The recent controversy surrounding an Indian textbook featuring Pakistani cricketer Babar Azam has sparked a heated debate among the Indian public. While some have defended the inclusion of Azam in the textbook as a way to recognize his achievements in the sport, others have criticized the move as inappropriate and unnecessary.
Textbook features Azam as one of the top cricketers
The textbook in question is a standard 12th grade history book, which features a brief mention of Babar Azam as one of the world’s top cricketers. The inclusion of Azam’s name in the book has drawn criticism from some Indians, who see it as an attempt to glorify a Pakistani athlete and promote a pro-Pakistan agenda.
Babar Azam got featured in the ICSE Book of class VIII in India. Alhamdulillah, Babar Azam is making Pakistan proud even in a Rival country ❤️🇵🇰. #BabarAzam #BabarAzam𓃵 pic.twitter.com/apr4CdeQc6
— Shaharyar Ejaz 🏏 (@SharyOfficial) March 31, 2023
Proponents of including Azam in the textbook argue that he is one of the most successful cricketers in the world today, and that his achievements deserve recognition. They also point out that cricket is a sport that is loved by people on both sides of the India-Pakistan border, and that it is not uncommon for Indian cricket fans to admire Pakistani players.
However, critics of the move argue that it is inappropriate to feature a Pakistani athlete in an Indian textbook, particularly given the tense relationship between the two countries. They argue that the move is likely to be seen as a political statement, and that it could further strain the already fragile relationship between India and Pakistan.
Here are some reactions of triggered Indians:
Agr pakistan me Kohli ya Rohit ki photo dalte to fatwa jaari ho jata.😂
— Stoic sharma (@SharmaStoic) April 1, 2023
— Rahul 🇮🇳 (@103Rahul691) April 1, 2023
Inlogo ki choti choti khusiya bc 😂😂
— Pratham Verma (@prathamverma716) April 1, 2023
🤣🤣that's the only place p@®ki players will get featured in India as they are already sabotaged from IPL.
— Vinicìus🗿✨ (@KylianSagar) March 31, 2023
The role of sports in national unity
The controversy over the textbook has also sparked a broader debate about the role of sports in promoting national unity and identity. Many Indians see cricket as a symbol of their national identity, and are proud of the country’s rich cricketing heritage. However, others argue that promoting a narrow, exclusionary vision of national identity based on sport is ultimately divisive, and that it is important to recognize the contributions of athletes from all backgrounds and countries.
Despite the controversy surrounding the textbook, it is clear that Babar Azam is one of the most talented and successful cricketers in the world today. Born in Lahore, Pakistan in 1994, Azam made his debut for the Pakistani national team in 2015, and has since become one of the team’s most dependable batsmen. He has scored over 6,000 runs in international cricket, with a batting average of over 50, and has been named as one of the top 10 ODI batsmen in the world by the ICC.
While some Indians may not be comfortable with the inclusion of Babar Azam in an Indian textbook, it is important to recognize his achievements as a cricketer. In a world where sports can sometimes be a source of division and conflict, it is heartening to see athletes from different countries and backgrounds coming together to compete and inspire us all. As the controversy over the textbook shows, however, it is also important to recognize that sports can sometimes be a sensitive issue, and that we need to tread carefully when it comes to promoting national identity through sport.
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