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HomeSportsTrolls Call Arshdeep Singh Khalistani for Dropping Asif Ali's Catch

Trolls Call Arshdeep Singh Khalistani for Dropping Asif Ali’s Catch

Online trolls have branded Indian cricketer Arshdeep Singh Khalistani after India lost to Pakistan in the Asia Cup Super 4 match on 4 September 2022. Pakistan won by 5 wickets, and bitter Indian fans vented their frustration on the youngster who dropped a catch. Besides trolling and hurling verbal abuses at Singh and his family, they accused him of being a ‘Khalistani’ due to his religion (Sikhism). Current and former Indian cricket players applauded Singh and rendered the trolls irrelevant.

The Khalistan is a movement by Indian Sikh separatists seeking to form a sovereign homeland for Sikhs that would combine India and Pakistan’s Punjab. However, some Indian elements see it as propaganda by Pakistani intelligence and consider pro-Khalistan Sikhs as anti-national. When Arshdeep dropped Asif Ali’s catch, trolls alleged that he did it deliberately, so labelled him a traitor.

Thousands of Comments Calling Arshdeep Singh Khalistani

The hateful comments started rolling in on social media during the match as soon as he dropped the catch. After watching the violent comments, other players could not stay quite and came forward to defend the young bowler. Harbhajan Singh said that no one would have dropped the catch intentionally, so the amount of hate was neither necessary nor sensible. He added that Pakistan was simply the better team on the pitch that day, so shame on the trolls who were unable to process this fact. They needed an excuse to repair their burned ego, and calling Arshdeep Singh Khalistani was an easy way.

Response from Sikh Community

These comments reflect the similar nationalistic pride of Hindutva ideology, which is one of the major reasons why Sikhs protest for a separate homeland. The rising intolerance in India under the BJP (Bhartiya Janata Party) government led by PM Narendra Modi has troubled almost every minority religion. The Sikh community used the Arshdeep Singh Khalistani incident to explain their situation as Indian citizens. They have reminded the nation about the sacrifices thier community made in wars but still have not proved thier loyalty to India. They also argue that even if a Sikh is Khaistani, there is nothing to ashamed of as he is only voicing his concerns about living in a country where Hindutva extremists can call him a traitor for doing as little as dropping a catch.

The Real Losers

Many also jumped in to defend Arshdeep Singh with facts after many cricket viewers said India lost a match because of him. It turned out that Singh was the most efficient bowler against Pakistan than the rest of his teammates. The youngster conceded only 26 runs, while superstars like Bhuvaneshvar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, and Yuzvendra Chahal conceded most of the runs. The stats showed who was the real loser, but India fans considered a Sikh player responsible for thier loss. Last year, a Muslim player Mohammed Shami was also targeted with racist remarks after India suffered a humiliating defeat against Pakistan in Super 12 of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.

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