When everyone was cheering for Shahid Afridi, a Kashmiri student was busy signing praises of Rameez Raja (above) © Getty Images
By Ashwin Kumar
Please note this is a humour article — work of pure fiction
A Kashmiri student who was booked by the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government for sedition for praising Pakistani commentator Rameez Raja has found absolutely no support from across the country, not from Kashmiri politicians, not from Kashmiri separatists, not even from Prashant Bhushan. On the contrary, thousands have lauded UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for his bold decision.
“Praising Pakistani cricketers is one thing and sedition is, perhaps, too harsh a charge for that,” tweeted Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, “but if someone can praise Rameez Raja’s commentary then irrespective of whether he’s from Kashmir or Kanyakumari, something is surely wrong with him and he could potentially be dangerous.”
He was backed by Hizbul chief, Sayeed Salahuddin, who said the kid had taken things too far. “Kashmiris also want independence from Rameez saheb’s commentary, boss,” he thundered from his hideout across the Line of Control (LOC).
Bhushan has also refused to come to the aid of the student. “Had he been waving a Pakistani flag,” Bhushan said, “I would have understood and applauded him. But praising Raja for his grating commentary! The kid’s got to be insane.” Bhushan even ruled out supporting a referendum on the issue.
UP CM Akhilesh is feeling chuffed for once having done the right thing. “What a masterstroke! This move has been applauded by all castes and communities in UP. Slapping sedition charges on him was a no-brainer. People sometimes praise even me or Azam chacha by mistake, but I have never seen anyone, even people who are heavily drunk, sing praises of Rameez at any point of time. This student was the first one. When people were cheering for Shahid Afridi, this student was shouting slogans like ‘Rameez Raja ki jai! Rameez Raja ki jai’. He is clearly scary and dangerous,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan government, which had offered to admit the students who were booked for cheering for their national cricket team, has categorically refused to extend support to this student. A section of Pakistanis went so far as to express envy for their Indian counterparts that allowed them to book someone for praising Rameez Raja, something that wasn’t possible in Pakistan because of Rameez’s Pakistani nationality.
(Ashwin Kumar is a humorist with www.theunrealtimes.com where this article was originally published. The UnReal Times is India’s favourite satire, spoof, parody and humour portal)