Kala Pani


Colin Mohammed
e-mail: colin_mohammed@hotmail.com


It is no longer a secret that the 2nd highest source of new Canadians is the South Asian Diaspora. In order to fully understand and develop a viable plan to create a powerful cricketing nation we need to begin at the roots and force the issue.

People will naturally gravitate towards familiar surroundings and we are no longer a reflection of 'back home,' we are home. The need for constant reflection should be left to our fathers and grandfathers. They are the pioneers who created the cities we live in. Think of this, I can go to Malton, Gerard Street and parts of Mississauga and buy anything from cascadura fish to a sari. Our foundation has already been established; the time is here for us to leap ahead.

The influx of South Asians into Ontario and B.C. will undoubtedly create a huge imbalance of cricketing talent compared to the rest of the Provinces. However we must not lose sight of our ultimate goal. This is no hazy dream; I firmly believe we can evolve into Test status. We must now begin to put away our romantic ideals of 'back home' and develop our athletes into proud Canadian cricketers. This is not the time for petty rivalries like "there are too many Indians on the team" or other equally heinous statements. Stay focused on the goal and unify the efforts.

I realize our task is difficult, even the elite Olympians are treated with scant courtesy by the Government. Yet we will persevere and win the day. The tasks for the early West Indians, Pakistanis and Indians were just as difficult, however they had the unbridled support of the people and it is this lesson we must apply.

As immigrants from various Nations we have all chosen to live here. Can we not throw our talents together and build Team Canada the foundation necessary? The time is finally here that we cannot sit by and accept the status quo. We are Canadian and fully deserve the right to see our cricketers in the media, beyond the token coverage. As the so-called hyphenated citizens we raise the knowledge standard of the country. It is now we must use our knowledge to open the eyes of The Other population. Think this; given the combined populations of the cricket playing nations does it not stand to reason in the global economy that the local media pay more attention? How long can the media 'giants' hold the lines against the new consciousness sweeping the planet?

Friends, we have a voice. It is up to us to use it, consider this our National Cricket Team qualified for a major global tournament viewed by billions but we have no sponsors, little to no political support and the team is comprised of amateurs. They desperately need our help.

We must get the game into the eyes of the Canadian mainstream. Force the issue. Pressure the newspapers, TV and Radio stations and other media venues. Clog the telephone lines of the MPPs. I can no longer stand to see Canada embarrassed at World-class competition. Shame and nothing but shame that an industrial, "First" World nation cannot support their own.

I am an immigrant no more. I am no longer The Other looking in.
We must end this comedy of denial.


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