IPL is not India-Pakistan League

Pakistanis should know that the I in IPL stands for Indian, not International. And the P definitely doesn’t stand for Pakistan. IPL is not the India-Pakistan League. It’s purely an Indian Premier League of cricket. A tournament for the Indians, by the Indians and of the Indians. I am amazed by the responses of some Pakistanis who feel so humiliated because none of the Pakistani players who were up for auction were picked up by IPL franchises. If there was indeed an Indian conspiracy, as pointed out by some in Pakistan, then no one but the ISI should be blamed. The spy agency should have known this beforehand. Certainly before the Pakistan government cleared the players the Indian tournament.

It is no surprise that given an opportunity many Indians would always try and want to humiliate and defeat Pakistan. What do we hear about Pakistan in India? The media is generally filled with skeptical/negative reports/propaganda about Pakistan. I am sure same happens about India in Pakistan. Many Indians have no fair idea about the society of a country that is so much talked about in media for negative reasons. There’s frightening lack of information about Pakistan in the world’s largest democracy. I am sure same applies with Pakistanis with regard to information about India. There are always some people on both sides of the border who want to play the nationalistic politics. They are celebrating now.

There are some people in India who talk good about Pakistan and my sense is that many of those folks were genuinely troubled by the IPL rejection of Pakistani players. Shah Rukh Khan, Bollywood actor and owner of IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders, today told India’s NDTV that it was, in fact, “humiliating” for him “as a KKR owner that this has happened. We are known to be good, we are known to invite everyone, and we should have. And if there were any issues, they should have been put out earlier so that everything could happen respectfully.”

Here’s a very interesting observation made by Shah Rukh Khan in the same NDTV interview (video):

“I am not giving an excuse and I truly believe Pakistani players are the best T20 players in the world. They are the champions. They are wonderful. But somewhere down the line there is an issue and we cannot deny it. There is an issue, we cannot keep saying ‘Oh this was wrong’. Yes maybe the way it was done was wrong, the way it is being carried out may be wrong. But you can’t keep on saying ‘Koi issue nahi hai yaar, woh aa jate’ (There isn’t any issue, they could have come). There is an issue lets not deny it. Every day we blame Pakistan, everyday they blame us, it is an issue,” he added.

So true. The blame game is because of lack of fair information about each other, I guess. Both societies need to open up themselves to people from other society and promote exchange of ideas. As their neighbor, we can only wish they came closer and worked towards the progress of the region.