Shikhar Dhawan's take on patriotism and JNU row
Dhawan agrees with the government's initiative to unfurl India flags at universities.
The nation has been under a cloud of controversy the last few days with a conflict between nationalists and some people who have been termed ‘anti-nationals’ taking up all the airwaves. Indian cricketer Shikhar Dhawan was asked to have his say on the matter, and he had quite a few emphatic words to put forth.
He agreed with the government’s initiative to unfurl India flags at universities, and also agreed with the view that one should not speak ill of one’s own country. But Dhawan left some room for the assumption to be made that he was not in favour of the violence unleashed by nationalists either.
He said, “My take is simple. It (flag) should be unfurled at the Universities. It (flag) is the pride of the nation. The more the merrier I would say. Though you have touched upon a sensitive topic, one should never say anything ill about the country you live in.”
Dhawan was reacting to questions posed at him during an event, regarding the controversial arrest of JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar on charges of sedition.
“I was watching kabaddi last night and I subconsciously stood up while the national anthem was played. I play for the flag, playing for the country is the biggest honour for me. As citizens, we should take responsibility of our actions,” he added.
All 46 Indian central universities will have a flag unfurled from the top of a high pole, according to a decision taken at a meeting yesterday chaired by HRD Minister Smriti Irani. The first of these flags will be hoisted at JNU, the main site of the ongoing tension.
Dhawan is all set to be part of the Indian team in the Asia Cup, the main stage of which begins from 24 February, but he is sure to have one eye on the volatile situation back home.
Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt has recently composed a poem in condemnation of the ‘anti-nationals’.