Lucknow: A senior police officer from Uttar Pradesh (UP) has criticised the football association of Argentina for specially thanking Kerala along with Bangladesh, India and Pakistan for their support during the recently concluded FIFA World Cup tournament which was won by the South American country.
In a tweet, the police officer, Anjali Kataria, who is a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said: “Coming from an official sports body in Argentina, this tweet is reckless, to say the least. Inserting #Kerala as a separate entity, that too amongst a trio of nations which emerged bloodily out of British-ruled India, is bound to be read with distaste, by any self-respecting Indian.”
However, an earlier tweet from Anjali’s unverified account had already caused an uproar. In that tweet, which was later removed, the police officer said: “#Kerala is a state of India. Kerala is an integral part of Indian nation, NOT a separate entity,”
Later, she posted yet another tweet explaining her stand. “I still believe that such a comment from a sports body connected to the government of Argentina was not proper. If Argentina truly wished to thank football lovers in Kerala, it shouldn’t have tagged the state along with Bangladesh and Pakistan. Moreover, considering the love for the game in God’s Own Country, it deserves more than a passing mention along with two other countries, but an exclusive tweet.”
Kataria further tweeted that memories of the Partition in 1947 and the Indo-Pak War of 1971 were still creating separatist tendencies in some parts of the country. In this backdrop, the football association of Argentina should have exercised more caution while posting the tweet, she added.
She also felt that her stand could be misinterpreted by some people as a dispute between Uttar Pradesh and Kerala. But, being a police officer serving the Constitution of India as well as a sportsperson, I detest such parochial thoughts, she said. In fact, I have only respect towards all states and cultures of India. Jai Hind! Jai Bharat!, said Kataria.
The Argentina football association (Asociación del Fútbol Argentino) had replied to a tweet from a fan in Bangladesh who had posted a video of celebrations in that country over Argentina’s victory. “Thank you Bangladesh. Thank you Kerala, India, Pakistan. Your support was wonderful!” it said.
Argentina had defeated France in a close encounter in the final of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar on Sunday, leading to widespread night-long celebration in Kerala.