When the morphed photograph of Ms Dhoni’s severed head held in Bangladesh bowler Taskin’s hands -- exactly replicating a beheading replete with rage -- popped up on my FB screen, my first reaction was one of nausea and anger. In that moment had I been told that India should not play them on Sunday evening and walk off since this picture went viral across the cricketing world, I would have said, great, come home. This is dicey stuff and no, I haven’t seen anything so gross before and I cannot laugh it off. I am just not that cool a guy.
It bothered me not only because of the ugly nature of the picture which fortunately most newspapers have refused to propagate by not using it on their pages but because it reflects a mindset that is disturbing... That fact that it went viral and got passed on is a certain endorsement of that visual. People liked it to forward it. That means there are enough idiots out there who might see it as an encouragement to hostile activity.
What if tonight India win and the stands erupt in anger or India lose and the stands erupt with glee, what steps are being taken to ensure safety? These are no unreasonable questions.
As I vented my concern to anyone I could buttonhole last evening, several people told me not to be dramatic. Sports brings out the worst, sometimes, especially in the fans, and the competitive advertising has always been aggressive and marketed as a war of titans, the final battle, the victor and the vanquished…last man standing stuff.
It is not as if the Bangladesh board and the players are responsible. Let it go.
Still galloping on my hobby horse I said yes, but isn’t it a security problem and shouldn’t the authorities at least take further precautions so that some idiot like the guy who cooked this Taskin-Dhoni image up doesn’t think it’s okay to engage in violence? And shouldn’t the Bangladesh Cricket Board at least say oops, sorry, and shouldn’t the high and mighty BCCI at least check up if this picture is not part of a bigger package.
I was told even MS Dhoni is not that bothered…maybe not, but it is an ugly piece of work and if it has come to you, do not pass it on. Let’s just have a game of cricket and move on.
Guess it’s just all this violence that colours everything we do. It makes us jumpy. We cannot even disagree with someone without spilling venom.
Take this cretin from the BJP, a district president of the Yuva Morcha, Kuldeep Varshnay, who put a bounty on JNU President Kanhaiya Kumar’s tongue. What sort of person would do that? BJP has expelled him for six years from the party. What happens in the seventh? Does he become an angel? He should have been cast out for good for talking such rubbish. This is a physical threat. Period. And he should be marched to the cops and charged.
Such language and imagery have no place in our daily discourse, be it politics or sports.