Just rewind to your school days when you would hide your friend’s tiffin, or pinch him or mock him in front of everybody just to pull his leg, and your friend while innocently falling for it, would come to tears, and sometimes even lose his temper. Remember what you would tell him?
Gindnas Paeth Chukh Wadnas Khatchan — yes this is the Kashmiri idiom you would tell him, and he would realise it was supposed to be fun, nothing else. But he would be left red-faced and chide himself for making an issue out of it.
Now loosely translating the term, it means, ‘Don’t take it to heart, it was just fun,’ but that doesn’t get the flavour one needs. The idiom retains its flavour only when translated word by word, ‘You cry over cricket.’
You may laugh at my translation but the reason for breaking it down word by word is a recent nail-biting India-Pakistan cricket encounter which Men in Green successfully took out from the claws of the world champions.
The moment immediately and expectedly brought gloom over the loud-mouthed Indian fans, and not unexpectedly it called for great celebrations for sports-lovers and in particular Pakistani fans across the world. Kashmiris being no exception to the case too joined the celebrations, not only in Kashmir but even outside the state. Kashmiri students spread across India dared to cheer for Pakistan team and share few moments of celebration in Hindi heartland of Uttar Pradesh.
But just like the old childhood friend of yours who couldn’t realise it was just fun, the university authorities and other loud-mouthed Indian fans, facing an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Pakistan team could not stand their happiness. They immediately suspended 67 students from the university. Not only that, they ridiculously charged them with sedition, a draconian provision slapped on traitors of any country. Remember any such convict faces death penalty. All this just for celebrating Pakistan team’s victory in Indian mainland.
It’s is pertinent to bring to your notice that this is not the first incident where fans cheered for Pakistani side in Indian land. In early ’90s, Indian fans at a cricket stadium in Chennai gave standing ovation to Pakistani opener Saeed Anwar for breaking a record that turned out to be the match-winning innings for Pakistan side. But that gesture didn’t irk Indian government; no charge was slapped against them for giving a standing ovation. They were not branded as traitors or terrorists. This incident clearly shows the discrimination meted out to Kashmiris by Indian government.
Now coming back to the controversy, the Meerut university has of late withdrawn the charge after Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah’s intervention. Seems that Abdullah has told U.P government ‘Ma Aas Gindnas Paeth wadnas Khatchan,’ leaving him to laugh at the inappropriate action.