Amidst the grim situation prevailing in Delhi due to violence over Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from East Delhi and former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir, in an interaction with media, said action should be taken against his own party colleague Kapil Mishra for his controversial comments made a few days ago.
As North Eastern Delhi witnessed grave acts of violence and arson, resulting in deaths of at least seven civilians as well as a policeman, Gambhir decided to speak out on the issue. When questioned by mediapersons over the comments made by Mishra, Gambhir said: "No matter who the person is, whether he is Kapil Mishra or anyone else, belonging to any party, if he has given any provocative speech, then strict action should be taken against him."
He also added, "This is not a party issue. It's about the people of Delhi." What followed was a very strong reaction both in support of and against Gambhir. While liberals and leftists lauded the former Test cricketer for showing the strength to speak up against his own party leaders, right-wingers attacked him for 'supporting rioters'.
"Kapil Mishra said the truth. Gautam Gambhir is nothing, I don't know why BJP even gave him the ticket to flight LS election," one tweet read. "We should demand BJP to give ticket to someone else instead of Gautam Gambhir next time," another user stated.
"When he doesn't know the factual things, why he has commented upon. We support Kapil Mishra. Don't need Gautam Gambhir," was the opinion of another person. Yet another went even further to say: "Is Gautam Gambhir on the way to join Kangress (sic) like Kirti Azad? He stays silent for 2 months on the provocation by Muslims and he has now found his voice to criticize Kapil Mishra who seems to be the only person with balls in BJP."
The statement over which all this debate is about came a few days ago when Mishra issued an ultimatum of sorts to the Delhi police and threatened to act on his own, with his supporters, to clear the roads blocked by Anti-CAA protesters if the police force doesn't do it. He also said that they were waiting for the visit of US President Donald Trump to finish before acting.
But Mishra isn't the only one on the list as far as those guilty of fanning ugly sentiments are concerned. Waris Pathan of AIMIM, Asaduddin Owaisi's party, is also in hot water over a comment he made in a speech wherein he said that "15 crore of us would prove to be stronger than the 100 crore others."
All this follows a Delhi election campaign which also saw several controversial speeches. The ongoing protest at Shaheen Bagh has become a polarizing issue with both those opposed to it and those sympathetic to it unwilling to back down from their respective positions.