for example, the demand by certain news channels and a section of the public demanding Pakistan's boycott in the upcoming World Cup tournament.

India has already severed bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan. However, it's really unwise to raise a demand that is neither practicable nor logical. As a member of an international organisation you have two options for not playing. Firstly, you can choose not to play in a country which is either inimical or security is a concern. That had happened when the West Indies and Australia refused to play in Sri Lanka for security concerns. The upcoming ICC World Cup 2019 is being played in England, which is neither hostile for India nor there's any issue of security. You just can't ask ICC to remove Pakistan because Pakistan too is a member.

The only thing that India can do is to withdraw from the tournament. But then, the message will go that India not only boycotted Pakistan but also the entire cricket fraternity. America and the NATO countries boycotting the Moscow Olympics is not relevant here because they all boycotted en masse. How many countries are ready to boycott with India?

In 1986 FIFA World Cup, there was tension between Argentina and England because of a skirmish on Falkland Islands. Yet both teams played their knockout match against each other. In multi-polar world-level tournament, there is no place for bilateral tensions. Thus, India should show maturity and leave ICC World Cup from the ongoing anger campaign against Pakistan.

AuthorBiranchi Narayan Acharya
Date22 February, 2019


Posted by Debi Acharya / 2/22/19

Here is a fact. Shahad Peer of Israel was not allowed to participate in Doha open tennis tournament because she was a Jew. So discrimination can be done if they have the power going by the sentiments of citizens.Similarly after the dastardly Pulwama attack, India should not engage with Pakistan at all. Cricket is the least of all reasons to engage. World cricket will come to a standstill if India does not play. Play to your strength.

Posted by Naim Naqvi / 2/22/19

Very objective and balanced analysis. Good work Acharya Ji.....

Posted by Biranchi Narayan Acharya / 2/22/19

Thanks Naimjee.

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