Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 28 September 2023 2.00 PM IST

They should not be brought back to Ganges 


It was the farmers' leaders who at the last minute stopped the wrestlers who tried to throw their medals of honor, received in international competitions, in the Ganga river in protest of the authorities' indifference to the sexual harassment complaint of the national wrestlers. The entire nation witnessed the hours-long emotional scenes on the banks of the Ganga in Haridwar, with trembling hearts. The wrestlers finally relented at the loving insistence of farmer's leader Naresh Tikayat and others. They have asked for five days to solve the problem. The wrestlers are of the position that they will return to Haridwar with the medals if there is no solution by then. The players abandoned the tough move, on the assurance of the farmers' leaders that they would bring the issue before the government and take appropriate action. The country owes it to the farmer's leaders for dissuading the players from taking an ill-fated protest that would have brought the entire sporting world into disrepute.

It was not today or yesterday that the national wrestlers started demanding action against the wrestling federation president and BJP MP from UP, Brijbhushan, for molesting women, including a minor wrestler. Even in the POCSO case, the police are not acting accordingly. Brijbhushan is challenging not only the law but also the sports world itself in the protection afforded by the top management. Despite the fact that the wrestlers have directly complained that they were harassed, the police, who should have taken appropriate action, are turning a blind eye.

It is difficult to understand the logic of the administration, that is giving all protection to a ruling MP accused in a sex-rape case, ruthlessly dismissing the demand of wrestlers who have given so many proud moments to the country. On the inauguration day of the new Parliament building, the wrestlers who came to strike at Jantar Mandir were brutally confronted by the police. It may seem quite unbelievable why the law enforcers or the authorities deputed for it, who have shown pride in applying all possible measures, did not listen to the demand made by the wrestlers. The procedure for the complaint related to the POCSO case is not like this because it is the victims of this incident who had to undergo police action here. Brij Bhushan, the accused in the case, stands challenging not only the law but also morality. He is also making an outlandish demand to repeal or amend the POCSO Act itself.

The wrestlers tried to garner national attention by throwing their medals in the Ganges as a last resort, in their protest against the central government's negative attitude towards the ongoing strike demanding action in the POCSO case against wrestling federation president Brijbhushan, and demanding his resignation. There are not many Indian lucky charms on the international sports map and most of the ones that are there have been won by wrestlers. It is wrong when the one who should be the savior and ever helper of the sports stars turns into an exploiter, which is what has happened in the wrestling federation. It is a wonder that even though the issue has skyrocketed to a level that can tarnish the country's reputation, the Center is witnessing it all silently!

The POCSO Act was unanimously passed by the Parliament with a determination to severely punish those who violate the dignity of girls. It is this law that is flouted in the case of wrestlers.

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