‘Don’t need permission in my own country. I am an Indian first’: Irfan Pathan on his tweets about CAA protests
Pathan showed concern for Jamia university students who got into an altercation with Delhi Police.
Updated - Dec 18, 2019 5:03 pm
The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has triggered a massive protest in the North and East Region of India, with some hints of noises coming from the South as well. The Act which grants Indian citizenship to all the Hindu, Sikh, Parsi, Buddhist and Christian immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, who live in India without documentation.
The act aims to give them fast-tracked citizenship in just 6 years, while it takes 12 years of residence for naturalization. Assam was the first state that saw protests, while Delhi and West Bengal later became hotbeds for the same and celebrities ranging from Bollywood, Cricket to intellectuals took to Twitter to express their views on the same whether in support or opposition. One such cricketer was Irfan Pathan, who showed concern for Jamia university students who got into an altercation with Delhi Police.
“I have earned the right to speak my mind,” says Irfan Pathan
However, the cricketer was then criticized for taking sides in his tweet, which read, “Political blame game will go on forever but I and our country is concerned about the students of #JamiaMilia #JamiaProtest”. He mentioned that he has earned the right to speak his mind on issues affecting the people of the country.
He also recollected a story from India’s tour to Pakistan in 2004, where during a Q&A session he was asked by a girl, why does he play for India despite being a Muslim. to which the left-arm pacer replied,“ It’s my country, and I am lucky, proud and honoured to represent it. It’s my mulk, my country, a place where my ancestors all come from.”
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) December 15, 2019
“If I can speak like that in Pakistan, in an open gathering, puffing out my chest, then I don’t need anyone’s permission in my own country to say what I feel. I have represented my country. Some people should realize that. When I ran into bowl for India, I didn’t think I am a Muslim. I am an Indian first before anything else,” Pathan was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
He further said that peaceful protests are fundamental rights in a democracy, but he found the issue was different in Jamia Milia Islamia university case. “I wanted the attention to go there so that there is no loss of life there, the situation doesn’t worsen. These are kids, our future. Aren’t the Jamia kids ours? Aren’t the IIM kids ours? Aren’t the North-East kids ours? Aren’t the kids from Kashmir and Gujarat ours? All of them are our kids,” Pathan was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
When he was trolled by some people on Twitter for speaking his mind, Pathan remained unmoved in his opinion and further added, “If I present my opinion on society, is it wrong? Haven’t I done anything for my society? I have.” The current J&K coach-cum-player urged people of the country to retain positivity instead of spreading hate and negativity. He asked the people to be responsible in sharing photos and messages, given the power of social media and how quickly it can spread everywhere.