Cricketers have long been termed as the ‘ silent spectators ‘ for maintaining their silence on one of the major burning issues in the country. Even though cricketers like Aakash Chopra and Irfan Pathan did tweet about Police crackdown in Delhi’s Jamia Milila Islamia University on the students who were protesting against CAA, no one from cricket fraternity had spoken about the act directly till now.
But in a recent interview with a news network, Former Indian captain and current Indian head coach Ravi Shastri came out in support of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, popularly known as CAA. He is the first person from cricketing fraternity to openly voice his opinion whether in support or against the act which has divided the country into three parts – supporters of the act, protesters of the act and the neutrals. Shastri, like his usual self voiced his opinion in support of the act in a no nonsense way.
Talking to the CNN- News 18 Network, Shastri requested Indians to be patient as he could see plenty of positives coming out of this move in the long run.
” I say guys, be patient because I can see plenty of positives coming out of it (CAA) in the long run. Think Indian, don’t think I am this, I am that. Think Indian and there are benefits coming your way. “
Known for his strong personality and fearless approach to life, Shastri also hoped Government would be able to implement the act well because only then it can benefit the country.
” I’m sure the government has thought about it properly you know. Now it’s all about implementation. If there are still certain things to be tweaked here and there, I’m sure they’ll do it for the benefit of India, benefit of Indians. So I am speaking as Indian here. I am not XYZ nationality or XYZ religion. No I am speaking Indian because that’s who I have been. “
In a nutshell, Shastri asked Indians to be united and don’t bring any other angle to the whole issue. By urging people to think Indian, he meant them to see the act as how can it be useful for the country rather than thinking how beneficial it could be for their religion or community.
“Ever since I was 18 years of age I played for India, so I think Indian. I don’t think what nationality, yeh, woh’ (this or that) because in my team also there were all sorts. Different castes, different religions “
Earlier when Indian captain Virat Kohli was asked about the act, he had declined to make any comment citing non awareness about the law as the reason.
A few weeks ago,when Sourav Ganguly’s daughter had written a long post protesting against CAB ( it hadn’t become an act at that moment ), the BCCI president had asked people not to attach too much weight to Sana’s post because as per him she wasn’t young enough to understand sensational political topics for which he was heavily criticized by people across the nation.
What is CAA?
The Citizenship Amendment Act states that non-Muslim refugees from Muslim neighbourhood countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan can apply for Indian citizenship provided they have entered the Indian territory on or before 31st December 2014 and have lived in India without visa or any other valid documents for five years.
Why the protest?
The critics of the act allege that the act protests the non Muslim migrants and marginalizes the Muslim lot with an uncertain future while a proportion of population is protesting against government allowing immigrants to stay in the country for as long as they want when the country’s own citizens can’t avail the resources properly.