'Abhi kya ho gaya?': Wrestler Vinesh Phogat questions silence of top cricketers
Vinesh Phogat questioned the silence of Indian cricketers and other top sportspersons over the protest against WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
Vinesh Phogat, one of India's top wrestlers along with Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik protesting against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over sexual harassment charges against him, questioned the silence of Indian cricketers and other top sportspersons over the issue.
“The entire country worships cricket but not even a single cricketer has spoken up. We aren’t saying that you speak in our favour, but at least put up a neutral message and say there should be justice for whichever party. This is what pains me… Be it cricketers, badminton players, athletics, boxing…” The Indian Express quoted the World Championship medalist as saying in an interview.
Citing the example of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, Vinesh said, “It’s not like we don’t have big athletes in our country. There are cricketers… During the Black Lives Matter movement in the US, they showed their support. Don’t we deserve even that much?”
“You do come forward to congratulate us when we win something. Even the cricketers tweet when that happens. Abhi kya ho gaya? (What has happened now?) Are you so afraid of the system? Or maybe there’s something fishy going on there too? (Unke daal mein bhi kaala hai, yeh maan ke chale hum?),” Vinesh added in the interview.
Vinesh's comments come even as politicians and khap leaders have joined the protest in Delhi's Jantar Mantar. On Thursday, veteran cricketer Kapil Dev showed solidarity with the protesters and posted a picture of the three wrestlers on his social media handle with a caption: “Will they ever get justice?”
Meanwhile, Vinesh expressed her frustration with Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president PT Usha's comments on the wrestler's protest saying that the grapplers lacked discipline.
Calling Usha's comments as “insensitive”, Vinesh said, “We live as per the constitution and are independent citizens. We can go anywhere. If we are sitting out in the streets, there must be some reason, a reason that nobody listened to us, be it IOA or sports ministry. Her saying this is insensitive. I even called her, but she did not pick up my phone.”
On Wednesday, the wrestlers held a candle march at Jantar Mantar as they continue their protest against the WFI and Brijbhushan Sharan Singh. Vinesh, Bajrang and Sakshi were present in the candlelight march.