regular-article-logo Wednesday, 27 September 2023

Wrestlers to PM: Hear our mann ki baat also

Protesters appeal to Modi for time

PTI New Delhi Published 27.04.23, 04:49 AM
Wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Sangita Phogat find time for some training amid their protest near Jantar Mantar on Wednesday

Wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Sangita Phogat find time for some training amid their protest near Jantar Mantar on Wednesday PTI

“Why are you not listening to our mann ki baat,” the protesting wrestlers asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday and sought his time to discuss the sexual harassment allegations against his party’s MP and the sport’s India chief, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

The country’s top wrestlers resumed their agitation against Singh on Sunday, three months after they ended their sit-in protest following the formation of an oversight committee to probe into the serious allegations. The sports ministry is yet to make public the findings of the panel that submitted its report on April 5.


The wrestlers said on Wednesday they would like PM Modi, who has in the past felicitated them and clicked pictures with them for winning medals, to hear them out.

“PM Modi sir talks about Beti Bachao and Beti Padhao, and listens to everyone’s mann ki baat. Can’t he listen to our mann ki baat? He invites us to his home when we win medals and gives us a lot of respect and calls us his daughters.

“We appeal to him to listen to our mann ki baat,” 2016 Rio Games bronze medallist Sakshi Malik said during a media interaction, alluding to the Prime Minister’s radio programme.

Malik felt maybe their appeal is not reaching the Prime Minister. “Maybe our truth is not reaching him, so we want to meet him and let him know our issues,” she said.

Malik also wondered why union minister Smriti Irani hasn’t stood by them. “I want to ask Smriti Irani why is she silent now? I just want to say that you come here, listen to us and support us,” she said.

Bindra’s support

Olympic Games gold medal-winning shooter Abhinav Bindra has expressed solidarity with the athletes. This came after Vinesh Phogat appealed to all athletes, across disciplines, to stand united with them.

Bindra termed the incident “deeply concerning”.

“As athletes, we train hard to represent our country. It is deeply concerning to see our athletes finding it necessary to protest on the streets regarding the allegations of harassment in the Indian wrestling administration,” Bindra tweeted.

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