19 January, 2021

Parathas, Anyone?

The bad blood phase seems over, the two Asian rivals can now even be graceful in defeat

T. Narayan
Parathas, Anyone?
Anyone who's at a Real Madrid-Barcelona football match will see a passionate expression of the different strands of Spanish identity, the fight between mainstream Spanish nationalism and the Catalan variety.

Likewise, Glasgow is testimony to the religious conflict within Christianity combined with nationalism. While Celtic represents Catholics and supporters of Irish Republicanism, Rangers represent Protestants and all the Ulstermen of Ireland.

Yet, India-Pakistan cricket takes sporting rivalry to a different level. The reason is that within our living memory these two teams were one, playing as All-India. The pioneers of Pakistan cricket were men who had been brought up in a united Indian team. This added an extra ingredient to this mother of all sporting rivalries.

An India-Pakistan match is inevitably a contest between members of an estranged family with one side—the Indian—wishing the estrangement had never taken place, and the other, the Pakistani, often behaving as if there never was a united family. This adds considerable spice to the contest, and...


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