Jan 092018

Hats off to Kashmiri cricketers for wearing green jerseys and lining up as Pakistan’s national anthem was played before the start of a cricket match. It was the best way to show love and pay respect to the country. Considering the presence of over half a million Indian troops in Indian-held Kashmir and the prevailing draconian laws in the valley, this courageous gesture by these cricketers has given a strong message to the Indian government that the struggle of the Kashmiri people against suppression will not stop.

That four cricketers have been arrested for respecting Pakistan’s national anthem hints at the narrow mindedness of the local authorities and exposes the real face of democratic values in India when it comes to freedom of free expression, especially regarding people living in Indian-held Kashmir. It is hoped that the civil society of India will take notice of this cruel act and urge the concerned authorities to release these young cricketers. The Modi-led Indian government must learn from history which tells us that no amount of suppression can put an end to struggle for freedom. India’s own independence from the British Raj is testimony to this fact.

Basharat Malik


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