Our sportswomen have brought honours from around the world home. They have had to overcome societal and economic obstacles to get where they are. However, as the current demonstrations against the head of the wrestling federation demonstrate, combating patriarchy, sexism, power, and bullying is an uphill battle.
The Indian Olympics authorities announced on Friday that a panel made up of reputable former athletes will look into charges of sexual harassment made against the head of India’s wrestling federation and a few trainers. The announcement came as the government rushed to end the issue.
Here are the top issues in this big scandal:
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has asked the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to withdraw its members accused of sexual misconduct from the Olympics. The decision was taken after an emergency meeting of the committee.
The Indian Olympic Association announced that a seven-member panel would probe the charges against Mr Singh after an emergency conference late in the evening. The committee will include noted athletes Mary Kom, Alaknanda Ashok, Yogeshwar Dutt, Dola Banerjee, and Sahdev Yadav.
In a first for international sports, it has been decided that a panel of judges will probe into what has come to be known as the #MeToo movement in Indian Wrestling.
The announcement came after some of India’s top wrestlers, protesting for three days, met Sports Minister Anurag Thakur after the initial round of words broke down last night.
Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), has refuted all accusations and continued to hold office. “If I say there will be a tsunami. I’m not here as a result of someone’s kindness. The people chose me, “He told journalists in Gonda, Uttar Pradesh.
Minister Anurag Thakur called up Mr Singh and warned him against making any statement to the media; he met the protesting wrestlers for four hours between 10 pm and 2 am last night without any result.
The first meeting of the inquiry committee, held on Thursday, was marked by much discord. The panel had been set up in the wake of the #MeToo campaign by women athletes of the country, who wanted action against the accused. However, the members failed to agree on the terms of reference for the investigation. Before the second meeting, the wrestlers wrote PT Usha, the leader of the Indian Olympic organisation, requesting that Mr Singh be disciplined. Additionally, they demand that all international competitions be stopped until the inquiry committee has turned in its report.
In their letter to Ms Usha, the wrestlers said, “Vinesh Phogat was mentally tortured and tortured by the WFI chief after missing out on an Olympic medal in Tokyo. She almost thought of committing suicide.”
Vinesh Phogat agreed to reveal the identity of the victims to the committee of the Indian Olympic Association.
Olympic medalists Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, and other well-known Indian wrestlers have been conducting a sit-in at Jantar Mantar against the WFI president for the past three days, accusing him of sexual harassment and intimidation. Demanded that the federation be dissolved.
The Ministry of Sports (MoS) has asked the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to submit its reply by 3 pm to the demand made by the female wrestlers on Monday for the resignation of the International Wrestling Federation (FILA) president, Marius Vizer and the other officials. Wrestlers also demand that those accused of sexual harassment at the trials for the Olympics should be suspended and investigated.
On Wednesday, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) faced a tough time in the wake of the #MeToo allegations levelled by some of its wrestlers.
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The Center had made it clear earlier on Wednesday that the sports ministry would “initiate action against the federation under the rules of the National Sports Development Code, 2011” if the WFI did not answer within the following three days.