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Celebrations over India’s World Cup 2023 final debacle: Indian hotel bans Bangladeshi tourists

Ecstatic Bangladeshi fans were heard saying that they were more pleased to see India not getting the World Cup than feeling bad over their own team doing poorly in the tournament.

Bangladeshi cricket fans cheer during their team’s cricket match against Pakistan in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, India, on October 31, 2023. (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIA and Bangladesh might have good political relations but when it comes to cricket, fans of the two countries witness more hostility than peace. Recently, cricket fans in Bangladesh were seen celebrating after India lost the final of the ICC Men’s World Cup against Australia in Ahmedabad and their videos went viral on social media, leading to harsh reactions from the Indian side.

Now, the matter has turned worse with a hotel in Darjeeling, one of India’s major Himalayan hill stations located in its eastern state of West Bengal that borders Bangladesh, has decided to ban tourists from that country. The reason is the Bangladeshi fans’ celebration of India’s defeat in the final of the cricket World Cup.

READ: World Cup 2023 and South Asia’s toxic nationalism

Authorities of the hotel, Royoporus Taktsang, said on its social media page that they have stopped taking bookings from Bangladeshi visitors indefinitely.

Most of the arguments were between the Bangladeshi supporters and their counterparts in Bengal as both sides speak in a common language, Bengali.

The decision was supported by many Indians while a few objected to it. The hotel authorities said such celebrations by Bangladesh after India’s defeat were not acceptable, reported Bengali daily Ei Samay.

They told the daily that many in India were angry with the Bangladeshi reactions to the Indian team’s defeat in the final and they did not want any untoward situation with the arrival of Bangladeshi tourists and hence decided to stop taking their bookings.

Netizens praised the hotel and asked other hotels to follow the example. There was also a call to boycott Bangladeshi goods in India.

India played a major role in Bangladesh’s (formerly East Pakistan) independence movement that led to them emerging as a separate nation in 1971, ending the rule of Pakistan (then West Pakistan). Many Indians found Bangladeshi fans’ celebrations as a mark of betrayal and social media platforms were often abuzz with heated exchanges between the supporters of the two countries.

Exiled Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen also questioned the celebrations in Bangladesh over India’s loss. In a post on X, she said, “Bangladesh’s young Muslims are happy because India lost the World Cup. Why are they so much anti-India when India liberated their country and they depend on India for almost everything, healthcare, entertainment, clothing, beef, onion etc.? Govts encourage them to practice Islam, they do & so automatically become anti-Hindu.”

Bangladesh’s support for Australia against India in the cricket World Cup final also came at a time when the Australian football team humiliated them 7-0 in a qualifying match for the FIFA World Cup 2026. Yet, the Bangladeshi fans were heard saying that they were happier to see India not getting the trophy than feeling sad over their own team failing miserably in the tournament.

Bangladeshi, who were hit by controversies ahead of the tournament, could win only two matches in the World Cup and finished eighth out of 10 teams. They also lost to India by seven wickets with ace batter Virat Kohli hitting a hundred.

The Tigers’ fans also alleged that they were mistreated by the Indian supporters whenever they went to India to watch their team’s matches in the World Cup.

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