Cricket promotes peace in South Asia

South Asia, nuclear powers, India and Pakistan: Upon hearing these terms one thinks of South Asia as one of the most dangerous regions in the world, thanks to media. Often conversations and media reports are about terrorism. Rarely one sees reports about peace efforts between Pakistan and India.

My objective is to create some awareness among Americans that news about India and Pakistan is not always about terrorism. There are people, just like you, in these two countries who breathe air like we do, have red blood like we have and work hard to survive the way we do – and that might be much harder than what we can imagine in this part of the world. A representative question is: What do they do for relaxation and entertainment?

They do not attend terrorist training camps, nor do they hate Westerners. Just like people in this part of the world, Indians and Pakistanis watch movies and play sports to entertain themselves. Given that the Western media are too busy with war and related issues, I thought it would be worth writing about how Indians and Pakistanis are using sports to promote peace between their countries. Yes – it is about cricket!

Cricket, an international sport, is played in many countries, including the United States. You don’t have to look too far; we have the University Cricket Club on our campus. Cricket is not only about winning or losing games, but also about learning discipline, hard work and improving cross-cultural interaction. The idea here is not to talk about cricket, but to learn how the so-called poor, uneducated people of developing countries are using cricket to promote peace.

The Indian cricket team arrived in Pakistan a few weeks ago and is playing games with the Pakistani cricket team. Many Indians are in Pakistan and enjoying both cricket and Pakistani hospitality. Remember, the two countries were together until 1947. Many of you probably don’t know about this historic event, maybe because it is outside of the Western world.

Sometimes it is good to learn about what goes on in other (dangerous) parts of the world, especially when our media do not have time to talk much about peace efforts initiated by countries other than Western ones. Peace can be brought about in many ways, and playing international sports is one of them.

Nadir Budhwani is a University doctoral candidate. Send comments to [email protected]