By Syed Wajahat Ali
As the general elections of 2019 approach closer, the politics in the country is getting murkier. For vote bank politics issues of Azan, Mandir-Masjid etc are resurfacing again. The environment of country is turning such that everyone feels like meddling into the ultra-nationalistic, xenophobic and jingoistic domains would fetch them gains- monetary, social or political.
We have already seen people getting election tickets, Rajya Sabha memberships and chancellorships for toeing in with the communal agendas of the right wing forces. But one last thing is our legends falling prey to the same divisive agendas.
For instance, Viirat Kohli’s latest rant is one which needs to be examined keenly. Virat Kohli is one of the famous personality of India. Cricketer who is presently the captain of Indian cricket team Kohli produced a petty definition of nationalism through his very political statement. In a video which is going viral on Social Media, Kohli can be seen criticizing a fan who said that he likes English and Australians batsmen. Reacting to this, Kohli who is known to wear his heart up his sleeve said that he should not live in India if he likes foreign players more than Indian cricketers. He said that he didn’t mind the criticism about him but if someone cannot like Indian players while living in India then they should not be living in the country”. “ I don’t think you should live in India. Go and live somewhere else.Why are you living in our country and loving other countries? Kohli said in his response. Mr Kohli must elucidate the meaning of ‘our country’.
This country belongs to all of us. This country owns and we own this country. This country is a motherland of all Indians. How can someone orders or advice citizens to leave this country? Is this not a threat to the national integration. Since 2015 when Akhlaq was lynched in Dadri, the environment of intolerance rose and nationwide protests took place against hate politics. Amir Khan and Shahrukh Khan the icons of Bollywood raised their voices against rising intolerance in India. Amir khan stated that-Kiran my wife said India is under intolerance and not safe for us. Khans lead a very privileged life but their point of view was relevant because every time there is an attack on Muslims it is because of their identity. Khans were trolled and suggested to leave India and go to Pakistan by the right-wing forces.
The episode is replayed again in a very different form when the captain of Indian cricket team is commanding his fan to leave India if he likes batsmen of other countries. Nationalism is a tool for the right-wing forces to hold power now this tool is utilized by Kohli. what made Kohli do so? When an individual likes batsman of other countries it’s about his choice and preference.
Kohli may be captain of cricket team but his authority doesn’t apply to the individual choices and preferences of common masses. No one has a right to order citizens of the country to leave their motherland. This kind of statement is ludicrous in nature and curtails individual choice . Cricket is just a game, not an instrument to measure patriotism .This reaction of Kohli is uncalled for. Is he indirectly supporting right wing for 2019?
As I quote Martin Luther King Jr. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.