Then came humans, they want to cling, But there was nothing to cling to…
Earlier I believed that the purpose of sports is to make good relations and to have peace between countries. When you take oath as a cricketer you concur with the ethics of sportsmanship, those ethics teach you to have good relations with your opponents irrespective of their religion, ethnicity and culture. Till now I used to greatly admire you. After reading your absurd tweet I felt sad. Your tweet, "For every slap on my army's jawan lay down at least a 100 jihadi lives. Whoever wants Azaadi LEAVE NOW! Kashmir is ours", comes after when the video showing Army Jawans are being hassled by some Kashmiri youth. I understand your concern about heckling of Army Jawans but calling for a mass murder is contemptible. I don’t say it was a virtuous act. I strongly condemn the episode which took place with the Jawans. But that in no way means you will openly endorse the mass murder of 100 human lives. Kashmir has already witnessed a massive bloodshed in the previous unrests, now we are not in a position to witness more. I wonder how you missed the other videos which showed how your Jawans have tied up our people to the jeep, how they have beaten our students to the pulp, abused them and how they have entered in the college premises without the consent of managing body even misbehaved with the college principal. There are so many `hows' which are yet to be answered. So people like you who have a huge fan following should remain silent when they know anything about the background. Instead of healing the wound you are adding salt to it. The prime job of a cricketer is to promote peace not hatred but your tweet has spread hatred and hatred only. Your concern regarding Jawans seemed nothing but a publicity stunt, you have imbibed spotlight out of nothing. There are so many things going in contemporary times especially in India like gang rapes, abduction, farmers suicide blah blah where you can bestow your opinion. Here your opinion is not welcomed. Your approach towards Kashmiri people who according to your constitution are your citizens is pathetic and unacceptable. Seemingly, Kashmir is in war with India right now, how the authorities will handle it , how they will restore the peace here let them, it’s none of your business. Kashmir is caught in the midst of a vicious cycle where every hour a death takes place. Thousands of our youth lost their eye sight by pellet guns. These people do not matter to you. I did not see any outrage from you when thousands of men were blinded, hundreds were killed. A video has revealed your ugly side which I never wanted to see.
You are here to play cricket, so focus on your game. My people did not comment about your receding career. Did they? No then why without knowing the ground reality, without knowing the history of the conflict, you came up with such an insensitive tweet. This kind of mindset will never help to bring an end to the violence in Kashmir.
People look up to you. You are a youth icon and influencer such statements from you will create a perverted narrative about the Kashmir conflict in young minds. Be careful about your words. If you don’t know anything about the war don’t speak about it.
Kashmir belongs to the people of Kashmir and no Kashmiri will ever leave Kashmir.
(The author is a student of mass communication and Journalism at Media Education Research Centre University of Kashmir.)