Prasanta Kumar BK

The writer is a student of Masters in International Relations & Diplomacy at Tribhuvan University.

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Published On: August 23, 2018 09:55 AM NPT By: Prasanta Kumar BK

Sidhu's Huge Hug

Sidhu's Huge Hug

Often, it is said that a hug is a perfect gift – one size fits all and nobody minds if you exchange it. But, in Navjot Singh Sidhu’s case – the legendary Indian cricketer and a minister in the state of Punjab – the saying severely differed. By nature, Sidhu is frank. His jolly gestures have lit up several TV stations time, and time again. It was okay for some when he showed his affection toward his fellow hosts, but his hug, with the Pakistani Army Chief – General Qamar Javed Bajwa  – during the oath ceremony of the newly elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, stirred a huge controversy across India. 

Media, opposition parties, and hardcore nationalists of India deemed this hug to be a shameful and unacceptable act. They also called him an opportunist for the particular act. Even more, some nationalists also filed a case of betrayal against him in Mujjafarpur, Bihar, and Kanpur. 

India and Pakistan have had bitter relations in the past, and the fumes of the war don’t see an end anytime soon. Both of the countries have been blaming each other for human causalities in Kashmir and along the border. 

The time of his visit may not be taken as appropriate. His visit to Pakistan came while the nation was observing seven-day mourning of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister of India. Also, India will be holding the general election in 2019. In this context, the ruling party – BJP – can use the ‘hug’ for publicity in the election against their arch rivals, the Congress. 

However, Sidhu claimed the visit was solely personal and devoted to strengthening friendship and brotherhood between the two countries. Speaking about the hug with General Bajwa, he said “Both of us come from the Jat family. General Bajwa wants peace”.  

A war of words and swords between two countries has existed since the 1947 partition. The hate between the two nations is so strong that even a ‘hug’ can create problems. Amid such kind of circumstances, for sustainable peace, a ‘hug’ can play a significant role. It is a culture of greeting each other. Therefore, Sidhu’s huge hug can be a stepping stone to creating dialogue possibilities between the two neighboring countries. It can also contribute in maintaining peaceful co-existence in the region.

In this reference, the newly appointed Prime Minister called Sidhu the ambassador of peace. There are some internal and external factors that hamper peace dialogue between two countries. As an internal factor, it indicates that some elite class people from both countries do not want peace. Anyway, the current debate across argumentative India is going on over the Sidhu’s huge hug.   

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