Wrestlers’ Protest: Everyone of us must remember the grand photo of a leader standing before the bulldozer during Jahangirpuri demolitions. Well, the much hyped leader was Brinda Karat. Standing over 25,000 bodies in West Bengal, Karat knew how to pose for TV breaking and first page newspaper photo-op. Be it the sit-in protest by the Farmers on Delhi borders, Jahangirpuri demolition or the Hathras case, the mainstream media, social media, journalists, opposition politicians and five star activists all come together to kick up a storm. And all this is done for two-minutes fame. To note, political tourism has done no good to the nation as yet. The Wrestlers Protest needs to be saved from that too.
Wrestlers organise protest at Jantar Mantar
It was after several phone calls from young wrestlers expressing fear about the “unsafe environment” at a national camp going to held in Lucknow, two time World championship medalist Vinesh Phogat decided to stage an unprecedented Wrestlers’ Protest against the sport’s administration. The sit-in protest by wrestlers like Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Mallick along with Phogat demanded the removal of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and other national coaches, on the charges of sexual harassment. Reports suggest that the young wrestlers planned to boycott the camp and even quit the sport. However, the camp was later cancelled by the sport’s ministry itself. The protesting wrestlers also met with Sports Ministry officials, post which they announced that the wrestlers will not leave the venue until the WFI president is sacked. “It will be sad for wrestling if girls have to come out and give their names and provide proof about harassment. Don’t force us to do that,” Vinesh said, adding that if there was no satisfactory response, they will file an FIR against Singh.
IOA swings into action
Following the assurance of investigation and justice by PT Usha, president Indian Olympic Association (IOA), the wrestlers wrote a letter to the IOA, so that formal inquiry could begin. Acting upon the complaint, the IOA has formed a seven member committee on Friday, which comprises Mary Kom, Dola Banerjee, Alaknanda Ashok, Yogeshwar Dutt and Sahdev Yadav are among the members. The committee will probe allegations of sexual harassment against WFI president. The committee is said to submit its report within a month’s time. The IOA committee has also asked WFI President Brij Bhushan Singh to step aside for four weeks and cooperate with the investigation.
Brinda Karat and Vijender Singh asked to step down
There is just a need for any protest or voice against the functioning of the Modi government and the opposition leaders, who otherwise get no opportunity, jump onto it to gain a few political brownie points. First it was Communist leader Brinda Karat on Thursday, when the wrestlers asked her to leave the stage. On Friday, boxer and Congress politician Vijender Singh suffered the same fate. Singh was asked to get off the stage and sit on the ground alongside other protesters.
Wrestlers have a message for the ‘POLITICIANS’
The wrestlers have made it clear from the very first day that they didn’t want any political colour being given to the Wrestlers’ Protest. Although, Congress party tried a lot to stick it together and present it as an anti-government protest, the wrestlers themselves made it clear that the Wrestlers’ Protest was against the WFI and not the government.
हमारी लड़ाई सरकार से नहीं है। हम सभी खिलाड़ी फेडरेशन और उसके अध्यक्ष के खिलाफ लड़ रहे है।
कोई भी राजनीतिक दल हमारे इस आंदोलन पर राजनीति ना करें।
— Bajrang Punia 🇮🇳 (@BajrangPunia) January 20, 2023
यह आंदोलन खिलाड़ियों और खेल के भविष्य को लेकर है।
हमारा आंदोलन फेडरेशन और उसके अध्यक्ष के खिलाफ है। इस पर कोई भी राजनीतिक दल अपने फायदे के लिए राजनीति ना करें।
— Sakshee Malikkh (@SakshiMalik) January 20, 2023
The wrestlers, after staging the protest, met the respective authorities. Post Sports Minister Anurag Thakur’s assurance that Singh will step aside for a period of 4 weeks and an investigation will be carried out, the protest has been called off.
मैं अपने सभी खिलाड़ी साथियों की तरफ से सरकार का धन्यवाद करती हूं कि उन्होंने हमारे आंदोलन और मांगों को गंभीरता से लिया। सरकार ने हमें आश्वासन दिया है कि वह खिलाड़ियों के साथ न्याय करेगी। 🙏🏽 @narendramodi @AmitShah @ianuragthakur
— Sakshee Malikkh (@SakshiMalik) January 21, 2023
Hence, the Wrestlers’ Protest that began on Wednesday and was pumped by the media and the left liberal cabal through Twitter trends and candle march have been halted. However, the government now needs to keep a close eye on the investigation and make sure that justice is served and truth comes out. Before this, Brij Bhushan Singh was about to call a press conference, where he would reveal the ‘conspiracy’ behind the entire scenario. The Wrestlers’ Protest sets a precedent that the Modi government needs to step up its game as far as crisis solving/management is concerned, else the Congress and the Leftists would keep cherry picking issues for political gains, and the nation would suffer at large.
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