For a generation of Indians, Harsha Bhogle is the voice that brought us cricket. Erudite, articulate and reassuring, Bhogle has always been with us dissecting the nuances of cricket. That under that cranium lies a very sharp brain was never in doubt.
And yet Bhogle has never shied away from dissent and wrote an emotional – albeit slightly protracted – piece on CAA-NRC movement.
In his poignant piece, Bhogle writes; “So why are we creating fear? Why are we driving wedges into society? Instead of giving this generation wings to fly, why are we putting a weight on their backs? Why are we obsessed about our neighbours when, as an economic entity, they aren't even in the same book, let alone on the same page as us?. We are shrinking our country by highlighting our differences and young India is telling us it isn't happy.”
It ends with an emotional appeal for the leaders of this country. Bhogle writes: "Winning elections isn't a good enough reason for highlighting differences between us. My naive view of the world tells me that creating opportunities through liberalisation and openness and togetherness could win more elections. So my appeal to people in power, to those my age and older is simply this. We have played a very nice innings, we have been lucky to have been Indians for the last twenty five years. Let us not burden the next generation with talk of war and cultural differences. They are going to be better than we were. Let them be. In a happy, open, secular, liberal world, they can become the best in the world.”
This led one Twitter user to make the internet’s favourite Nazi analogy. Twitter user DennisCricket wrote: “I can only applaud Harsha for this. His India is broken. No other country’s leader or ruling party in the world is consistently being compared to Nazis. On this issue, we all need to be Harsha. Except for @GautamGambhir. He has chosen to be a figurehead for the party of division.”
This led to a sharp rebuke from Bhogle who wrote: “No Dennis, my India isn't broken. It is full of vibrant young people doing amazing things too. We are a fully functional, mature democracy. We might voice our dissent, our disappointment at times but we are fiercely Indian. That word you used in comparison.....never.”