In a recent incident that has sparked controversy, a video alleging that a police officer in Bengaluru stopped a cricket fan from chanting ‘Pakistan Zindabad‘ during an ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 match between Pakistan and Australia has gone viral on social media.
The 45-second clip, captured at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, shows a cricket enthusiast wearing a Pakistan cricket team jersey engaging in a heated argument with a police officer over his right to cheer for his team, which was competing against Australia.
The fan questions the discrepancy between being allowed to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ but not ‘Pakistan Zindabad.’ In response, the police officer asserts that shouting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ is acceptable, but expressing support for Pakistan is not encouraged. The fan, undeterred, questions why he shouldn’t be able to support Pakistan, especially considering he has traveled from Pakistan to witness the match.
In a bid to resolve the dispute, the Pakistan fan records the exchange on his mobile phone, asking the police officer to clarify on video that he is not permitted to chant ‘Pakistan Zindabad.’ This incident raises questions about the freedom of expression and the right of fans to support their favorite teams, regardless of their nationalities.
The Pakistan cricket team has garnered substantial support during their two warm-up matches and world cup fixtures in Hyderabad. This backing was particularly evident during the historic six-wicket victory led by Babar Azam’s team over Sri Lanka, during which they successfully chased down the highest total in World Cup history.
Videos of fans responding with chants of ‘Pakistan Jeetega’ (Pakistan will win) in answer to the DJ’s ‘Jeetega bhai jeetega’ (Will it win, brother?) query at the venue have been widely shared on social media. This incident highlights the passionate support for cricket transcending borders and emphasizes the need to promote harmony and sportsmanship during international events.