Sikh cricket player dubbed “Khalistani” for dropping catch

Right-wing trolls and even some accounts based in Pakistan used the term

Arshdeep singh

On the intervening night between September 4 and 5, Pakistan defeated India in a cricket match. While any match between the two countries is known to stir passions of viewers on both sides of the border, this time, one dropped catch led to Arshdeep Singh, a Sikh player, being dubbed “Khalistani”.

The slur harked back to the Khalistan movement from the 1970s and 80s for a separate land for Sikhs. Thus, dubbing Singh a “Khalistani” was clearly an attempt to target his Sikh identity and vilify him by accusing him of harbouring anti-India sentiments.

In the 18th over of the Super 4 match of the Asia Cup in Dubai, Singh failed to catch the ball when Pakistani cricketer Asif Ali hit a delivery by Ravi Bishnoi. India lost the match to Pakistan by five wickets.

Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair shared screengrabs of the offensive accounts on Twitter:



But then, as YouTuber Anshul Saxena revealed, it turns out many of the accounts calling Arshdeep Singh were also based out of Pakistan:



Data privacy activist Saikiran Kannan too backed this theory that it was Pakistani accounts that caused the #Khalistani to trend in the wake of the dropped catch.




But that wasn’t all, the word was also added to his Wikipedia page. An unregistered user reportedly replaced the words “India” with “Khalistan” at different places in the page, shortly after midnight. The user also changed the cricketer’s name on the page to Major Arshdeep Singh Langra. Now, Hindustan Times reports that the unregistered user’s IP address was based out of Pakistan, and allocated to Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), Pakistan’s national telecom provider. Deccan Herald reports that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITy) has summoned Wikipedia executives in India to explain how such shocking edits were allowed to be made.  

Meanwhile, Arshdeep has also received a lot of support from fellow cricketers, politicians and ordinary citizens.





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