When I was younger, Bharat was often at the receiving end of Pakistan in one sport – cricket. The newer generation might not even be aware, but Bharat was unable to beat Pakistan for a full 7 years at Sharjah, which was the annual high-voltage clash between these two nations. Pakistan had a strong team, and perhaps most importantly, was far better led, than Bharat was during that period.
One comment that one heard many times back then, and even now, is that “you need beef to bowl fast, you need beef to win, beef gives you that ‘killer instinct.’” Indeed, this elusive ‘killer instinct’ which we Bharatiyas in general, and Hindus in particular, lacked, was because we did not eat beef. I have to concede that I heard this comment not only from Pakistanis, but even Bharatiyas, of all religions. After all, it was argued, what else could explain that Bharat with its far larger population, was unable to beat Pakistan in cricket?
Somehow, I never bought this argument. I always thought of warriors like Shivaji – perhaps possessing the most nous, killer instinct, presence of mind, and raw energy of the moment displayed by anyone in the past 400 years in the subcontinent. I thought of the battle of Pratapgad, where Shivaji killed a full-of-beef Afzal Khan with out of this world ‘killer instinct’. Shivaji not only did not eat beef, he considered the protection of the cow as one of his highest goals.
Things have changed. The Bharatiya economy is today a ‘tiger’: a term once reserved for Japan, Korea, and smaller countries like Singapore. It is indeed the fastest growing major economy in the world for the past couple of years.
Cricket has changed too. Bharat is ranked No. 1 in test cricket, and boasts a 4-pronged pace attack that has taken 20 wickets in each of its past 5 overseas test (with one exception where a declaration happened). Bharatiya pacers are, on average, quicker than their Pakistani counterparts. Bharat can put up at least 6 bowlers who can bowl at the 90mph mark if they exert themselves. Their skill levels are also being talked of at the highest levels.
But forget cricket for the time being. I did not write this article because suddenly Bharat is a better cricket team than Pakistan. I wrote it because of this simple statistic.
2018 Asian Games medals tally –
This is the power of beef! The Pakistanis who try every trick to bring beef into a conversation, with all the beef at their disposal, have won a paltry 4 medals (all bronze). Compared to that, Bharat has won almost 20 times as many! And let us not forget that at least 5 more golds were converted to silver because the rich but reluctant to work hard nations of Qatar and Bahrain ‘purchased’ African athletes to compete for them. For example, Bharat’s Dutee Chand won silver in both the sprints – 100m and 200m, losing out to African imports. In other words, Dutee Chand is surely the fastest Asian woman (and all this without beef, mind you). Something we all can be very proud of. Not only that, our women’s 4 by 400m relay team actually beat an all African squad from Bahrain to win gold. Lot of killer instinct, that.
In strength disciplines – wrestling and weightlifting – Bharat is light years ahead of Pakistan. Our women itself win more medals in these disciplines than the entire Pakistan Asiad squad does. By the way, nearly all of our wrestling team comprises Jats, a large percent of whom are vegetarians! So much for the power of beef.
If there is a discipline that is more pure-strength than any other, it is weightlifting. And Bharat is actually on the world map in weightlifting. We may remember Karnam Malleswari’s bronze in the 2000 Olympics. And where is Pakistan (the macho beef eating nation) in weight lifting? Nowhere. In the entire history of the Asian games, Pakistani beef eaters have won a total of 3 medals in weight lifting. Bharatiya women themselves have won more than 8 (I stopped counting at that, since it is a little tedious :-)). I think Kunjarani Devi herself won 2.
So, my friends, you can see the amazing power of beef. You need it for strength, and you need it for that elusive quality of ‘killer instinct’ without which you cannot win medals. Yeah right. And people fly to heaven on donkeys. But let me not get started on that.
The next time any Pakistani talks about beef, ask him how many medals his beef eaters have won at the Asian games.
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