The Pulwama terrorist attack that ended up in the martyrdom of more than 40 men of valour from CRPF had shaken the very conscience of every citizen of this country. It has been over a week now after the incident, but people are still seething in anger and want the government of India to take decisive action against the perpetrators of this barbaric act, Pakistan. All kinds of emotions are running high in the country. Rightly so.
The government of India is echoing the sentiments of the country by saying the right things and taking the right actions, without resorting to a knee-jerk reaction that could end up in a full-fledged war between the two nations. All available soft options are being adopted by the government as if there is no tomorrow. Some of those steps have actually started bearing fruit, which is putting pressure on Pakistan to ‘deliver’. I am not explicitly stating those diplomatic and other steps taken by the Government as they are all in the public domain now.
Cricket is a potent soft weapon that India has. And cricket is a language that Pakistan understands very well and better, especially with Imran Khan as its prime minister. Aligning with the Government of India’s ‘Isolate Pakistan’ policy, BCCI can actually do a lot.
Let us not blame a Sachin Tendulkar or a Sunil Gavaskar or a Kapil Dev for what they said. They merely spoke as ‘cricketers’. We can understand their emotions when they said to the effect that let’s play Pakistan in the World Cup, beat them, and gain two points. India appreciates the spirit behind what they said. But the issue is not whether India should be playing Pakistan or not. It is about banning Pakistan from playing international cricket.
BCCI is the richest cricketing body in the world today because of the patronage cricket enjoys in the minds of the people of this country. In a wider sense, BCCI is like the US in the cricketing world. Yes, money matters, as the US has proved many times over in other fields.
BCCI, in all its wisdom, can campaign hard against Pakistan in the cricketing world.
- Campaign for isolating Pakistan from the cricketing world.
- Campaign for excluding Pakistan from the World Cup.
- Campaign for stalling all bilateral cricket that involves Pakistan.
- Campaign against those foreign players playing in the Pakistan Super League and exclude them from playing in the IPL.
After all, the cricketing bodies and all the nations stood together for weeding out apartheid and racism from the world. For humanity, right? Terrorism is no different. If BCCI takes a strong step forward in this direction, the people of India will be firmly behind it. Have no doubt on that account. If you do it, all of you in the governing body of BCCI can become bigger heroes than the cricketers themselves.
A Pakistan without terrorist elements is in the best interest of the world, not just India. Pakistan too will benefit immensely eventually. After all, sports (including cricket), art, music, business, and literature can thrive only in a peaceful atmosphere.
Therefore, let’s not lose the opportunity of exploring and exhausting all the soft options before taking up the ‘one and only’ hard option that is available – war.
We all know that the country is going through ‘extraordinary’ problems due to terrorist attacks. Such extraordinary problems can be solved only through extraordinary solutions. May the people of India give enough strength to BCCI to take all necessary steps to isolate Pakistan in the cricketing world. If BCCI can do that, it will be a big contribution of cricket itself for ‘world peace’.
By the way, I read somewhere that BCCI is scrapping the opening ceremony of IPL and donating that money to the families of martyred soldiers at Pulwana. Nice gesture, indeed. On the contrary, I would say, ‘Donate Money’ to the families, but have a much grander ‘Opening Ceremony’ of IPL like never before. That would actually send out a much ‘louder’ message to Pakistan that this country is much stronger than they think and India cannot be broken by their terrorist activities.