The BJP, in connivance with other fraternal Hindutva fascist organisations, started a nationwide witch hunt against Muslims by alleging that the members of the minority community celebrated the victory of Pakistan in the ICC Champion’s Cup. Fake videos like these were used by the IT Cell of the BJP to instigate vitriol against the Muslims through social-media platforms, while in the offline space, the rumour mills of the RSS worked overtime to make a lot of Hindus believe that the Indian Muslims actually support Pakistan and are disloyal to India.
Following a politically motivated complaint from Vishwa Hindu Parishad, a notorious Hindutva terror outfit, the Rajasthan Police arrested few Muslim men on the charges of celebrating the victory of Pakistan in the Champion’s Day trophy final. The charges were of “disturbing peace”, as there is no other suitable section to frame someone who will celebrate the victory of one team in a cricket match.
In politically volatile Madhya Pradesh, where the farmers’ movement has intensified since the killing of five farmers in police firing and one in police custody in Mandsaur district, the police arrested 15 men and initially slapped sedition charges against them for celebrating the victory of Pakistan in the cricket match. The complainant was again a BJP leader, with a track record moulded with unbeatable records of spreading enmity between the Hindus and the Muslims using fabricated information.
Karnataka Police, which is controlled by a Congress government, took a complaint from a BJP leader called Ramesh Chengappa and arrested three Muslim men for allegedly celebrating the victory of Pakistan in the cricket match. The RSS was happy with these arrests, and its supporters demanded public execution of the three Muslim youth.
Indian cricket is controlled by the BCCI, which is a local chapter of the ICC that manages the “gentleman’s game” in the international arena. The BCCI is not a government body and the team that it sends throughout the world to represent India in cricket matches, is not a government team of the country, but a corporate-sponsored private team that plays to make money for itself as well as for the sponsors of the sport. Cricket in India is a billion dollar industry and almost all big corporations have invested their stakes in this ever-growing industry that has cult-like followers in the Indian sub-continent, the former colonial bastion of the British imperialism.
Though the craze of cricket has declined considerably over years in the country of its origin, England, due to the growing popularity of football, which was called the “working class’ sport”, but in the former colonies of Britain, the game has become more popular than ever due to the glamour that’s injected into the sport to make it a profit-making trade.
The BCCI is one of the most wealthy autonomous bodies in India and the richest sports body in the world of cricket. Its total accumulated wealth is more than enough to feed two square meals to a large section of the poor people of Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh for months, or provide electricity to several villages. All this money came from sponsorships that the body receives from foreign monopoly capital-owned corporate houses that plunder India’s natural and labour resources to make huge super-profits.
Opposing the BCCI’s team is not opposing one’s own country or an act of sedition, as the xenophobic Hindutva fascists would like the people of the country to believe. As the BJP-led government of Madhya Pradesh knew that their cooked-up charges of sedition against the 15 Muslim men won’t stand in a court of law, the police suddenly dropped the charges without explaining why they were levelled at the first place.
While Muslim lynching by Hindutva-incensed mob continues unabated in the country along with the lynching of farmers by the state machinery, the bootlegging of the old spirit manufactured by the RSS affiliates in the 1980s – Muslims support Pakistan in cricket matches – is done with an intention to, on one hand, irk the majority Hindu community by rubbing their Islamophobic nerves, and on the other hand, to justify the mob violence that is continuing throughout the country on the Muslims.
Also, these distractions are necessary to draw the attention of the people from the deteriorating economic conditions, from the farmers’ outrage, from the unrest in Kashmir and from the Modi government’s stooping in front of the Trump regime.
One’s nationalism and patriotism can only be judged by their deeds that are aimed at serving the interests of the majority of the country, i.e. the working class and peasantry, who are nearly 90 percent of the total population of India. The contractors of the RSS’ model of “patriotism” are those who are keen to sell the country and its mineral resources to big foreign monopoly and finance capital. It’s the BJP that talks about nationalism on one hand and on the other hand, its prime minister talks about “hard selling India” during foreign tours.
By selling-off the mineral resources of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha to greedy foreign corporations, by selling-off Indian Railways, defence, telecom and other crucial sectors to the US and Western corporations, the BJP, like the Congress, has shown that it’s a loyal servant of the foreign capital and imperialism, just like the RSS, and its goal is to turn India into a militarist neo-colony of the West.
Cheering for Pakistan, or for that matter, Australia or England, is not a crime according to the Indian law. But selling off the nation to foreign corporations by creating a smoke-screen of development is certainly an act of treachery and sedition for which the entire Hindutva brigade along with the BJP and its toady journalists should be prosecuted.
Though the RSS and its Hindutva affiliates and hired intellectuals are working overtime to demonise the Muslim community through all means and to develop a sham “patriotic” theology that the Indians would be forced to follow, the growing anger of the farmers against the feudal system and the apathy of the government towards their plight, the resolution of the working class to carry out militant struggle against the Modi regime and its corporate sponsors, the perseverance of the student and youth in their struggle against the decision of the government to sell higher education to the corporate houses, the determination of the tribal people to not let the big global mining corporations plunder the natural resources of India and toxify the environment, the firmness with which the Dalits of Uttar Pradesh are battling Hindutva terror unleashed by the upper-castes- shows that the future of the Modi government is doomed and except the minority of super-rich, the elites and the urban middle-class, no more forces will stick to it when the typhoon of several mass upsurges will gradually rip it off the power that it’s so fond of.