Just type India Vs Pakistan T20 in Google and Google’s top result will show the following information:
India vs Pakistan
World T20 Second group stage
Saturday, 19 March, 7:30 PM
Eden Gardens, Kolkata
It could have been Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh but Virbhadra Singh’s tantrums made sure the India Vs Pakistan T20 venue got shifted to Kolkata. Popular perception and official statement is that Virbhadra Singh acted at the noble behest of nationalism. That’s right. Virbhadra Singh quoted disapproval from the kin of two soldiers killed in the January terror attack on the Pathankot air base. At the forefront of Congress’s nationalistic protests was Major Vijay Singh Mankotia, a senior Congress leader. This is funny because Congress has been the party that adopts a more liberal stand when it comes to Pakistan.
This act of theirs is not even BJPish, but Shiv Senaish. Had it been Shiv Sena or BJP in place of Congress, the Mainstream Media would taken the ruling party to the cleaners on its primetime debates. The country’s eminent intellectuals (always in Congress’s back pocket) would have shaken their heads in despair over this rabid nationalism fast spreading cancer in the otherwise healthy secular and tolerant Indian society. But that’s not what we intend to discuss here. We intend to discuss two things in this article:
India Vs Pakistan T20 Venue Shift: The Power Tussle of Political Heavyweights
Scratch the surface of Himachal Congress’s nationalism, and quite some skeletons fall off the closet. Singh has deep seated hatred against Ex CM Prem Kumar Dhumal and his son Anurag Thakur. Dhumal made sure Virbhadra faces the heat by initiating a lot of enquiries and probes against him, mainly for alleged financial irregularities in his income tax returns. Virbhadra played like a worthy opponent by slapping cases against Dhumal and Thakur the moment he grabbed the CM Chair, many of which are related to the HPCA stadium which is the result of a lot of hard work put in by Anurag Thakur. Virbhadra Singh is playing dirtiest of politics in the garb of nationalism and the media seems to be okay with it. A frustrated Anurag Thakur who toiled hard to get the high profile India Pakistan T20 match to Himachal Pradesh told the media that Virbhadra Singh is making an entire state suffer only to settle scores with him and his father.
India Vs Pakistan T20 Venue Shift: The loss of Himachal Pradesh
What better place to write this article than Dalhousie, a hill station in Chamba District of Himachal Pradesh. I am currently in Dalhousie on a pleasure trip and the talks of the India Pakistan T20 venue shift from Dharamshala to Kolkata is all over the place. I took a taxi from Dharamshala to Dalhousie and the chauffer started discussing about the Virbhadra Vs Dhumal/Thakur fight which caused the venue shift. I was surprised, because the popular account was nationalism. He laughed me off. He said the nationalism point was for the papers and media, but from porter to hotelier, tourist guide to chauffer everyone knows why the match venue got shifted. He said that there is a lot of anger and resentment amongst the locals and this may cause Congress irreparable damage. I got this confirmed from the Hotel Manager. The Hotel Manager told me that Hotels were running overcapacity and some had hired temporary staff to manage the heavy influx of guests.
“From Dharamshala to Chamba to Dalhousie, every guesthouse, every hotel, every lodge was booked. Now we have to cancel the bookings and refund the amount. We hired temporary cooks, laundry-boys, cleaning staff and now we have to pay them some compensation as well” The manager said with a gloomy face.
His sentiments were echoed by many locals that I met in Dalhousie. The tourist guides and Road Side eatery owners were equally furious.
So if Virbhadra Singh had to get the India Vs Pakistan T20 match cancelled, why did he wait for so long? Why did he wait till the 11th hour? A little pro-activeness from his side would have saved a lot of money and efforts of the ordinary Himachali. Power tussles are not uncommon in this vast country of ours but when the common hardworking Janata is at the receiving end of it, it becomes evil. I felt sad to see the agony of the hardworking people of Himachal Pradesh where life is tough and weather is uncompromising.