Saffron custodians of cricket in India


New Delhi: When every cricket lover thought that the cloud shrouding the Indo-Pak bilateral cricket series got cleared, the Sangh Pariwar had the last laugh with the central government in Delhi showing no inclination towards giving a green signal to the clearance sought by the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

The Shiv Sena took to street protesting the initiative to hold bilateral cricket series. They said if the series was organised then it would be showing respect to the hanged terrorist Ajmal Kasab.

An editorial of the Saamana, the mouthpiece of Shiv Sena, said, it was unjust and unethical for a Hindu majority country to invite Pakistanis to play a mere game of cricket.

Musical concerts to book releases, the RSS and the Shiv Sainiks are against anything that relates to Pakistan.

What is the first thing that comes to one’s mind when a person hears the name of these outfits? A saffron flag with a tiger’s face on it? Or the saffron colour?

Undeniably, when the country is gripped in alleged ‘growing intolerance’ there is a race to uphold the saffron flag.

In simple words, a faction of BJP, whole of RSS and Shiv Sena were trying to promote patriotism by upholding the saffron flag. They claim it’s a leaf for Hindutva forgetting that religious ideals are quite different from the ideals of patriotism.

Political Pundits are critical of the motives behind the protests. Political analysts are of the view that the cadres of RSS and Shiv Sainiks were resorting to fierce and extreme moves to make their presence felt. With BJP getting a boot in the Bihar polls, their importance was getting dimmed.

There was no way out but to rake up anti-Pakistan sentiments to garner solidarity. The move of lambasting Muslims and Pakistani nationals was akin to politicians of Lahore and Islamabad where they use anti-India sentiments to win polls.