<%-- Page Title--%> Chintito <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 127 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

October 24, 2003

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Of broken records,

Pakistan chip and Our Cricket


Last week Chintito's criticism of Pakistan officials (not its people) during the Bangladesh cricket team's recent tour evoked a reaction as having played a 'broken record'. (See letters SWM 16 October 2003)

This was not about having a Pakistan chip, whatever that
means. We were talking cricket. The Pakistanis were even coined in that article as "celebrated hosts".

We should criticise any country in the world if there was a Rashid-Latif-type 'pickup' making our batsman 'caught out', if there is differential treatment for the two teams in a flight, if they resort to pitch doctoring, if they get advantage because of faulty artificial lighting...

If Steve Waugh made a pick up and appealed for catch out against out, we would dip the Australians in the same pigment, if the Indian team was flying First Class from Mohali to Kolkata and Bangladeshi cricketers were made to fly Second class on the same flight we would be very bitter about it against the Indians, if the floodlights failed at the Lord's and the English got home advantage because of the blessings of Duckworth and Lewis there would definitely be criticisms that would touch on the colonial past, if the South Africans transformed a pitch overnight so as not to favour Bangladeshi spinners there would be similar protests. Such condemnations are going on all the time by all the countries against each other.

No! We did not sound like bad losers. We amply appreciated our cricketers by name. Just because we played well, extremely well I should say, and that fact has been mentioned on any article on the recent tour to Pakistan, including the one in reference. But that does not mean we have to shy away from cricket-ingly criticising our hosts, just because once upon a time we belonged to one mulk. Should we plant on each of their cheeks the chuma of the ummah even if they kick our butt, just because once upon a time we were Pakistan?

As Bangladeshis we have the right to point it out when our players are mistreated, in effect we should demand good treatment because we offer every official visitor to Bangladesh the very best in local hospitality. Ask any Pakistani cricketer!

Now let us move on to the 'broken record' mentioned in that reaction. How old is a broken record?

The holocaust, the almost complete destruction of Jews in Europe by Nazi Germany and its collaborators happened some 60 years ago. During World War II (1939-1945) the leadership of Germany's Nazi Party ordered the extermination of nearly 6 million Jews. (Reference: Encarta 2003) One of the worst crimes in Western history was committed in the previous millennium.

Today, Germany is one of the foremost leaders of the democratic world, but that does not stop anyone from referring to the heinous crime that happened in that country.

Only last week, one of the most respected world leaders, Mahathir Mohammad of Malaysia referred to the annihilation of the Jews more than half a century ago in order to prove a point. (DS 16 October 2003) No one will dare say he was playing a broken record.

Even to this very day, the Jews are hunting down each and every Nazi criminal guilty of the holocaust. That does not get tagged as a broken record. In fact some even appreciate their nationalism and zeal for seeking justice for their kith and kin.

The Mutkijuddho, the valiant resistance against the almost complete destruction of Bangalee in Bangladesh by Pakistan and its collaborators happened some only 33 years ago. Before and during War of Liberation (1971) the leadership of Pakistan ordered the extermination of millions of Bangalee. They killed three million, committed two lakh rapes, and maimed millions, physically and mentally. (Reference: Our bibek)

Today Pakistan has a new leadership, albeit military, but that should not stop any one from referring to that heinous episode in history; because the crime did happen. Our political equation with Pakistan is not a broken record. It shall be played eternally.

Why should criticising Tauqir Zia, Rashid Latif and Inzamam in cricketing terms sound like playing a 'broken record'? This is a matter that is very current, hardly a month old. And in our article 1971 was not even mentioned.

In that letter there is also mention of 'siding with a certain party'. What party? In our article we very explicitly sided with Bangladesh, and if it was that party that was meant then we shall continue to side with that party as long as Padma, Meghna and Jamuna remains bahaman, as long as there are dhaaner seesh in our paddy fields, as long as we use laangol to till our soil...


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