Thursday, March 17, 2011

Should Sri Lanka be an Islamic country to Sri Lankan Muslims to support its cricket team?

The cricket lovers of Sri Lanka in general and the Sinhalese in particular were bit alarmed not perhaps completely surprised by the huge support displayed and the subsequent celebrations set off by the Muslims with the defeat of Sri Lanka's cricket team to Pakistan held recently in Premadasa stadium.    
However, this is not a new development as far as Sri Lanka is concerned. The only difference is that it happened in a World Cup matches of which popularity is all time high this time due to many reasons. The history of this regular occurrence goes to some time back especially in mid 90s when Sri Lanka was Lilliputs in world cricket. Whenever Sri Lankan team was beaten by Pakistan, going off of large quantities of fire crackers of which loud explosions can be heard for hours from Muslim populated areas in all parts of the country was common occurrence. In the most of the cases these villages located just next to Sinhalese villages.  The most bizarre part of this phenomenon is that it often happens even in the cases of Pakistan was not the opponent of Sri Lanka. So this shows how deep Muslims hatred against Sri Lankan Cricket team is. (Hope that it is only against Sri Lanka's cricket team)
The big question begging a reasonable answer is that why it happens so to the extent of antagonizing a community who has been so accommodative to the Muslim community in Sri Lanka that nowhere else in the world similar kind of accommodativeness from the majority community can be expected by a Muslim community.   
One can argue that similar incidents happen in India too when Indian team lose to Pakistan team. Yes, it does happen in India too. Though we can never accept what Indian Muslims do also as right thing, conditions in India for the communities who are engaged in similar incidents are vastly different than in Sri Lanka. These incidents are mainly reported in highly congested slums in major cities like Mumbai whose population live in sub human conditions with extreme poverty and marginalization. So naturally these unfortunate populations take cricket matches between Pakistan and India as a good opportunity to vent their anger against the Indian establishment. Besides, the Indian Muslims are daily witnessing the harassment meted out to their brethren in Jammu and Kashmir by the Indian security forces. The most interesting part is that the punishment meted out for the 'crime' in many instances: setting ablaze to whole slums by Hindu goons with some unfortunate souls burnt alive. (The film 'Slum Dog Millionaire' has similar incident.)
It is well known among Sri Lankan that some sections of both Sri Lankan and Indian originated Tamils too do not support Sri Lankan cricket team: the former harboring adversary feelings against Sinhalese due to the war prevailed in the country and the latter being their inclination to India. But they have never gone to the extent of these type of celebrations in the event of Sri Lanka team's lost to India leave along Sri Lanka being defeated by a third country as witnessed in the case of Sri Lankan Muslims.                                          
The extent of hatred displayed by the Muslims against Sri Lanka cricket team in the form of some posts and comments dropped in for some posts appearing on give a very clear indication. Sri Lankan Muslims wait until Sri Lanka becomes an Islamic country to support its cricket team. They indicate a popular belief among Sri Lankan Muslims: Sri Lanka will become an Islamic country in 2040. The community has set this target considering few factors, the most conspicuous being the huge population growth among them and the rate of conversion to Islam by other communities. This is well expressed by some of the Muslim bloggers on kottu.