Over the last eight days, the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has been the sole talking point in India. From students protesting to marching and raising their voices over the Act that seeks to provide all individuals except Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh with citizenship, the nation has stood up in unity even as its secular fabric is in threat. Coupled with the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the CAA has been said to target a specific community, which has spread widespread fear and anger against the government.
The protests have also been marked by violence in a few sections, with Uttar Pradesh alone seeing 16 people lose their lives. A man in Mangalore was gunned down as well, with violence also being reported from Delhi. Amid all this, the silence of the sportspeople and the celebrities has been surprising, with many urging the idols to speak up on the matter.
The latest to join the bandwagon is former badminton star Jwala Gutta, who has questioned why her peers have not yet uttered a word about the violence, as it is the "least they could do". Sans cricketers Irfan Pathan, Aakash Chopra and Harbhajan Singh, no sports player has mentioned about the growing tension in the country on their social media handles, which has infuriated Gutta.
"We are seeing the news and a lot of people are dying and I did not expect this. I request all the sportspersons of our country that we should come out and condemn violence," Jwala said in a video that she shared on Twitter.
"...violence against people and the people who are creating violence because we are the peace ambassadors of our country to the world and I think this is the least we could do," the 36-year-old said.
"Come out and condemn violence," she added.
Gutta has been one of the most vocal players from India in the recent past, not hesitating to call out the corrupt officials in the federation. Last year, she spoke about the selection bias and the mental harassment that she had to face since 2006 from an unnamed individual, who went on to become the chief of the Indian Badminton Federation. Gutta also had a long-standing feud with P Gopichand, accusing him of ignoring the doubles players to focus on the singles players.
Recently, Gutta was the only sportsmen to speak up against the "encounter" of the four alleged rapists in the Priyanka Reddy incident, questioning why the legal process was not allowed. The other sportsmen applauded the Hyderabad police, saluting the swift punishment that was given to the four men.