Kolkata: Najeeb Khan who has recently started working as expatriate laborer at a construction site near Salt Lake city in Kolkata is living in a state of grave confusion. He is torn on which team to support for the upcoming India vs Bangladesh world cup quarter final match on Wednesday, and this internal tussle is giving him sleepless nights.
His confusion stems from the fact that he was a Bangaldeshi citizen 1 week back but is an Indian citizen now and hence he is clueless on his patriotic stance. Unfortunately he is not alone. He is one of the hundreds of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants who are facing the same intense internal conflict just because they are passionate cricket supporters and their homeland has been switched overnight.
Najeeb and hundreds like him were Bangladeshi citizens till one week back and being avid cricket fans they were supporting each and every win of Bangaldeshi cricket team with extreme passion and fervor. But last week when they were immigrated to India and were provided with an Indian passport, Ration card and Voter id card within 2 days of their arrival, many of them suffered a serious case of identity crises. Many of them were reportedly shocked at the speed at which their nationality was changed and were unable to come to terms with their own selves.
Talking to our reporter over phone, Najeeb opened his heart and voiced the deep psychological issues he and many of his fellow immigrants are facing:
FN Reporter: Hi Najeeb
Najeeb: Salaam saab. Saab do I have to talk in English? I know only little English.
FN Reporter: Don’t worry, we will translate everything, be comfortable.
Najeeb: Ok sir.
FN Reporter: Najeeb we know it’s hard for you, but our readers want to know what you are going through?
Najeeb: We were not prepared for all this saab, it is as simple as that. I was a simple construction worker in Dhaka, who had no job. But one day my whole world changed, my nation changed. Last week, before we were brought to India, we were told it would take good amount of time for “them” to get our papers ready. But I was shocked at the speed at which my nationality was changed after we arrived. Within two days we got our whole new nationality-kit. It’s good that nation-changing facilities are so fast here and this country cares for skilled resources such as us, but certain things are close to our heart and are difficult for us to forget.”
Reporter: What are those things?
Najeeb: Cricket, it’s the toughest one. I am torn between whom to support now? India or Bangladesh? I mean I respect Dhoni sir a lot, he is a superhero, but can I just forget Mortaza bhai? Can I cheer for Kohli the same way I cheered for Shakib Al hasan? When Shami runs to bowl his first over will my heartbeat run as fast as it does when Rubel does that run? I don’t know the answer to these questions. I am very confused.
Reporter: That’s indeed a serious matter. Now that both teams are meeting for quarter finals on Wednesday. Who are you supporting?
Najeeb: I .. I just can’t decide. I was in Bangaldesh last week gunning for our cricket team, now I am in India. Should I start bleeding blue now, or should I still cheer for those lovely greens? It is all beyond me. I only pray to God that the match is a tie, I can’t just bear this conflict inside of me, I am getting torn apart. I may not even watch the match, but just check score on web every few seconds.
Reporter: Najeeb one last question….
Najeeb: If you don’t mind can we do this a little later. The thing is that I still haven’t been able to obtain a local sim card despite multiple tries at different shops so I am still on roaming and incoming is being charged.
Reporter: So you have got a ration card, passport and voter id, but you couldn’t get a sim-card as yet? That does say something. Anyhow Najeeb it was great talking to you, hope you find the solution to your internal conflicts and come to peace with yourself.
Najeeb: Thank you saab, I do feel lighter after this conversation. Bye.