Allez Les Bleus?

Southasia - - EDITOR’S MAIL -

In France, the 14th of July is marked as ‘Bastille Day’ to com­mem­o­rate storm­ing of the Bastille by Parisians. This started the French Rev­o­lu­tion. This year, how­ever, the day co­in­cided with France’s World Cup vic­tory that re­sulted in wild cel­e­bra­tions across the coun­try. In­ter­est­ingly, satire was also aimed at the French football team for be­ing the ‘last African team’ to win the FIFA World Cup fi­nal. There were 12 play­ers of African des­cent in the team out of a to­tal of 23. This per­cep­tion, cou­pled with right-wing na­tion­al­ist Marie Le Pen’s state­ments that termed the French squad as an ‘ar­ti­fi­cial football team’ brings to light the daily predica­ments faced by the non-white pop­u­la­tion in to­day’s France. There have been many de­bates con­cern­ing the re-eval­u­a­tion of ‘French­ness’ in a dis­play of post-colo­nial iden­tity pol­i­tics. At this junc­ture, the life and times of the African im­mi­grant com­mu­nity must be ob­jec­tively eval­u­ated pre and post World Cup glory to de­duce the ef­fec­tive­ness of ‘Lib­erty,’ ‘Equal­ity’ and ‘Fra­ter­nity’ - no­tions that set the very foun­da­tion of Bastille Day. Is France ready?

Ana Taw­fiq Hu­sain,

Karachi, Pak­istan.

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