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Padma Lakshmi Draws Flak for Outraging Against 'Chai Tea' but Remaining Silent on CAA

Padma Lakshmi has drawn criticism for choosing to speak about trivial issues like the nomenclature of 'chai' where more pressing matters are at hand.

Jashodhara Mukherjee | News18.com

Updated:December 30, 2019, 4:45 PM IST
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Padma Lakshmi Draws Flak for Outraging Against 'Chai Tea' but Remaining Silent on CAA
Padma Lakshmi has drawn criticism for choosing to speak about trivial issues like the nomenclature of 'chai' where more pressing matters are at hand.

Even as thousands of Indians are taking to streets everyday to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act in India, Indian-origin actor and author Padma Lakshmi has drawn criticism for choosing to speak about trivial issues lreferring to "chai" (tea) as "chai tea". However, her tweet which was an attack on cultural appropriation of food backfired when several netizens attacked her for remaining silent while the country was engulfed in protests and rallies against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act.

For the past few weeks, students and citizens have taken to the streets to raise their voice against CAA, which was passed on 11 December, 2019; labeling the Act as highly discriminatory on grounds of religion and in direct conflict with the secular nature of the country as specified in the Constitution.

Here's some context as to what the controversy is all about. The new law effectively says that  illegal immigrants — who came from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan on or before December 31, 2014 and belong to Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain, Christian, or Parsi communities — will not be treated as illegal immigrants and will now be eligible for citizenship. However, Muslims, irrespective of nationality or the refugees from neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, have been excluded from the list. This has caused Indians to believe that the Act discriminates against Muslim communities.

Yet, while the country continues to writhe in pain, most celebrities have chosen to remain silent and Padma Lakshmi seems to be one of them. For the unaware, Lakshmi is an American citizen; however, she hails from India. On December 29, she tweeted saying that now that the new year is around the corner, people should stop addressing chai as "chai tea" which is just redundant and makes no sense at all.

However, her tweet didn't sit well with her followers who believe that she should have been using the platform and her influence to speak about more poignant issues like CAA instead of dwelling over trivialities.

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