Knowing that no right minded Indian thinks the rate of inflation, the price of potatoes, cooking oil, petrol, diesel, rice, flour, eggs, indeed, any commodity you can name, the indices of joblessness, the monopolization of national wealth, the degradation of Institutions, the collapse of parliament, the weakening of democracy, the preponderance of hate crimes and vendetta vigilantism, the studied relegation of minorities, the routine denigration and physical abuse of women, et.al. to be of primary consequence to our collective well-being, India’s electronic media channels have uncannily, as is their wont, zoomed in on what is seen by every sensible citizen as truly catastrophic to national self confidence and international standing—namely, our ignominious loss to England in the semi-finals of the now concluded T-20 Cricket World Cup.
What is particularly galling, although politely unsaid, is that just when we thought we had our own man in Ten Downing, his team thought nothing of dishing out a ten-wicket drubbing to mother eleven, unmindful of the humiliation such things cause to the celebrity icons of “new India” and their besotted fans.
The come-uppance did not stop there: he, Sunak, seems to have instructed the English team to go softer on Pakistan ( who, as we saw, fared much better) just to make it known to us, as it were, how the Pakistanis are superior to us Indians.
This circumstance raises a question: does Rishi Sunak think of himself as a territorial or a civilisational Hindu?
Consider that although he took his MP’s oath on the Bhagvad Gita, it signified loyalty to the British monarch, who, after all, is the “defender of the (Christian) faith” , rather than to to Ma Bharti.
We may well wonder whether that can be considered an acceptable use of the Hindu holy book.
In this matter, indeed, the Australian government seems distinctly more emancipated.
They do not mind one bit if their citizens of Indian origin shout gung-ho for the Indian team against their own , even raising the tricolour in the face of the Australian national flag to which their citizenship oath requires allegiance.
The Americans similarly seem fully to know that, like the Jews of the world who follow Zionist internationalism, American citizens of Indian extraction also subscribe to a like trans-American, trans-national oneness, excluding all the others who remain outside the pail of Hindutva, as in the case of Zionism.
If anything, sanatan Hindu belief exceeds Zionism to the point where the September, 1983 Issue of the Vishwa Hindu, organ of the VHP, could write:
“In pre-Christian times, everybody, everywhere, in the entire world, was Hindu.”.
Clearly, Mr.Sunak (whom we may have erroneously thought to be Shri rather than Mister), seems a mere territorial Hindu who still places his narrow national identity over and above his oceanic sanatan ancestry.
Mister Sunak seems not to have noticed that most Indian NRIs in the world’s oldest democracy fete Shri Modi when he be visiting not just as the Indian prime minister but truly someone more than the President of the country of which they are citizens–a universal global Maharaja, if you like.
The question, however, may be asked: if everyone, everywhere is Hindu, then where does the issue of having been snubbed by the Christian English team arise?
After all, it is Sunak who needs to understand that it is his meta-historical destiny to make it felt on those who consider themselves English and non-Hindu that they are, at bottom, yet more children of the lost tribe, one which Shri Modi is regrouping with prophetic calling.
Many beloved cricketing heads will no doubt roll in the days to come, not so much for having lost the game, but having betrayed Hindutva.
After all, a loss to any “other” is not only humiliating; it also entails the thinning out of mountains of lucre, stored in the coffers of the BCCI, the richest Board of all worldwide Boards.
After all, unlike the sporting liberals of old, Hindutva, like our beloved Americans, recognizes only two kinds of homo sapiens, the winners and the losers.
No Hindu who nowadays loses can ever be a proper child of the cosmic Hindutva parivar, be it in the matter of T-20 Cricket or a municipal election, not to speak of assemblies and parliament.
The losers are those who go set up them Human Rights platforms—the dregs of the realm who make educated excuses for having failed to be winners at any and all costs.
In their case, nobody said it better than the dithering Hamlet: “thus conscience makes cowards of us all.”
Conscience and empire building do not go together.
Badri Raina is a political commentator