Sunday, May 22, 2022
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Cricket

Keeping The Faith

Two youngsters carry the hope and burden of 14 crore Muslims in India and help reinforce their patriotism

Keeping The Faith
Keeping The Faith
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Most Indian Muslims see Kaif and Zaheer's playing as almost a vindication of their own patriotic credentials. Cricket historian Ramachandra Guha describes this phenomenon as deeply unfortunate and says "it is very unfair to put this sort of burden on these two young lads. But if Muslims are anxious to see Kaif and Zaheer do well, it's a sad reflection of their insecurity in these times".

Guha says this sort of thinking did not colour people's viewing of the game till the '90s. The Nawab of Pataudi, India's most charismatic captain, and players before him and after like Mohd Nissar, Abbas Ali Baig, Salim Durrani and Syed Kirmani, never played in an era of hyper-nationalism where an Indo-Pak match became war by other means. But the Kashmir insurgency and Babri demolition changed all that. "As society and politics became more polarised, cricket was drawn into the vortex," says Guha.

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