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#MenInOrange: Is Cricket being Saffronised?

Team India’s decision to wear the orange jersey has divided Indian fans. While some fans came in support of the decision, others opposed the move and termed it as the saffronisation of the Indian cricket. Team India wearing the orange jersey against England on June 30, 2019, has come at a time when the Modi government is in power at the centre. Many of them alleged that the government is trying to saffronise cricket while some others didn’t find any fault with the team wearing the orange jersey. Many fans took to Twitter to express their loyalty towards the Indian team while some others raised objections against the Team India’s decision to wear the orange jersey. Team India is wearing the orange jersey in order to avoid any confusion while playing against England as they too are wearing the blue jersey which is the same colour worn by the Indian team.

When AV spoke to Shiv Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande, she said, “The opposition has got no agenda and they have lost public support. They are coming out with such childish issues. Saffron colour is one of the colour existing in the tri-colour of India and we are proud of it. The fault lies with the eyes of the beholder. The opposition must focus on solving people’s issues. They should go and meet people and also introspect about why the party has lost the election. Sports must be free from politics and why are they politicising it?”

Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi has raised objections against Team India wearing the orange colour jersey for their final league match against England in the World Cup. Azmi alleged Prime Minister Narendra Modi of saffronising everything after coming to power. The Indian team will wear the orange jersey while playing against England as the current blue colour of Team India matches with England’s blue colour jersey. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has asked every team to carry two sets of jerseys except England.

BJP spokesperson Dattaprasad Naik said, “BCCI and ICC have taken the decision pertaining to which jersey a cricket team should wear. It has nothing to do with the government. As far as the interest of the nation is concerned a psychic person only can make such type of statement.”

Speaking to reporters outside the state legislature, Azmi said he feels happy when the Indian cricket team wins. “But Modi wants to paint the entire country with saffron,” he said.

“Today, jerseys are being made saffron. Modi-ji, the person who decided the colours of the national flag was a Muslim leader. If you want to pick a colour for the jersey, pick the tricolour, I won’t mind,” he said. “But it will be unjust if you paint everything saffron…people should oppose it,” Azmi said.

NCP leader and advocate Majeed Memon said, “When the Team India is representing the country at the highest level we should not mix politics with sports. Since England team will be wearing the blue jersey, Indian Team had changed the colour of its jersey. The back side of the jersey will flaunt the saffron colour. If people give a communal colour to this, then it is not right. Let the Indian players play with a free mindset. By bringing politics into sports, we should not disturb our players.”

Maharashtra Congress MLA MA Khan too called the politics of saffronisation unfortunate which is hampering the unity of India. When reporters asked MA Khan about the saffronisation of the Indian jersey, he became angry. He said, “The BJP is saffronising everything right from sports, cultural programme and education. It is unfortunate that saffronisation has been happening in the country since the last five years.”

Congress MLC Anant Gadgil said, “Why did the Indian team change the colour of the jersey? The BJP government is doing saffronisation of every aspect. Sports must be kept away from politics.”

Netizens took to Twitter to post their reaction about the Indian team wearing the saffron jersey.

Sonam Mahajan tweeted, “SP and Congress’s Muslim leaders have a problem with Indian team’s new jersey now cuz it has orange colour in it. The design is inspired by India’s old T20 jersey, that had orange too but it’s only a problem now cuz Modi……
Hindu-hatred have made these Mullahs go full retard”

Actor Paresh Rawal tweeted, “Ha ha ha … those who have objections should write script for Hera Pheri part 3 … it will be super hit !!!”

Tilak Chouhan tweeted, “The lobby who tried hard for saffronisation of terror in India and it’s acceptance in Indian society is opposing #MenInOrange and designating it as saffronisation of Indian team, despite of knowing that it’s just for one World Cup Match due to fair reasons.”

Biplab Goswami tweeted, “Agar yea green hota to secular ho jata”

Satish Kumar Menon tweeted, “The colour of the jersey should not matter, provided the team has done its bit by putting up a good show.”

The BJP government during it last reign had attempted to saffronise education. The Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education had revamped the syllabus of standard 10 history books. In the History textbook of Class 10, Veer Savarkar has been described as a great revolutionary and great patriot. It helped to create the myth that Savarkar was brave and he made several sacrifices for the sake of India’s independence struggle.

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