Cricket Ad Portrays India as Solely Hindu
The T20 cricket World Cup is considered one of the world’s most famous sporting events. Millions sit down to watch sixteen nations compete in a frighteningly intense game of cricket. Yet, the publicity for this event has decreased significantly, downgrading the event to second place in viewership. The number of tweets, Facebook posts, and articles have reduced dramatically, and many suspect that it is due to the strident prolonged noise over the upcoming elections.
Since the minds of many Indians were swallowed by the big names involved in these elections, many missed multiple advertisements for the World Cup. There was an advertisement for the World Cup that took the audience through the last over of a match between India and Pakistan. India and Pakistan have never been close friends when it comes to cricket. The rivalry that exists between these two countries has always been prevalent, and continues to be to this day. But, we all know that the rivalry between India and Pakistan goes far beyond a simple bat-and-ball game. This national rivalry is immersed in religion, beliefs and history, and perhaps a bit of cricket.
The author of this article from The Hindu, T. M. Krishna, stated that there were no Muslims supporting Indian cricket, but, “every Muslim in the frame supports Pakistan.” Also, he stated that this particular T20 World Cup ad forces viewers to identify Pakistani Muslims as supporters of the Pakistan cricket team, but this ad failed to recognize the many existing Indian Muslims. “Was the intent to portray India as secular and Pakistan as Islamic?” The Indian fans were all perceived to be Hindu. What happened to the Indian Muslims who support India’s cricket team? The advertisement failed to acknowledge any of these Indian Muslims as part of the Indian-fan sector. Despite the constant heat between the two countries, we mustn’t forget that Muslims and Hindus started out living in one whole country, together. Most Indian Muslims are descendants of converts, and is therefore not valid to say that they are not Indian.
Hindus and Muslims make up a large majority of India. Many Muslims feel uncomfortable when they are surrounded by Hindus, and vice versa. These tiny disagreements and discrepancies between the two major religions have been causing much larger issues between the two countries, especially over Kashmir. Kashmir is the topmost part of India and is at the border of Pakistan. In 1947, Kashmir remained part of India, due to the mass of Indians living there. However, disputes still occur today, because Muslims in Pakistan feel that Kashmir should belong to them, and Hindus feel the same. Indian Muslims get caught in between, or even lost, because they don’t identify with one religion. They are a mix of the Indian subcontinent and the Islamic religion. Indian Muslims get caught in the rift, but they must be reunited as one with Hindus and Muslims if they want to progress as nations and prevent future disputes.
There is validity in Krishna’s point. He scorned in disgust as he stated the fact: Hindus and Muslims are segregated. This is indeed a horrible thing. There is no point in creating segregation between two religions who were at one time, united as one. Cricket is a bat-and-ball game, but religious disputes shouldn’t be influencing, or being influenced by, a simple game. Religion has its own fights and differences compared to the fan-hood of sports. Sports are strictly focused on the players and the love fans have for certain players and teams. This never involved religion, nor should it. Tensions are continuing to rise, as India’s Muslims are wary of a rising political star in the upcoming elections. Religious quarrels will occur at elections, and it has its certain right to. Religion doesn’t belong in cricket, but politics always involve religion.
We are to be the change that rids India of this segregation, as the population and diversity is so large. “I am not a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Parsi, agnostic or atheist; I am just tired, angry, and hurt.” Krishna is undoubtedly not alone in his feelings. This segregation cannot go on forever, and as times are changing, relationships and respect between these two religions in a positive direction must be apparent.[Image Attribue: nic_r via Compfight cc]