Disgusted by the attacks on Sri Lankan cricketers, fans, players and Delhi youth have turned to that universal symbol of protest — the black arm band.
IPL team owner Preity Zinta wore one in New Zealand on Tuesday after hearing of the attack, as did the Indian and New Zealand teams while playing out their ODI. Delhi is eager to show solidarity. “Cricketers are supposed to get muscle pulls, not bullet wounds,” says Ajay, an angry 26-year-old. “I will wear a black arm band for the boys.”
His Gmail status is ‘black arm band, serious dismay’. Vedant Gahlaut, a 21-year-old army aspirant, will put on the band to declare that “terrorism has to end”. Deepak Arora, a 29-year-old hotel executive, will use it “to mark my stand against terror and for humanity”.
Protest down the years
In 1948, when Gandhi was assassinated, India was playing a Test match with Australia. After debating if the match should be abandoned, they decided to play on, wearing bands to show respect. In 2003, Australian cricketers wore them after the Bali bombings. Also, in the 2003 World Cup, Zimbabwean players Andy Flower and Henry Olonga wore them as symbols of “mourning the death of democracy” in their country. In 2008, at a Ranji Trophy match between Orissa and Delhi, the teams wore them for terror-hit Mumbai.
Inputs from Neha Sharma