PM Modi seems blind to pathos of Haryana betis

PM Modi seems blind to pathos of Haryana betis

Indian women have taken giant strides, breaking barriers and setting new benchmarks over the past few decades in several fields. We proudly say that...

Indian women have taken giant strides, breaking barriers and setting new benchmarks over the past few decades in several fields. We proudly say that from business to politics and technology, they have successfully shattered all stereotypes, and glass ceilings. The sporting arena, too, has seen several champions coming up from various corners of India.

Most of these girls, be it athletics, hockey, cricket or wrestling are from rural and poor backgrounds. They always face discrimination at every step and stage of their life. These girls have all overcome physical and mental obstacles to earn their rightful place under the Sun.

The pride of lionesses from Haryana which made it to the top of the wrestling world are now in dire straits unable to fight their opponents in a mismatch. Even as the sordid drama of the alleged sexual exploitation and harassment continues against the ‘betis’ of Haryana, the extensive media coverage and the ill-treatment of the women wrestlers by the police has done irrevocable damage to the future of the sports of the country. Haryana women had to fight injustices in several forms from childhood to pursue their passion in the sports field. Unlike many other states in the country, Haryana is more patriarchal and has more fascination for sons rather than daughters. Anyone who has lived there understands the role of gender along with other group identities positioning women as the most disadvantaged in society.

The more marginalised and economically weaker backgrounds they have, more discrimination is shown to the women. The women wrestlers’ crisis already seems to have impacted the parental attitude now. Reports suggest that the social front where the exercise of caste hierarchy and patriarchy goes on to oppress the life of non-dominant caste groups and women has reinvented itself again to ask the girls to reconsider choice. It is said most of the parents are accompanying their minor girls to the training sessions which was not the case earlier.

Just one fellow at the top has demolished the confidence of the parents in the entire coaching system. This will further lead to falling standards in training sessions ultimately keeping at least out of the arena. This is the ‘Beti bachao and Beti padao’ that we have allowed. It is not that the Prime Minister did not know of it. He was aware of it as it was brought to his notice by the victims earlier. Still, our honourable Prime Minister did not bother to care for the ‘betis’ of Haryana.

It is always easier to politicise everything. The rich and powerful always get away with their crimes. How does it matter to the government? The notorious ‘khaps’ of Haryana who are trying to defend their daughters for the time being might turn against them anytime. It took years to strengthen the resolve of these girls and the good work done by the previous governments made the State stand ahead of others in the sports field.

A young trainee recently told the media that “Parents are now asking girls to leave sports and get married. How can one stay in sports when we are seeing this behaviour? I want to ask where the government was when Vinesh and Bajrang were toiling hard. Where was Brij Bhushan? They have all come now. No one would sit in protest if it was a small matter. If the top wrestlers are feeling this, then imagine what will happen to us?” Any sensitive hearts in the capital?

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