Midnight’s Children celebrate independence together. Your brother, this is a love story.
In August this year, Indian and Pakistani artists based in the United Arab Emirates joined hands to celebrate the Independence Days (14 and 15 August) of both the countries. Jashn-e-Azadi, an art exhibition had 20 Indian artists and as many from Pakistan.
Indigenous groups – Indian and Pakistani diaspora in the UAE – are united by love, food and camaraderie throughout the year, but are separated for a few hours, when India and Pakistan play a game of cricket. They went to the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday for the biggest match of the T20 World Cup, prepared to shout themselves out to support their respective teams, attended a banquet and then, after the game ended, the cricket division. Forget it and focus on unity.
The art exhibition was a byproduct of this solidarity, showcasing the culture, colour, history and tradition of two nations, a vast group of them linked by a common thread. This was where the depiction of Lord Krishna and Lord Ganesha shared space with the truck art of Pakistan. In a country where tolerance is a virtue, the event was attended by Yasser Algargawi, Director of Programs and Partnerships, Ministry of Tolerance – United Arab Emirates.
On the field, Pakistan embraced nationalism. As the players began to warm-up, a member of the squad raised their national flag and planted it firmly on one side of the practice pitch. India’s arrival, on the other hand, was completely in sync with all business Virat KohliViewpoint: “For me, it has always been another game of cricket”. Pakistan stuck to their cricket and fitness practice, while India started off with fun football.
Former Pakistan captain Zaheer Abbas stormed into the press box, soaking up the atmosphere and dodging interview requests. Meanwhile, the Indian spinners started spreading their arms – Ravichandran Ashwin And Rahul Chahar – wicketkeeping with team mentor MS Dhoni. Pakistan quickly assembled for a team before the actual fight.
Imagine this game taking place at the Garden of Eden in front of 67,000 fans! It could well have been but for the Covid-forced switch of the tournament from India to the United Arab Emirates. Back in 2016, when the India-Pakistan World T20 match was shifted from Dharamsala to Kolkata, he was the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal. Sourav Ganguly Added more spice to an already high-profile event, invited Amitabh Bachchan To sing the national anthem of India. Kohli looked brilliant in his match-winning innings.
Fan gathering in Dubai on Sunday was slow but steady. Local officials made arrangements in anticipation of overcrowding, but the crowd came in a leisurely manner. At the toss, Indian supporters gave voice to their Pakistani counterparts. The reply came through a roar when Babar Azam won the toss and decided to field.
The stadium can seat 25,000 spectators, but due to Covid safety protocols, its capacity has been reduced to 17,400.