- By Basit Amin Makhdoomi ( Advocate J&K High court )
The day of 26th January is observed with shutdown in Kashmir for obvious reasons and Kashmiris in general confine themselves in their respective homes with nothing to celebrate for, but this 26th of January was a little different from its predecessors especially for our young progeny in Kashmir, maximum among whom are passionate about cricket as a sport. It was on this 26th of Jan 2017, a Kashmiri Lad and a household name here had to debut in the T20 cricket match as a member of Indian Cricket Team ( though he has Debuted in ODI side much earlier in 2014 ). The inclusion of this young son of the soil was a big news in this part of the world. Though by the evening India lost the match by seven wickets but post match , what a common Kashmiri was made to take note of was that of eruption of a controversy on social media which had direct bearing on their psyche. The controversy that dominated the social media was the “chewing of Gum” by Parvez Rasool during the national anthem. The social media fulminated against him with trolls even advocating for his removal from the national side, for what they called his “Anti-National” behavior.
A Kashmiri has always been a suppressed soul deeply despised and doubted by the people claiming us to be theirs. Even the ex –RAW chief A.S. Daulat in his candid book confessed of looking upon Kashmiris as characters, complex & difficult to engage with and he futher goes on to put the onus on New Delhi for making us the way we are. Despite tall claims by the people of mainland that Kashmir & Kashmiri’s as their integral part, not many will disagree with me when I say our credibility & sincerity will always be doubted and this applies to Pravez Rasool as well. Despite spotting a “Blue Jersey” and playing for India to the best of his abilities , the dogmatic mindset of theirs didn’t allow them to break the stereotypes they have canvassed Kashmiri’s in.
It is no hidden fact that whichever team India plays, majority in Kashmir support their opponents, but with inclusion of Parvez Rasool in the Indian team , many had a change of heart. Alas!! His act of “chewing of gum” during the national anthem was yet again enough for them to doubt him in particular & Kashmiri”s in general.
The curious case of “Parvez Rasool and his chewing gum” is not the first in the annals of incidents questioning our credibility and sincerity. Even the tallest leader of Kashmir “Sheikh Mohammedd Abdullah” whose strongest possible efforts & resolve that ultimately let to our accession to India was always doubted by Delhi. The first PM of India had very cordial relations with the first PM of Kashmir. Nehru always acknowledged and appreciated the mass support Sheikh Abdullah enjoyed here but what followed after some years is a fact that everyone Kashmiri remembers.
They always talk about our assimilation with them, but from Kashmirs point of view, the right course of action would be to first shed their tinned & dogmatic mindsets from the halo effect of looking Kashmiri’ s in Black or white, and then only simpatico can be expected to thrive and flourish on this side of the turf.