Jat quota stir: Ashwin, Sehwag, Vijender speak out against protests in Haryana

Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Sunday took a stand on the ongoing freedom of speech debate, tweeting that it was the Indian Armed Forces who deserve the credit for ensuring our freedom. As a Firstpost article out, it one of the rare incidents when cricketers spoke publicly about controversial issues in the news.

Jat quota stir: Ashwin, Sehwag, Vijender speak out against protests in Haryana

Security forces at protests by the Jat community. AFP

While Dhoni's comments came in light of the recent developments at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), several other cricketers have spoken against the Jat reservation protest that has paralysed Haryana over the last few days. Jats are demanding reservation and despite various leaders, including the Haryana Chief Minister M L Khattar, appealing to them to maintain peace, there has been no let up in the protests which have disrupted normal life in Rohtak, Jind, Bhiwani, Jhajjar, Sonipat and Hisar.

Sportspersons including Virender Sehwag, a Jat himself, and Vijender Singh who is from Haryana, have appealed to the community for peace and to end their violent agitation for reservation. Sehwag tweeted in Hindi asking his 'brothers' to shun violence.

Translated to English, his tweets said, "I appeal to all my brothers to give up violence and present their demands in a constitutional manner. We are saviours, not destroyers. We have made the country proud whether in the army or in sports, our zeal should be used to do good for the country."

Sehwag's former opening partner Gautam Gambhir also took a firm stand against the demand for quota, questioning the point of soldiers sacrificing their life when people are resorting to violence for reservation.

"A soldier never thinks abt quota or demand for quota before sacrificing his life," Gambhir tweeted.

VVS Laxman agreed with Sehwag, asking people to sort out the issues in an amicable manner.

But perhaps the strongest critique came from Ravichandran Ashwin who asked the protesters to 'man up and talk'.

Star Indian boxer and Haryana native Vijender Singh appealed for peace in his state as well. Vijender, who is gearing up to fight his fourth professional bout in Liverpool, posted a video message on his Twitter page to plead for calm.

"I appeal to my jat brothers to maintain peace and brotherhood in Haryana. It is absolutely essential for us, our families, our state and our country," Vijender said in a brief message.

The 30-year-old belongs to the Kaluwas village in Bhiwani, which has also been severely affected by the violence during the agitation.

Indeed, it is a good sign to see influential people like sportsmen take a firm stand and speak out on national issues.

With inputs from agencies 

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Updated Date: Feb 22, 2016 19:18:12 IST

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