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HomeGo To PakistanPakistani fans prefer changing 'Lenovo' to 'Lenevivo' than have Naseem Shah English-shamed

Pakistani fans prefer changing ‘Lenovo’ to ‘Lenevivo’ than have Naseem Shah English-shamed

Many fans pointed to the regressive and ‘colonial’ attitude of Indian Twitter users for mocking a Pakistani cricketer for not being proficient in a foreign language.

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New Delhi: Pakistani cricket fans who came to the defence of bowler Naseem Shah after he stumbled over the pronunciation of ‘Lenovo’ have found a rather unique solution that would circumvent future gaffes. Change the name of the tech giant to ‘Lenevivo’.

Naseem Shah’s legion of fans have even launched a petition on Twitter pushing for a name change after a video of Shah went viral recently.

The viral video shows an edited snippet of an interview featuring the 19-year-old cricketer with Mohammad Nawaz as they discuss technology with the Quetta Gladiators media team.

The video garnered several mean reactions, with Indian Twitter users mocking Shah’s spoken English skills as he spelled out Lenovo and pronounced it as ‘Lenevivo’. However, Pakistani Twitter users are not ones to remain quiet as they quickly jumped to Shah’s defence. Many fans pointed to the regressive and ‘colonial’ attitude of some social media users for mocking a Pakistani cricketer for not being proficient in a foreign language.

They also reminded Indians of Shah’s sensational performance against India in the recent Asia Cup tournament. He scored 14 runs off four balls by hitting two celebrated sixes in the last hour and helped his team establish victory over Afghanistan by one wicket.

Also read: Senior Pak ministers booked in terror case for spreading religious hatred against Imran Khan

History of English-shaming

This is not the first time that cricketers–and even athletes—on both sides of the border have been mocked for their poor English skills.

In countries like India and Pakistan with a colonial past, fluency in English has always been the privilege of the elite and those living in cities. “The language has become another tool for social stratification. The anglophone elite has long looked down on non-speakers, and fluency in English is generally considered a suitable proxy for intelligence and competence,” said the authors of a Harvard Political Review report, ‘Redefining Colonial Legacies’.

Earlier this year, Pakistani skipper Babar Azam was mocked by some Indian Twitter handles for being unable to speak in English during a post-match ceremony. One user tweeted, ‘Even Sarfaraz used to speak better English than Babar Azam.’

Fans defended the skipper, reminding his critics that Babar Azam is currently among the top 5 batters in all the formats of cricket and is leading the ICC Men’s ODI and T20I rankings.

Indian athletes, too, have often been on the receiving end of criticism for their spoken English skills.

Neeraj Chopra, a gold medal-winning track and field athlete too has faced criticism regarding his language skills. He recently addressed the issue, saying, “I know my English is not perfect but I try my best. It has improved a lot with talking to my coach. I know that athletics is a global sport and I want to reach everyone. I know that I can’t find a translator everywhere so I try my best,” in an interview after winning the Diamond League in Zurich earlier this year.

Even the Athletic Federation of India (AFI) faced flak in 2018 for its tweet congratulating athlete Hima Das for her historic win at the IAAF Under-20 World Junior Championships while noting her lack of fluency in the English language.

(Edited by Ratan Priya)

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