A suicide bomber belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammed blew himself with a large quantity of explosives, killing at least 42 CRPF jawans in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district. This is being termed as the worst ever terror attack on India’s military personnel.
The news evoked strong reactions from India’s cricket fraternity with both current and former players condemning the attack. Indian captain Virat Kohli, whose wife Anushka Sharma is a daughter of a soldier, wrote, “I’m shocked after hearing about the attack in Pulwama, heartfelt condolences to the martyred soldiers & prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured jawaans.”
Kohli’s teammate Rohit Sharma tweeted, “Shocked and horrified by what happened #Pulwama. The day we all celebrated love some cowards spread hatred. Thinking about the jawans and their families. India keep them in your prayers.”
Another Indian plater Shikhar Dhawan wrote, “Deeply saddened and disturbed by the news. I condemn the terror attack in #Pulwama. My condolences to the families of the jawans who sacrificed their lives.”
Tweet by Suresh Raina read, “Appalled and deeply disturbed by the news of CRPF jawans killed in Kashmir’s Pulwama. My thoughts and prayers with the martyrs’ families.”
The reaction to Thursday’s attack also came from some of the usual suspects in the cricket fraternity, who’ve earned notoriety for pushing fake narrative on nationalism in the guise of supporting the divisive Hindutva ideology. They included Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.
Sehwag wrote that he was ‘really pained by the cowardly attack on our CRPF in J&K.’ He eneded his tweet with a hashtag that warned terrorists to behave before ‘we will make you behave.’ “#SudharJaaoWarnaSudhaarDenge,” he concluded. Of course, Sehwag did not spell out how he intended to teach terrorists a lesson. He also suffered from expected loss of voice and could not remind his BJP government for failing to prevent such large-scale bloodbath in the valley.
Gambhir’s rhetoric was no different to that of Sehwag as he wrote, “Yes, let’s talk with the separatists. Yes, let’s talk with Pakistan. But this time conversation can’t be on the table, it has to be in a battle ground. Enough is enough.”
Once again, no criticism for the government. Both Sehwag and Gambhir successfully managed to tick right boxes with right kind of rhetoric. The former India opener has yet to specify what he intended to do after posting ‘enough is enough’ tweet.
Gambhir was recently given a Padma award by the BJP government at the Centre.