As the protest against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over alleged sexual misconduct enters its fourth week, people continue to stand in solidarity with top Indian wrestlers at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar. However, social media, with hashtags like #istandwithmychampions, #arrestbrijbhushan, #nationwithbbss and #supportbrijbhushan, also indicates the polarisation over the issue.
While the voice of people, including farmer groups, local wrestling communities and opposition parties, is widely heard, big names from fraternities like sports and entertainment continue to remain silent. Despite requests from ace wrestler Vinesh Phogat, who, along with Olympic medallists Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia.
People slams the reel heroes as they have stayed silent on this crucial issue. It is a shame as an Indian that a hero who brought gold for our country and we also celebrated them but when they need us the most we are just silent.
From Shah Rukh Khan to Akshay Kumar, a lot of Bollywood celebrities have tweeted about the inauguration of the new Parliament building, but Twitter is appalled at their silence on wrestlers' protest.
On one hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi installed the Sengol in Lok Sabha chamber in the new Parliament building, and on the other hand, several protesters who had attempted to march from Jantar Mantar were detained.
An FIR was registered against the organisers of the wrestlers' protest.
It is a shame for us that the long going battle has ended with no justice and the medals are returned by the real heroes.
We have proven that a women whether qualified or unqualified has no safety rights in India.
"A case has been registered against wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat and other organisers of the protest. A few wrestlers had come to Jantar Mantar at night to protest, they were denied permission and were sent back," said Delhi Police.
Reacting to the FIR, Vinesh Phogat said a new history was being written. "Delhi Police takes seven days to file an FIR against Brij Bhushan for sexual harassment but did not take even seven hours to file an FIR against us for carrying out a peaceful protest. Has the country slipped into a dictatorship? The entire world is watching how the government is treating its players. A new history is being written," said Vinesh Phogat on her social media handle.
दिल्ली पुलिस को यौन शोषण करने वाले बृज भूषण के ख़िलाफ़ FIR दर्ज करने में 7 दिन लगते हैं और शांतिपूर्ण आंदोलन करने पर हमारे ख़िलाफ़ FIR दर्ज करने में 7 घंटे भी नहीं लगाए। क्या इस देश में तानाशाही शुरू हो गई है ? सारी दुनिया देख रही है सरकार अपने खिलाड़ियों के साथ कैसा बर्ताव कर…— Vinesh Phogat (@Phogat_Vinesh) May 28, 2023
Shah Rukh Khan tweeted for the new Parliament but no support for our champion wrestlers.— chacha monk (@oldschoolmonk) May 28, 2023
Feeling sad as a feminist, farmer and Bollywood fan. https://t.co/bPTihFGLax
Shame on @sachin_rt @imVkohli @ashwinravi99 @PTUshaOfficial @iamsrk @BeingSalmanKhan @thekiranbedi and all other #Bollywood stars who make money with sports persons autobiography.— Pugalventhan Venkatesan (@pugalventhan_91) May 1, 2023
For not standing beside the #WrestlersProtest where women wrestler fighting for justice. https://t.co/ZH5eCuw0Rc
#AmirKhan ने #Mahavir जी और उनकी बेटियों #PhogatSisters की कड़ी मेहनत पर प्रकाश डाला था,जब #Bollywood स्टार ने अपनी ब्लॉकबस्टर फिल्म #Dangal में भूमिका निभाई।लेकिन आज #Wrestlers के लिए न्याय चाहने वालों की आवाज आमिर खान की चुप्पी से कहीं— Dr. Parmjit Kaur (@EduParmjit) May 28, 2023
ज्यादा ऊंची है।#WrestlersProtest pic.twitter.com/WwXXU2KCT7
@iamsrk Shah Rukh Khan , These are our Champion Wrestlers . Any word for them ? Or you have also been threatened by Modi and scared of losing Stardom ? @SupriyaShrinate @BDUTT @sardesairajdeep @rohini_sgh pic.twitter.com/QmqxQChCv8— Kranti Veer (@PPrabz) May 28, 2023
After all this they removed Brij Bhushan and appointed his bestfriend in his place. Did they thought it would go unnoticed by us? Has the Government considered public fools?
It is truly a shame for India and its citizens.
Now what we can do as a responsible Indian citizen?
A small step of commenting on every huge star's Insta or twitter accounts and tagging them to speak on the wrestlers protest. Though it won't make any huge difference but, making them notice that the people of India are not fools and knows what is good and bad for the country. Making them realise that we don't follow the crowd and we have the common sense to know what is good for us.