The daily battle between liberal and right-wing groups on the Indian internet is nothing new, but the addition of phrases like “Pakistan” and “cricket” has given an exciting new dimension. The focus is on ex-Pakistan
i cricketer Danish Kaneria, who has recently gotten into trouble with both liberals and BJP officials. Kaneria has become a symbol of the Hindu heart’s power in India throughout this conflict, leading to debates about awarding him Indian citizenship.
The extraordinary cricketing career of Danish Kaneria, Pakistan’s second Hindu player, is well documented. His paternal uncle Anil Dalpat was also an important part of Pakistan’s cricket history. Taking 261 wickets in 61 test matches at an average of 34.79, Kaneria’s performance has been nothing short of remarkable.
His status in Pakistani cricket, however, was not improved. The penalties for his refusal to convert from Hinduism to Islam were severe, and he became involved in a match-fixing incident while playing for an English county. This led to his exile from the sport, although his co-conspirators were cleared of wrongdoing. His financial condition has worsened over the last several years, forcing him to apply for assistance from the BCCI.
Despite his troubled history, Danish Kaneria has risen to prominence in India as a result of his participation in public debates about cricket and politics in the country.
Indian journalist Arfa Khanum, well-known for her outspoken attacks on the BJP-RSS, started it all with a tweet. She was dismayed by the actions of certain cricket fans during the 2023 World Cup and blamed the behaviour on BJP-RSS politics.
Danish Kaneria’s reaction was direct:
“If you’re embarrassed to be an Indian, visit Pakistan. You’re not the kind of people India needs. Danish Kaneria’s comment set off a domino effect, catapulting her into the spotlight.
When Gaurav Bhatia, a spokesman for the BJP, waded into the debate, things took a very interesting turn. To Danish Kaneria
, he said, “take care of your house first.” While he was critical of Arfa’s perspective, he stressed the importance of a person’s passion for India above any religious affiliation while forming connections.
Danish Kaneria has been outspoken on social media regarding Hinduism
Many people were confused by Gaurav Bhatia’s remarks. His remarks were difficult to understand for both liberals and nationalists. Arfa Khanum retweeted tweets from all across the globe, except for one from Gaurav Bhatia, who she completely disregarded.
To make matters worse, Gaurav Bhatia used the apt metaphor “The washerman’s dog neither belongs to the house nor to the ghat.” Liberals abandoned him, and nationalists were harsh on him. Some have even theorized that the BJP’s reputation may be damaged by such utterances.
Trending topics on Twitter include the continuing online war, in which Danish Kaneria has emerged as a hero for preserving the Hindu faith despite persecution in Pakistan. Danish, perhaps sensing the shifting political climate, is making apparent efforts to establish himself as the “Hindu Hriday Samrat,” or “Emperor of Hindu Hearts.”