While the fervent debate over Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) continues throughout the country, now the sporting world is also starting to find its voice in it. The latest person to speak on the controversial Act of Parliament is Indian cricket team's head coach Ravi Shastri and he has thrown his weight behind the central government's decision.
Speaking to a television news channel in an interview, Shastri expressed his optimism for CAA and the effects it will have. "When I see all this CAA and things going around it, I think as an Indian. In my team also, we have all sorts, different castes, different religions whatever but Indian.
"I say guys, be patient because I can see plenty of positives coming out of it in long run. I am sure the government has thought about it properly. There are still certain things to be tweaked here and there and they will do it for the benefit of Indians. I am speaking as an Indian here," the outspoken coach said.
He went on further to state that his thinking is not influenced by religious considerations but only by his nationality. "I am not talking about x, y, z religion because I am speaking as an Indian. That's who I have been, I realised it, even more, when I played for the country. So, I have the right to speak as an Indian," Shastri told CNN News18.
The CAA has been the subject of a huge debate through the country which has sometimes descended into violence, even leading to loss of life and destruction of public property. This Act of the Indian Parliament, brought in by the Narendra Modi government provides an easier path to citizenship for persecuted minorities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
The Act specifically mentions Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians, who are facing religious discrimination and persecution in the three Muslim-majority countries of Indian subcontinent.
While the government and its backers see the Act as a way of giving refuge to those who are seeking safety for themselves from religious fanatics in these three countries, opposition parties and Muslim organisations have accused the government of targeting the Muslim community through this measure.
There have been large protests across the country, especially in Delhi against CAA. In response to this, rallies supporting CAA have also taken place in various cities. Several petitions have been filed in the Indian Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of this act and the highest court of the county will now decide on the future of this law.