Tears That Do Not Make India Proud
Women wrestlers still await justice
It is not a matter of pride for any country when its women are reduced to tears and visible distress. When instead of receiving justice, and being heard with empathy, they are treated like criminals, shoved and hit by the police, detained and abused. It is a matter of shame for any country when sportswomen who brought international laurels and medals are treated like ‘terrorists’ (their words) and their allegations of sexual abuse disregarded simply because the accused is a member of the ruling party. Today our young women wrestlers who came out on the roads, sure they would get justice, find themselves outside, what is prescribed as the law these days. And in tears even said they would float their medals in the Ganga as the ultimate protest.
What has gone wrong? No one is able t In ao say why the Bharatiya Janata party and its government at the centre is protecting MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh who the women wrestlers accused of sexual assault in his capacity as the president of the Wrestling Federation of India. BJP leaders like Meenakshi Lekhi have to flee questioning media persons. And all this despite the very visible anger amongst the ordinary people, including even the Haryana Khaps that have been very supportive of the BJP in the past.
The latest images of the brutal police attack on the protesting wrestlers and their supporters in Delhi have added to public anger. India does not like public humiliation of its girls, and particularly those who have done the country proud. The images of the wrestlers getting the medals and returning home with big smiles have been replaced by images of tears as they have been placed outside the law. And are feeling the pressure to the point where they have had to assert repeatedly, “we are not terrorists” or outsiders. The public at large has embraced them, but those in power have not with not a word against Singh who is now dramatising his initial statement with drama - of how he will hang himself if any allegation is found to be true. How can there be evidence, over and above, what the girls have said at this stage. There has to be investigation into their allegations, and for which action has to be taken against Singh.
No one is able to explain why the BJP and its leadership is sheltering Singh. To the point where it is seen in conflict with its medal winning sports women? What is the logic? Every citizen is aware of the might of the state, having experienced it or witnessed it under different governments. The government does not have to prove its strength by confronting young women asking for basic justice. But it is doing precisely that.