As a bittersweet result of the 200-year British rule, cricket has been the most prominent “culture” that calls for celebrations everywhere. Not only that- despite disparities that linger between generations, cricket serves as a medium that unites every member in the family before the glowing screen of their television. 

This is not just a sport but is an emotion for the majority of Indians. On a micro level, it helped families connect with each other on common ground, making memories that last till their last breathe. But a fact more significant is that on a macro level, it unites India crossing the boundaries of religion, language, and class.

On Round 9 of the Ranji Trophy match between Karnataka and Baroda, something foolishly odd happens. Commenting on Sunil Gavaskar’s Hindi commentary, a BCCI Hindi commentator goes:

“हिंदुस्तान में हर हिंदुस्तानी को हिंदी आना चाहिए ”

Which translates to: “Every Indian in India must know Hindi”.

And he didn’t stop with that. He proceeds to say that this is India’s mother tongue, and there is no language superior to this.

Casual Racism Is Still Racism:

I just have one question- What are you trying to gain from this statement uncalled for? India is already crudely divided, this is getting no one anywhere. 

A happy fact is that India has come a long way since Independence in respecting and living with their neighbours, but the “long way” is only halfway through. The problem of class and caste differences and religious wars still, very visibly, exists, and the government does a good job of keeping that up.

But getting to the specifics- dialect and cultural differences, though hazy, are more prominent than you think. It is actually so widespread that we fail to notice them like the sensation of the clothes we wear.

One can see it in educational institutions, workplaces, even in movies, on how it comes up. Mostly prevalent through jokes and comedy, we can easily spot this ‘subtle’ form of racism if noticed intuitively. Generally, North-East Indians become the butt of all “chinky” jokes and South Indians for all “uncultured Madrasi” jokes.

These can be shrugged off as harmless, but what we say out loud with confidence, is what we deep inside truly believe in. There are many more instances of such racism throughout India, and such verbal remarks are only the surface level to the ocean of political, religious, and social disturbances.

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Love Your Neighbour As Yourself:

Hindi-speaking people sure are a majority, with it being the mother tongue for an average of 44% of the population. Because of this very reason, the Central Government had adopted it as one of its 2 official languages.

Mind you, contrary to the misconceptions, it is only an “official” language and not our “National” language. But whatever it may be, why should the mere fact of it being a majority in use give an unfair advantage over non-Hindi speakers?

Every language and culture in India has risen out of a long list oh historical events, undead folktales, immigration, and inspiration. They are all their unique, individual dialects and is a result of thousands of years of passing down through verbal communications between generations in every family. And still, we find it really hard to respect our differences. 

It’s Not A Comment, It’s A Mass Weapon:

Mass media is not only used by the wise and the inquisitive, but it is also used by the unaware and the ignorant. By uselessly using such a major platform where literally the hearts of millions of Indians are involved in, making such distasteful statements is will go beyond mere statements.

It will provoke “cultural fanatics” by giving them an additional reason that supports their hateful opinion. In the end, people’s love for cricket would intertwine with their social and political opinions by being influenced through the game. 

Dear commentator, coming back to the beginning of the article: cricket is not a sport, but an emotion that unites generations and breaks cultural barriers.

Why use the very gifted opportunity of reaching your voice out to the masses by breaking the build of the fans? Let this game be about passion and togetherness that drives India undoubtedly. Let us keep our social opinions out of something that doesn’t need it to run on.

Image Sources: Google Images

Sources: India Today, First Cricket, Twitter

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