Srinagar: The Kashmir Valley erupted with cheers on Sunday night after India lost to Pakistan in the ICC Champions trophy 2017 final.
Rejoicing at Pakistan’s win in a sports event particularly when playing with arch-rival India by local Muslim population is somewhat a decades-old ‘tradition’ in the scenic Himalayan valley but this time the celebrations were widespread. The unprecedented phenomenon continued throughout the night.
In fact, youngsters had started bursting crackers amid pro-Pakistan slogans at the start of the game given the neighbouring country’s players good performance with the bat. Towards the finish of the match, thousands of people were out on the streets- dancing, bursting crackers and beating drums amid shouts ‘Jeeve, jeeve Pakistan’ (May Pakistan live long).
In some localities, the services of Suhor Khawans were also obtained who then walked ahead of rallyists while beating drums. Suhor Khawans or Sehar Khawans are mainly laborers or impecunious people from rural Kashmir who on the eve of Ramazan move to cities and towns to take up the self-appointed job of walking through alleys and streets beating drums to wake people up for suhor, the pre-dawn meal eaten before the Fajr prayer (the first of the five daily prayers) during the month of fasting by Muslims.
One such huge crowd went to the residence of separatist leader and Kashmir’s chief Muslim cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in Srinagar’s Nigeen area. Yelling pro-Pakistan slogans, beating drums and bursting crackers, the crowd did not move away until the Mirwaiz appeared on the fence penal of the premises to greet them. The 44-year-old separatist leader later tweeted “Fireworks all around, feels like an early Eid here. Better team took the day. Congratulations team #Pakistan.”
Many other people also took to the social networking sites to express joy over the Pakistan win. Videos and photographs on the celebrations were also uploaded various social media platforms.
However, many Indian fans ridiculed the people of Kashmir over their celebrating Pakistan’s victory in such fashion. In response to their posts and tweets, many users were rebuked and even abused and threatened. This led to exchanges of heated arguments and even use of distasteful language against each other.
The Mirwaiz’s tweet also attracted a barrage of angry tweets from Indian fans. Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhi was one prominent people who reacted sharply to the Mirwaiz’s remarks and said, “A suggestion @MirwaizKashmir why don’t u cross the border? U will get better fireworks (Chinese?), Eid celebs there. I can help u wid packing.”
In view of huge involvement of the residents in these celebrations, the mosques, as compared to other days of Ramazan, recorded thin attendance for the Isha namaz (last of the five daily prayers) and special Taraweeh prayers which follow it.