We are not a rogue nation. Brutality at Jantar Mantar isn’t the India we stand for!

It was around 1230am that I got a message from one of my colleagues saying see what’s happening at the protest site at Jantar Mantar. That it was all over social media. What I witnessed in the various videos circulating on twitter was shocking. Police forcibly dragging women around, complete anarchy at the protest site, a visibly shattered Vinesh and Bajrang breaking down and a downcast Sakshi begging for help.

Let’s not go into the right or the wrong. It is not required at this point. But what needs to be stated is that in the world’s largest democracy every citizen has the right to protest peacefully. And if it rains, to bring in a few basic camp cots can’t be seen as any major violation of law. So why is it that we can’t behave with civility? Why is it that there is no sensitivity? Why can’t we show empathy towards these athletes who are now on the road for over a week?


On a day the Honourable Supreme Court will be hearing the matter, all eyes will be on the bench to provide relief. Not simple to the athletes but also to the country from ignominy. The visuals that are being consumed by people across the world is not the story of India any one of us can be proud of. We are a country on the cusp of becoming a super-power. Economically we are a success story amidst all the recession around. We have seen tremendous progress in most sectors so why can’t we get better in dealing with our own? Why is it that people need to be beaten up and abused and dragged forcibly? Why can’t there be civil dialogue and due investigation?

Yesterday the IOA President PT Usha visited the protest site. She has apparently said to the athletes that she is an athlete first and an administrator later. If that’s the case why did it take her 4 months from January to April to come to this realisation? Why did she not go to Jantar Mantar in January and solve the matter once and for all?

Having said that she too was pushed and shoved while trying to meet the wrestlers. To see her being manhandled wasn’t the best sight and raises serious questions about a possible politicisation of the protest.

So what’s the way forward from here on? Clearly the IOA has lost control and isn’t capable of handling this anymore. While the Bajwa-Shirur committee has taken formal charge of the WFI last evening, it is imperative the Sports Ministry takes control back and solves this at the earliest. With each passing day things will get murkier and will heap further shame on Indian sport and also the country at large. 


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