Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli has taken a leaf out of the books of Amitabh Bachchan and Saif Ali Khan to avoid taking a stand on the countrywide protests against the amended Citizenship Act. Speaking on the eve of the first T20 International match against Sri Lanka, Kohli said that he was still trying to understand the issue before taking a formal stand.
Kohli was quoted as saying, “On the issue, I do not want to be irresponsible and speak on something that has, you know, radical opinions both sides. I need to have total information, total knowledge of what it means and what is going on and then be responsible to give my opinion on it.”
Kohli was interacting with reporters before the start of the first T20 International between India and Sri Lanka in Assam, which has seen some of the violent protests against the Citizenship Act, also known as CAA.
Kohli’s justification to not speak on the issue chimed with the stand taken by some Bollywood stars such as Saif and Bachchan. Saif too had recently said that he was still trying to better understand the situation before taking a stand. He had said, “I would like the protest to be associated with exactly what I am protesting against. There might be a possibility that I will end up representing a different kind of protest. So I am not sure yet. Until I am sure what I am protesting against and whether it is going to be taken that way, I need to think more.”
His statement had evoked an angry response from his Sacred Games co-actor Aamir Bashir–who plays Inspector Majid in the series. Bashir had called Saif out for the latter’s statement by stating that ‘even Gaitonde knew his shit’. Bashir’s tweet had read, “FFS!!! Talk to Majid, Sartaj! Even #Gaitonde knew his shit. #NotSacredGames #AntiCAAProtests #NRC_CAA_Protests.”
— Aamir Bashir (@AamirBashir) December 25, 2019
Fearing condemnation from fans on his silence against the recent police brutality against protests across the country, Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan had taken shelter behind a famous quote. But his justification to not speak up on the police crackdown against peaceful students in Jamia Millia Islamia University and the AMU had found no takers.
The role of the Uttar Pradesh Police, in particular, has come under scrutiny after many reports suggested that the cops had resorted to raping young Madrasa students in Muzaffarnagar.
Virat Kohli had wasted no time in defending the Centre’s Narendra Modi government when it made the demonetisation announcement on 8 November 2016. The questionable move to declare 86% currency in circulation illegal had left nearly 200 people dead due to stress related to note ban. Kohli had famously said, “For me, it is the greatest move I have seen in the history of Indian politics by far, hands down. I have been so impressed by it. It’s unbelievable what’s happening.”