India vs Pakistan – A Rivalry Misinterpreted

The rivalry has lost its credibility.

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India Vs Pakistan

India Vs Pakistan. A rivalry that knows no bounds. From the diplomatic aspect to the sporting aspect. It is a rivalry which is among the top and among the most spoken about rivalries in the world of sports. Both the countries having a set of fans showing unparalleled passion and patriotism.

Earlier, the fans of both the countries didn’t have access to the kind of communication that we have today. In the world of memes and trolls and attention seekers, somewhere the rivalry has lost its credibility.

The players certainly take the happenings and results of the game sportingly, while the fans, not so much. If a fixture is announced between India and Pakistan, there is a storm of pure hatred among the fans which can be seen. While this on a whole can be seen as a severe drawback of social networking itself, the hatred and the cynicism among the fans takes away the sporting aspect of the rivalry which takes place on the turf and not some battlefield on the hills. You will see name calling, religion bashing, trolling on a very immature level, which I guess has been happening for a long time now.

But what effect does it have on the viewing experience? After the severe beating that India took in the finals against a fantastic Pakistan side, instead of appreciating the opponents’ performance, a majority of us Indians took to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to bash one of our very own, Ravindra Jadeja. What I saw on Facebook gave me extreme displeasure. The sheer arrogance of Indian fans to the extent that we couldn’t deal with a loss, albeit an important one, shows us the dark side. Cricket is more than just a sport to us, agreed. But to what level?

 

Rivalry

Indian fans, in every tournament, are known for their unparalleled support for their team, which cannot be denied. You will see Indian fans on every page including the official social networking pages of the opponents, especially the ones of our neighbours, spewing hate. I agree that it works both ways and that they do it too, but none of the cricketing countries’ population can match ours and our hate overpowers theirs. I have spoken to many ‘outsiders’ and they are fed up too. Belief in one’s abilities is one thing, but disrupting others’ peace and opinions is different.

Rivalry

Coming back to the rivalry in question, both the countries’ fans have had a sensitive spot towards each other. Intolerance and ego have been high in arguments and perspectives. Since the beginning of the tournament, I have seen several Indian fans bashing Pakistan’s cricketers for their lack of English speaking skills. Many enjoy making fun of a particular Pakistani skipper for his post-match speech. Eventually, they trumped us, even though many of them can’t speak proper English! In no way is that our problem but it isn’t something that Indian fans should nitpick or troll because, in the end, the cricketing skills are the only skills that matter and it was proven on Sunday. What happens on the battlefields and in the Parliaments, shouldn’t affect how we as fans, look at the sport. What happens outside the field, we as Indians or Pakistanis don’t have any control over it, but how we deal with each other outside of it, depends upon us. If you do enough research and talk to enough people, you may find that the Pakistani folks are just as fed up as we are when it comes to the diplomatic part of our relationship. Teenage fans need to understand there is more to this relationship than just war and religion.

Rivalry

Being an Indian, I love this sport just as much as anyone and cherish this rivalry more than anyone. But never will I agree to name calling or religion bashing or senseless trolling. If not in anything else, coming together and enjoying a match when played together can be so refreshing and a breath of fresh air. This I say after seeing many Indians supporting the Pakistani players who couldn’t speak English properly. Of course, there are exceptions from both sides, but the majority of us do need to realise that baseless hating will reap you no reward. And for those saying, ‘They do it too!’, just remember, An Eye for an Eye, Makes The Whole World Blind.