Wednesday, April 17, 2024

De Kock and Mohd Shami: Race and Religion which must fit our individual lives

Image: Courtesy Swarajyamag

Let’s say Quinton de Kock is talking. He didn’t take a knee because a majority of Whites in South Africa, half a million, are dispossessed. In Pretoria alone, there are 80 White squatter camps. A basic job goes to a semi-skilled Black than to a White. The elite White farmers are now a quarter to their Apartheid (“apartness”) numbers. Thousands of Whites murders go unreported by Press and unpunished by Police. In today’s South Africa, Whites of today are Blacks of yesterday. Hidden from our view.

Let’s presume De Kock is more than just this basic understanding. He is an individual of both historical and political perspectives. He sees BlackLivesMatter as a synthetic political construct when little has changed on ground in the West. A quarter of world’s all prisoners are in US jails and most of them are Blacks. Most still grow up in rough neighbourhoods, most still don’t go to varsity and most still take buses to cabs or flights. Residents don’t want them next door, slurs are audible from behind, and yes, they don’t trust Police. In US, a century of apartheid has followed a century of slavery. 

It could be that De Kock is disgusted with West’s propensity to impose its narrative on a widely diverse world. India doesn’t have a Black problem like the rest of Asia; in South Africa, as said, it’s racism in reverse; and if at all affirmative actions are prized, HinduLivesMatter or MuslimLivesMatter is uppermost on the minds of most Asians. As are RefugeeLivesMatter, fleeing today’s Middle East. Yet a free world must subscribe to West’s colonial hangover, must take their pledge of anti-Semitism when the entire Christian history is mostly anti-Jew and when it was in our quarters that Jews were taking refuge fleeing their persecution. 

West dumbs down the world and it’s not funny. Affirmative actions seize our minds through relentless propaganda and die all of a sudden for no apparent reason. Picture the Hong Kong democracy protest which has disappeared overnight. If Lives mattered, the one of Palestinians would’ve decades ago. All this is to be the legitimate moral leaders of the world when little on the grounds suggest so. You’d have millions of such testimony from Middle East and Africa when one fine morning the American tanks and GIs roll onto their lands, not to leave forever. 

Races are natural divisions within the human species. But one began importing the other in mid-1500s for their plantations and railroads, chaining them below decks of slave vessels in racks akin to coffins; sold in auctions where a family was separated to suit the owners of different needs. To one it gave the identity of White supremacy and the other of low creatures; one a pan-European identity the other of niggers; the default expressions when one is pure as White and the Black in heart is reverse. 

De Kock we now know has a heart in torment. He has risked his career. A status of a pariah in his own country is in wait. Behind a baby-faced shy individual of apologetic smile, a man of defined convictions has emerged. If Cricket South Africa imposes what has been an option offered by the ICC to teams, it would only reveal the apartheid in reverse in vogue in that country. At a wider level, it’s tyranny of Powers against the spirit of freedom. 

If De Kock is a discourse on relations of races, Mohammad Shami is one on religions. This hustler, terrier of a fast bowler was hounded on social media after India lost the turf to Pakistan in Dubai. It told of a bigoted nation breathing down the neck of even celebrated Muslims, like Shah Rukh Khan today could claim in a different context. 

Only, we now know it was a construct and not the real thing. There is a digital army, faceless, the “toolkit-carriers” who seize the narrative and push the “dara-hua-musalman” agenda. The divide deepens and horrible violence has a date in future. Down the years, a nation goes up in smoke. If Shami and Shah Rukh go public in disgust, our skies would remain leaden with grave consequences. 

An individual is hapless against such forces. There is little room for personal choices. De Kock and Mohammad Shami would dread public appearances. Even their expressions would make headlines. All because rogues control our lives. 

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