Europe to Africa, Australia to America to Asia
An Irishman. A South African. A New Zealander. A man from Barbados. Another boasting of Pakistani parentage! And these 5 form part of a playing 11 in a cricket match! Oh, that means it is a composite World XI team playing in some sort of an unofficial charity match!
The suggestion is farthest from the mark! Rather these persons physically/ethnically hailing from all possible corners of the globe with continents ranging from Europe to Africa, Australia to America to Asia --- all form integral part of a single national team namely ENGLAND!
Yes we are taking of Irishman Eoin Morgan, South African Jason Roy, Kiwi Ben Stokes, Barbadian Jofra Archer and Adil Rashid of ethnic Pakistani stock!
All playing unitedly with a single mission of
making England the world champion in Lords by rising above all narrow parochial boundaries of national background, ethnicity, continental barrier, religion, race and colour!
Not to forget Moin Ali, of Pakistani roots, sitting in the dressing room!
And this very trait makes the region named England so unique, so special! Despite its imperialist history, England remains the most liberal and open-minded society in the whole world despite Brexit where quality and humanity are allowed to don the highest chair by overriding all silly borders of colour religion or race.
And this is the reason why despite an undercurrent of Islamophobia and not so uncommon bombings/terrorist attacks in England with the sponsors being people of Islamic vintage; Sadiq Khan, coloured son of an Asian/ Pakistani Muslim bus conductor, dons the post of London Mayor through popular vote!
Neither his colour nor migrant ancestry, neither his religion nor parental social background; rather Khan's quality was adjudged the one and only determinant factor behind his elevation to the Mayoral post of UK capital!
Let's contrast it with 2017 Gujarat Assembly election. Just few days prior to the first phase of polls, none other than the Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of a "nexus" between Congress and Pakistan to install Ahmed Patel as the Chief Minister of Gujarat if Congress wins the polls!
Even a layman can conclude that a wave of
antipathy towards Congress was trying to be generated by stoking the fear of Patel as potential Chief Minister! Now isn't Ahmed Patel a son of Gujarat as well as that of India!
Why can't he be the Chief minister of the state! For his Islamic vintage despite living in a Constitutionally secular multi-religious nation! But in far away European England, ethnically Pakistani Sadiq Khan's religion is not an issue at all by any yardstick!
Or take Khan's comment on his Amritsar visit in 2017! Despite holding British passport and donning the post of London Mayor, Khan categorically commented that the British should apologise for the dastardly killings in Jalianwala Bagh! Yet no hue and cry back home ie England!
In contrast let's take the cases of BJP stalwarts L.K.Advani and Jaswant Singh! While the former paid rich tribute to M.A.Jinnah during his Pakistan visit, the latter praised the Pakistani legend in his book and we all know how the nation and even BJP reacted to it!
It was Mahatma Gandhi who was in the forefront of India's struggle for independence from British rule. Innumerable times he was imprisoned by the British. And thanks to Gandhi's relentless struggle, Britain lost one of it's major colony named India!
Yet Gandhi forms pride of place throughout Britain with his gallant statue embracing London's iconic Parliament Square as well sharing space with his bete noire Winston Churchill who once dubbed the Indian as "half naked fakir"! If Gandhi snatched India from the British, Jinnah snatched Pakistan from India! But can it expected that statue of Jinnah would find such a pride of place in India!
While Indian antipathy towards Jinnah is
understandable given his role in gory Great Calcutta Killings and subsequent Partition leading to riots murder and mass displacement, but isn't it surprising to note England's liberalism towards Gandhi who played an instrumental role in ending British rule in India!
Perhaps this liberalism of heart and mind form
the prime reason why despite living and earning
sustenance in England soil as well as holding British citizenship, the migrant communities are allowed to zealously support India Pakistan Bangladesh Sri Lanka or West Indies even when the match is against the hosts England! No repercussion from either the indigenous Whites or the State. I wonder whether any other country in the whole world would display such tolerance!
The matter has come to such a sensitive pass that "patriotism" of Indian commentators also get questioned when they dare to praise a David Warner or Babar Azam!
Yes England has reached the height of humanity and freedom where anybody can think and act as he or she likes unless it is illegal.
So we have come to know that prior to celebration through champagne shower, Moin Ali and Adil Rashid had left the dressing room for religious reasons! No the Britishness or patriotism of the duo didn't get questioned for it! This is called respect towards human rights and diversity. In contrast acceptance or rejection of "Jai Shri Ram" is being zealously projected as yardstick of "nationalism" by some in India with the "anti-nationalists" often beaten up!
Though Brexit is not synonymous with blanket ban on "outsiders", yet the "liberals" around the world had dared to condemn the independent choice of the British and accused them of being "parochial"!
I want to know the name of a single country(barring USA) whose boundary is as wide open as England! In a world where own citizens get discriminated on the basis of language race religion or colour by the concerned States with strict restriction in temporary entry of even refugees, England serves as that rare island of humanity and international brotherhood.
Ending with Eoin Morgan's comment following the historic win-"We had Allah with us as well"! Yes Allah is present not within the cricket team only, Allah is with whole England also for serving as epitome of humanity.