Tuesday, September 23, 2008

No, you don't get it

Well, I don't think I've ever had a post misunderstood so spectacularly. Check out my latest post over at Different Strokes. Read the comments.


Anonymous Homer said...


Posted by: Homer at September 23, 2008 4:44 AM

And yet Samir, the fact remains that it is Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Saurav Ganguly who have been publicly named as targets by the jihadis. And that has not prevented India ( or SRT, RD and SG) from playing Pakistan, home and away since that seminal series in 2003.

And the fact remains that, when India toured Australia in 2003 and 2007, there have been numerous documented instances, in Australian newspapers, of physical assaults on Indian nationals and people of Indian origin, both within the grounds and outside.

I have yet to read of similar incidents - of supporters of the opposing team being physically assaulted by the home fans, in Pakistan.



What am I missing?

7:56 PM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...


The point of my post was there is a set of perceptions about Pakistan that are well-entrenched in the US, and that are constantly reinforced. Whoever the Australian security experts are, they take their cues from the US. The Australian folks take their cues from the US media. The US media has selective attention. And so it goes.

Frankly, I was offended by the lack of attention paid to the Delhi bombings. But Pakistan's activities are of interest in the current geo-political climate and it gets lots of unwelcome attention. This filters into the general consciousness and affects people's perceptions. Thats what I was trying to get at. Somehow people took me to be saying that I agreed with the coverage.

Pakistan's image in the media is very, very, different from that of India. Thats my point.


10:32 PM  
Anonymous Yenkayya said...

I always felt when I read this news that, those outfits read our iconic players as targets only to get media coverage and nothing else.

It may be true that our icons are real targets, don't know.

10:33 PM  
Blogger Soulberry said...

It is high time people got rid of being suitably PC and acually spoke and wrote about these issues. I appreciate and welcome your post at cricinfo...with a welcome voice which when the time demands can be an effective Indian's.

Just like US needs to be not afraid of black or woman in the White House, or at least talking about it, I guess the world needs to examine some of its long-held positions, and not be afraid of doing so. Pakistan must be weighed, and weighed well, after all these decades.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Yenkayya: Welcome to the blog, and thanks for your comment. I agree to some extent. I wonder if they really are or whether the nutjobs know they will get the headlines by saying so.

SB: I think it goes without saying that the two countries are viewed differently. That has nothing to do with the BCCI's money. So if that is a given, then why diss the Aussies so much?

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Suraj said...

Lol - I really can't help myself.

The apologists for the Aussies try to placate the seething Pakistani masses by saying the ground realities don't matter - rather it is the perception of Pakistan by the West that decides things (emphasis on that recently much-touted word).

So when these angry, vengeful, self-righteous, rampaging posters see your blog, I guess the actual content of it doesn't matter. Rather, their reactions are based on the perception of your piece being an Indian daring to insinuate that India is in any way superior to Pakistan.

The irony!

It always cracks me up that these posters have convinced themselves that the India and Pakistan are the same - the only difference is India's "riches", and this is why the Aussies prefer to go there etc.

That too, they speak of these riches as if India got them by luck or some unfairness to Pakistan, rather than being the product of the combined labours of a hard-working population thriving in a stable if imperfect secular democracy.

9:03 AM  
Anonymous Vivek said...

Cricinfo never seems to post my comments but hopefully you will :).
The first time I read your piece on Cricinfo, it seemed inevitable that such a backlash would follow. It wasn't delivered in a responsible manner I believe.
I think modifying one of the comments someone posted on that blog would explain what you're trying to say. The comment was 'Perception is end result of..(and some pseudo-intelligent bullshit I cant remember)..'
My take: 'Perception is the end result of prejudice and information'. In this case the information itself is prejudiced which is why Pakistan is in such a soup. Unfortunately there's not much they can do about it.
Even if the India-Pak rivalry fizzles out, atleast we have you to keep it going with some well timed sparks! :). Just kidding, I like your articles on Cricinfo and haven't yet read your blog but will do so now.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Suraj: Welcome to the blog and thanks for the comment.

I'm not comfortable with the idea of being tagged as an "apologist" for the Aussies. There are two separate issues at hand here (and you refer to both of them): one, what is the actual state of affairs on the ground, and two, what perceptions are of those. The two are orthogonal, insofar as one need not correspond to the other. A discussion about the actual state of affairs in Pakistan would have taken me too far afield. The point of my post was to simply point out that calling the Australians "hypocrites" for not touring Pakistan but touring India was unfair because they were simply operating on the same set of views that many others used to come to the same decision without any of those folks being rewarded by the BCCI. This point was lost. Yes, folks had their own set of perceptions but I don't see any irony here. Or perhaps you meant that the irony lies in the fact that the Pakistanis are guilty of the same thing that they were accusing the Aussies of?

Vivek: What was irresponsible on my part was choosing to write on this topic :) But more seriously, I'm still puzzled as to why folks would imagine that the Aussies would think of India and Pakistan in exactly the same fashion when nobody does. The two countries are viewed differently and that has nothing to do with the BCCI.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Suraj said...

I must apologize: I have often been told that it is difficult to see when you are being tongue-in-cheek in an email, because noone can see the smirk.
No, I was not labelling you an apologist, and yes, your perception (OK, I'll stop that now) of what I thought was ironic is correct.

My post takes aim solely at those moronic posters that plague the Cricinfo blogs, whom I love to hate, and are a consistent source of entertainment.

Look at poor Ashok Malik's blog: when the first security issues started cropping up, he wrote about using this as an opportunity to get rid off the unloved and redundant Champions Trophy. Nothing to do with Pakistan itself. And yet ...

I hope the reactions don't put you off writing about topics like these. There will always be people who refuse to get it.

4:48 AM  
Blogger Q said...

No Samir, I think people understood what you were trying to say.

This was my comment on your post over at cricinfo:

All well and good Samir but the bottom line is that cricketers in Pakistan have never been targeted by terrorists and at the end of the day if India and Sri Lanka can tour Pakistan so can Australia and the rest.

We all know the differences between India and Pakistan and we all know how the media projects them differently but then why is it that the Asian teams feel safe there but the Australians don't?

A bomb that explodes in Karachi is the same as a bomb exploding in Delhi is the same as a bomb exploding in London is the same as a bomb exploding in Jaipur.

You can't rule one bomb as being more dangerous than the others.


I understand what ur trying to say and I know India and Pakistan are different - everyone knows that. India is booming, Pakistan is crippling - all us Pakis know that.

There is nothing that will make me or anyone in Pakistan believe that the Aussies are right irrespective of their security reports / assessments etc.

The reason for that is simple:

If India can come to Pakistan anyone can.

If CA can send Australia A to Pakistan, then why not Australia?

If they can send Australia U19 to Pakistan then why not AUstralia?

1998 was the last time AUstralia came to Pak - every other western country has toured Pak in the last 10 years except them - why? what makes them different and less secure than others?

If their lesser teams - i.e. A team, U19 can come why not the senior team?

Nothing, no security assessment, no judgement, no article can defend the Aussies.

Hence the reaction to your article.

6:05 AM  

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