DMK leader Udhyanidhi Stalin has once again courted controversy after he shared a video from the India-Pakistan match in which the spectators are visible chanting the slogan of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ just as Mohammad Rizwan, Pakistani wicket-keeper/batsman was heading back to the dressing room after getting dismissed. The son of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister called the incident ‘a new low’ and said that using sports as “a tool to spread hatred is condemnable.” However, Stalin is not alone, several opposition leaders have come ahead to criticise this behaviour and have used this to attack Modi and Hindus and even apologised to PCB via social media for this behaviour.
Stalin tweeted, “India is renowned for its sportsmanship and hospitality. However, the treatment meted out to Pakistan players at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad is unacceptable and a new low. Sports should be a unifying force between countries, fostering true brotherhood. Using it as a tool to spread hatred is condemnable”.
This isn’t the first time Udhayanidhi Stalin has come to pour poison and hate speech towards Hinduism and Sanatan Dharma at large. Earlier, Stalin said that Sanatana Dharma is against the idea of social justice and must be “eradicated”. “Sanatana is like malaria and dengue and so it must be eradicated and not opposed,” he said last month.
Responding to this Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson, Gaurav Bhatia tweeted on X in Hindi, “This hateful dengue, malaria mosquito is out to spread poison again. You don’t have a problem when a match is paused for namaz on the field,” he said. “Our Lord Ram resides in every corner of the universe, so say Jai Shri Ram,” he added. Similarly several BJP leaders have come ahead and criticised Stalin’s statement.
This comes after Mohammad Rizwan wrote a tweet dedicating Pakistan’s win against Sri Lanka to the people in Gaza and indirectly supporting Hamas’ terrorist actions in Israel which led to the death, kidnapping and rape of hundreds of people in Israel.
Notably, the Pakistani team has often mixed sports along with religion and politics which the opposition so dearly opposes. Apart from doing namaz on the field, there have been several instances where foreign players have been insulted by the players and the fans for their religion, colour of their skin and language and were told to convert to Islam to go ‘straight to heaven’. Even former Pakistani player Danis Kaneria has alleged the PCB and the Pakistani players of trying to convert him to Islam and further discriminating him because of his religion. One incident from the late 1990’s also shows a Pakistani crowd shouting ‘Allah-hu-Akbar’ after Pakistan beat India.