I attended a dinner last night where everyone was discussing cricket and the performance of English batsmen. Bell, Pietersen and Morgan played beautifully and the way Matt Prior challenged the Indian bowling attack to the max, it reminded us of Pietersen or Ponting on a good day.
Among other things someone pointed the conductors’ bow that Sreesanth took after the wicket of Pieterson. Now those who know me know that Sreesanth is not someone I like. In fact he barely commands any respect in this part of the world. He may be the one of most talented of the current lot of Indian medium pacers but his cry baby past (he cried – literally- when Harbhajan Singh slapped him during an IPL match) and his general over the top antics do not endear him to any.
While I and few others were discussing how great the current English tail is where someone like Broad (who started his under 19 career as an opener and yes, I know weird shit about people that I shouldn’t really know but I digress) comes in at no 9 and how we love some Indians (Dravid, Dhoni and Tedulkar) and how we hate some Indians (Yuvraj, Harbhajan and Sreesanth). One gentleman came up to us and said that Sreesanth is a whiner because he is a Hindu. He was at pains to point out how Sreesanth’s religion has turned him into a loser who instead of responding with a slap for a slap, cried on a shoulder of another man. Had he been a mard-e-momin, Harbhajan would have had it, because Muslim men just go after anyone who gets in their way. Even though I don’t like him much, I felt compelled to defend Sreesanth’s honour and asked him for any scientific proof of his declaration but he had none. When I pointed out that the aggressor Harbhajan was also not a Muslim, the reply came: “he might not be a Muslim but he was also not a Hindu.” When I asked him if George W Bush was also a Muslim who attacked two countries and killed many people, he wandered off muttering something along the lines that the two are different matters and should not be confused with each other.
Even though I should not have been shocked at venomous contempt that man had for the followers of a different faith, I was. I cannot understand for the life of me how can anyone get it in their heads that their faith is superior to the others or their caste has given them the license to act as God’s chosen ones. Unfortunately, such specimens are found in all major religions. Subramaniam Swamy received ire from Harvard management for writing that Muslims in Indian should not be allowed to vote while Hindu women in Sindh get abducted regularly by Muslim men who marry them by force. Right wing Christian nutter Anders Breivik killed 77 of his countrymen because of the fear and hatred of the other and Israel continues to commit atrocities against the Palestinians after over half a century of conflict and this will go on as long as religion is used as a divisive force. Following your own faith does not and should not ask you to feel superior to others. What happened to the golden adage “Live and let others live?”
As for the uncle at the dinner, I just want him to know that machismo is neither Muslim nor is it a desired quality. The world would be a far better place if we do not put that much currency on machismo and consider compassion and humanity far greater traits.
PS: All the Hindu or Jihadi trolls who want to spew venom read the post again. It is neither anti Hindu, nor is it against Islam.
PPS: I have been told that Sreesanth is NOT a Hindu. I wish I can get hold of that uncle and tell him that.