As sportspersons, we are the representative of the country at the globe. We are Indians first, and we don't belong to any political party so we are the peace ambassadors of our nation. So we have a lot of responsibilities in hand to make sure our country's name is not tarnished. When the attacks on students happen in the country, you don't have to take a side but you can still condemn against the violence. It is possible because sportspersons have a large following. The students, after all, are the youth and future of the country and they are the builders of tomorrow. Therefore, it is a responsibility of us to safeguard them when they are treated with violent means.
I am speaking up because I believe this is a necessity as a representative of the country and it shouldn't hurt the government because I am taking the side of the country's educated youth. And when people are simply condemning such acts, they are being branded as anti-establishment. How are we anti-establishment? In times like these, if we keep quiet, then it will become the new normalcy and we don't advocate for this normalcy where students get beaten up. No matter whichever side has done such heinous crime, it is important to roll out necessary punishment against them. Everyone should speak up because no one should want to see our country burn.
We are seeing tough times these days. The economy is not performing well, unemployment is huge and religious harmony is a need of the hour. It should be our priority that we should come up and speak for harmony and maintaining peace and restraint, to establish the fact that India is much greater than this. It is sad that social media platforms are being used to simply make endorsements and establishing connections. Because they are scared that they will be branded as anti-establishments.
People talk about selective outrage. But when the instance of Kathua rape case rocked the country, I didn't see anyone condemning the matter. There will always be trolls, but should we take trolls seriously? Every sportsperson is also a patriot who strives to do well for the country, then why we fail to point out the wrong that goes in our country? Isn't it our moral responsibility?
Though there is a fear that being branded as anti-establishment will hurt a sportsperson, but who can take away your achievements? You are what you are for the performances you have given on the field. I just want the patriotism of the athletes' should reflect off the field as well.
I believe if we urge them to speak up, it's not like putting pressure on them. It's just knocking on their doors to seek help when the country you live in is burning. We saw Deepika Padukone didn't speak anything yet she chose to stand by the students' side. It made a good statement. Similarly, I wish more like her come up so that the authority understands that they should be working for the betterment of students.
I have said a lot of things a lot of time, whenever I felt like something is going wrong. For that, I had to miss out on badminton, I was not given awards and not even called up to the team, despite having a good performance under my belt. I don't think we should be judged for our opinions but our performances.