It’s official now. Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan considers the Commonwealth Games to be a symbol of slavery.
So much so that Chouhan refused to receive the Queen's Baton in Bhopal on Friday. “I am not in favour of independent India carrying this legacy. It’s a symbol of slavery and servitude.”
Although a government release said the CM would receive the baton on Friday, Chouhan sent his Sports Minister Tukojiraon Puar instead to attend the function.
The baton is carried around the 54 member nations before the beginning of the Games. It carries a message from the head of the Commonwealth, the British monarch. The final runner hands the baton back to the monarch or a representative, who reads the message aloud to officially open the Games.
Chouhan, who expressed his dislike for the Games at least on two occasions in August and its “obvious” links to India’s slavery, said, “I didn't want the Queen’s baton to enter MP.”
But, he said, “any such act would have caused embarrassment to the country”.