Shudra Wrestlers Vs Ksatriya Controllers: The Battle For Women’s Rights

wrestlers protest 3

“An investigation of police records by The Indian Express reveals that since March 2017, when Yogi Adityanath took charge, and till date, the state has witnessed 186 encounters. This works out to more than one alleged criminal being killed by the police every 15 days”. 25 May, 2023 Indian Express

But Brijbhushan Sharan Singh remains MP, without any worry of initiating action by the Central Government at Delhi with the support of his own community Sports Minister, Anurag Thakur. And Yogi Adityanath seems to be fully supporting him in spite of the fact that the Shudra (Jat) women wrestlers, who brought laurels to the nation,  are fighting for justice in Delhi streets in the burning heat waves of the unusual summer.

The women wrestlers, Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat, who are fighting against  Brijbhushan Sharan Singh, a Rajput (Ksatriya) MP, the President of Wrestling Federation of India, have complained that he misbehaved with them. They are demanding his arrest. Two women wrestlers have complained to the police about their own bodies getting touched with a suspicious motive by the Brijbhushan Singh. Most of India’s high physical strength sport—women and men-come from Shudra/Dalit/Adivasi families. Haryana and Uttar Pradesh Jat community is known for training their boys and girls in wrestling.

In the present situation the accused Brijbhushan Sharan Singh comes from UP Chief Minister and Central Government’s sports minister Anurag Thakur community and ideological background.  They seem to be protecting him with a will to save him.

Sadly according to the Wikipedia bio of Brijbhushan Singh has this record:

“As per police records, 38 criminal cases were lodged against Brij Bhushan Singh between 1974 and 2007.[16][17] In particular, the FIRs were filed under the stringent Gangsters[18][19] and Goonda Acts[20][21] for various charges including theft, dacoity, murder, criminal intimidation, attempt to murder, and kidnapping, though he was acquitted in most of the cases as per his election affidavit.[22][23][24]

But Yogi, who declared that all the criminals in his state will be eliminated, does not even want to arrest him. Similarly the Narendra Modi Government does not even want to talk to the wrestlers who have been fighting for so many days for justice. Now the Jat community of Haryana and UP seem to have decided to support their brave girls and announced a Khap Panchayat on May 28 in front of the New Parliament building that the PM is planning to inaugurate. The Sikh Jat farming community also joined the protest. Slowly this movement seems to take the shape of 2020 farmers’ movement of the Shudra agrarian communities against the farm laws.

Delhi is witnessing a similar trend on its inner roads now—India Gate, Jantar Mantar and so on. Thousands of farmers are joining the protest at India Gate for the last few days. It is taking the shape of a battle between Jat farming forces and Ksatriya ruling forces of UP. In future the OBC andDalits of that area are likely to join the protests.

Earlier the UP had witnessed “Garv Se Kaho Hum Shudra Hai ” movement in the context of Tulsidas’ humiliating language against Shudras and women in his book Ramcharitmanas.

Now this is a question of Shudra women Vs a Ksatriya man in power.

Akhilesh Yadav has been saying that UP CM was not ordering to kill Non-Rajput criminals but ordering to kill the OBC/SC so called criminals and according to Indian Express so far 186 had been killed. But the country never witnessed a women’s movement—that of great sports women in its living history—like the one we see now. But even the popular Hindutva women like Kangana Ranaut and Madhu Kishwar, who support the RSS/BJP and keep on attacking any agitators against the RSS/BJP Governments are very consciously silent about this struggle of sports women’s sexual abuse and the inaction of the central and state Governments, in spite of the Supreme Court direction to take action against the culprit.

The National Commission for Women is also totally silent. Why? These forces seem to think that women wrestlers’ bodies do not look like women’s bodies of their liking. They all come from  agrarian farming communities. Their wrestling life is not shaped up in rich training institutes or they are not like Hindutva women intellectuals in the universities or film industry with great visibility. Though they won medals in the Olympics their financial lives do not cross the middle class range. If such a sexual harassment was done by ordinary working class men against the sports women of the high economic and caste status, the culprits would have been sent to jail immediately.

The Hindutva nationalism’s justice system does not work even on the basis of religion. It has a  clear stand against Muslims and Christian Indians right from the inception of the RSS ideology. But the Jats of India also consider themselves as Hindu. Their women participated in building the civilization and culture of India through hard physical labour for centuries. Wrestling qualities of their women emerged out of that physical labour heritage of Jat women.

During farmers’ movement the central Government has shown similar indifference because they were hard working agrarian masses. There were no top industrialists among them. Now similar indifference is being shown.

Now the Jats of Haryana, Punjab  and UP are planning to resort to Khap Panchayat in support of their wrestling women. The same Khap Panchayat they earlier used against inter-caste marriages. Though I am not an admirer of the classical caste panchayat dispute resolution system, I think the nation should support the struggle in support of our hard working wrestling women who faced such a treatment by their own organization head.

How did the Modi Government appoint Brijbhushan  Singh as the chairman of the Wrestling Federation of India? In his life he had nothing to do with sports. It is only to satisfy his criminal career and his involvement in the Ram Janmabhoomi issue they gave him that critical position.

Globally recognized sports organizations are not like Yoga centres, in which the RSS/BJP networks are globally involved. Sports involve young people’s life and death. Let the central Government dismiss Brijbhushan Singh from the chairmanship of WFI and prosecute him based on the FIR’s already filed against him.   The nation must see that India’s great fighting daughters have to win this battle, as they won in the Olympics.

Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd is political theorist, social Activist and writer. His recent book The Shudras–Vision for a New Path Co-edited with Karthik Raja Kuruppusamy has shown a possible way out  from the communal OBC morass that the RSS/BJP has deployed.

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