Cricketer Harbhajan Singh has issued a detailed apology over his post yesterday in which he’d called terrorist Bhindranwale a martyr.
“I just wish to clarify and apologize for an Instagram post yesterday. It was a WhatsApp forward that I posted in haste without even realizing the content used and what it signified or stood for. That was my mistake and at no stage do I subscribe to the views of that post, or support the people whose pictures were carried. I am a Sikh who will fight for India and not against India. This is my unconditional apology for hurting the sentiments of my nation. In fact any anti national group against my people I do not support and I never will. I have given my blood and sweat for this country for 20 years and will never support anything that is anti India. Jai Hind,” he wrote.
Yesterday, Harbhajan Singh has shared a tribute to terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale on his death anniversary on his Instagram page. “Pranaam shaheeda nu (Salute to the martyrs),” he wrote on his Instagram story, which carried a picture of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and the Golden Temple. On 6th June 1984, Bhindranwale had been killed by security forces in Operation Bluestar.
Harbhajan Singh’s open support to a terrorist who’d taken up arms against the Indian state had led to immediate outrage, and hundreds of messages had been posted on social media condemning his views. Several Twitter users had also said that they’d boycott cricket matches in which Harbhajan was a player or commentator.
It appears that Harbhajan has either taken cognizance of the social media outrage, or has been prodded into apologizing by either cricket authorities or the brands he endorses. While he’s profusely apologized for his comments, India would do well to be careful — the fact that a post glorifying a separatist militant managed to be posted by a prominent cricketer shows how Khalistani propaganda continues to be spread by vested foreign interests.