Sunday 16th June witnessed one of the world’s most intense sporting rivalries rise again. India & Pakistan went head-to-head in this year’s Cricket World Cup - taking place in no other than dear old England & Wales. Ah, so delightful.
But the golden question you may be asking: Why is the rivalry between India & Pakistan so intense?
It stems all the way to 1858 where the British Raj (a.k.a, British “rule”) began. During the reign of Queen Victoria, the British Empire touched land in Hindustan, who overthrew the 19th and last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar. His dethroning lead to India being ruled for over 100 years until August 1947, where the Great Partition took place.
The Partition was not handled fairly however. Cyril Radcliffe, the British lawyer responsible for drawing the line between India & Pakistan, had only 5 weeks to finish the job. Relying solely on outdated maps, inaccurate census figures, and deadlocked advisors, the Partition resulted with 17 provinces going to India, 4 provinces going to Pakistan (the Eastern province in the Bengal region later became Bangladesh in 1971), and some provinces left unclear for declaration - such as Kashmir, which India & Pakistan continue to argue over ownership rights to this day.
There were many who opposed to the Partition also. Hindus didn’t want country divided, as they believed that Hindustan must stay as a whole country. Sikhs also opposed the idea of a partition, as they felt it would threaten their livelihood of Sikhism & the community. Muhammad Ali Jinnah however, believed in a two-nation theory - where Muslims & Hindus should be sought & treated as two separate nations. He believed that Muslims have a right to have their own land, in which Muslim-majority areas of Hindustan can freely practice their faith with Islamic values integrated in their legal system.
The Partition displaced 12 million refugees across all faiths - forcing Muslims, Hindus & Sikhs to migrate to their designated, densely-populated lands by faith.
*** TRIGGER WARNING: Next paragraph contains grotesque, violent details. Please skip if sensitive. ***
Violent riots had also ensued amongst the Partition migration, with an estimated 1,000,000 deaths across all religions. Violence against women was a key issue, with an estimated 100,000 women kidnapped and raped. Women would commit suicide by jumping into wells. Children would be slaughtered in front of their siblings. One survivor recalled seeing babies heads smashed into walls. “Blood trains” would arrive between the two nations that were full of corpses that were murdered by mobs, with blood seeping under the carriage doors. Sometimes the trains would be burning on fire as they would arrive at the station.
Naturally, with all of this bloodshed, the impact of this partition violently loomed over the diplomatic relations between Pakistan & India, and still continues to do so up to this day. Majority of citizens from both nations view each other negatively. So it’s understandable that this intense rivalry between the two countries stems in everything - including cricket.
So when the match concluded with India (336/5) defeating Pakistan (212/6) by 80 runs - it’s no surprise that patriotic Indians came out to celebrate in full force.
This scene here was hilarious. This man negotiated with these parents driving this convertible, to let him carry their child on his shoulders and run about celebrating India’s win. Mysteriously, these parents accepted this random person’s request, and let him do so - thus potentially traumatising the child in the process.
Indians took to the streets giving out ladoo (a South Asian sweet) and cake to everyone around. Including me! If only they knew I was Pakistani. Heh heh heh.
A couple of fans bought birthday balloons to release in the sky. Close enough, I suppose.
And finally, the crazy carnage that ensued.