Sakshi Malik Takes a Stand: Top Indian Wrestler Quits Amidst Controversy in Wrestling Federation

By manish198832 Dec 22, 2023

Sakshi Malik Takes a Stand: Top Indian Wrestler Quits Amidst Controversy

Sakshi Malik Takes a Stand-Introduction

Sakshi Malik Takes a Stand-In a significant turn of events within the Indian wrestling community, Sakshi Malik, the only Indian woman wrestler to have secured an Olympic medal, has announced her decision to quit the sport in protest. The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) recently declared the replacement of its president, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who stands accused of sexually harassing female athletes, with his close ally, Sanjay Singh. This move has triggered a wave of discontent among leading wrestlers, culminating in Malik’s decision to step away from the sport she has dedicated herself to. This article explores the background of the controversy, the legal developments surrounding the accusations against Singh, and the implications of Malik’s departure on the Indian wrestling landscape.

Sakshi Malik Takes a Stand

Sakshi Malik Takes a Stand-The Allegations Against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh

Sakshi Malik Takes a Stand-Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, a 66-year-old influential politician from the ruling party in India, has been at the center of a storm of allegations related to sexual harassment of female athletes within the wrestling community. The controversy gained momentum when several leading wrestlers, including Sakshi Malik, supported demands for an inquiry into the allegations earlier this year. Delhi police subsequently charged Singh with assault, stalking, and sexual harassment in June, sparking outrage and intensifying the calls for his removal from the presidency of the WFI.

Sakshi Malik Takes a Stand-Legal Standoff and Denial of Charges

Sakshi Malik Takes a Stand-Despite the serious charges laid against him, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has not been arrested, and he vehemently denies all allegations. His lawyer, Rajiv Mohan, has categorically rejected the accusations, questioning the credibility of the claims. Mohan argues that it is implausible for such offenses to have occurred over the years without anyone speaking up, emphasizing the need for a fair and thorough investigation into the matter.

Sakshi Malik Takes a Stand-Wrestlers’ Protest and Sakshi Malik’s Role

Sakshi Malik Takes a Stand-Sakshi Malik, a celebrated wrestler who clinched the bronze medal in the women’s freestyle 58 kilograms category at the 2016 Rio Olympics, emerged as a prominent figure in the protests against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Alongside other leading wrestlers, Malik led a weeks-long protest earlier this year, camping on the streets of Delhi to demand justice and accountability. The protest not only shed light on the allegations against Singh but also became a symbol of resistance against what many perceived as a flawed system within the wrestling federation.

Sakshi Malik Takes a Stand-Sanjay Singh’s Election and Renewed Controversy

Sakshi Malik Takes a Stand-The WFI’s recent decision to appoint Sanjay Singh, a close associate but no relation to Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, as the new president has reignited the controversy surrounding the federation. The move has raised concerns about the potential continuation of the alleged exploitation and harassment, given the close ties between the incoming president and the accused. The decision came after a panel of voters at the WFI voted in favor of Sanjay Singh over Anita Sheoran, a female wrestler and vocal critic of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who expressed a commitment to reforming the wrestling federation.

Sakshi Malik Takes a Stand-Sakshi Malik’s Resignation and Symbolic Gesture

Expressing her disillusionment with the WFI’s decision, Sakshi Malik announced her resignation from wrestling during a news conference in New Delhi. In a symbolic gesture, she placed her footwear in front of her, signifying her decision to hang up her shoes. Malik lamented the potential continuation of exploitation for upcoming female wrestlers if Singh’s business partner and close aide assumed the presidency. Her emotional plea underscored the gravity of the situation and the urgent need for reform within the wrestling federation.

Impact on Indian Wrestling Landscape

Sakshi Malik’s decision to quit wrestling in protest of the WFI’s leadership transition raises critical questions about the future of the sport in India. As a trailblazer for women in wrestling, Malik’s departure may serve as a wake-up call for authorities to address the deep-rooted issues within the federation. The controversy has not only tarnished the reputation of the wrestling community but has also become a flashpoint for criticism against the ruling establishment. Rights activists and opposition politicians have accused authorities of impeding the course of justice, further complicating the resolution of the ongoing crisis.

Anita Sheoran’s Perspective and Missed Opportunity for Reform

Anita Sheoran, the female wrestler who contested against Sanjay Singh for the WFI presidency, represented a potential agent of change within the federation. Her gold-winning performance at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and her vocal stance against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh positioned her as a candidate committed to reforming the wrestling community. However, her defeat in the election signifies a missed opportunity for the wrestling federation to embrace a new era of transparency, accountability, and gender equity.

Sanjay Singh’s Response and Wrestlers’ Triumph

In response to his appointment, Sanjay Singh declared his victory as a “triumph” for the wrestlers who had endured the turmoil of the past seven to eight months. He urged wrestlers to focus on their sport and suggested that those inclined towards politics should pursue it separately. However, concerns linger about the potential influence of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s close ally on the direction of the federation, raising doubts about the sincerity of the WFI’s commitment to genuine reform.

Vinesh Phogat’s Involvement and the State of Women in Indian Wrestling

Another prominent figure in the protests against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh was Vinesh Phogat, a female Olympian who has broken barriers in the male-dominated sport of wrestling. Phogat’s involvement in the demonstrations brought attention to the challenges faced by women in Indian wrestling and underscored the need for systemic changes to ensure a safe and supportive environment for female athletes. Her support for the cause, alongside Sakshi Malik, highlighted the solidarity among female wrestlers in demanding justice and accountability.

Conclusion

The resignation of Sakshi Malik, coupled with the controversial leadership transition within the Wrestling Federation of India, marks a critical juncture for the sport in the country. The allegations against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and the subsequent legal developments have exposed the vulnerabilities within the wrestling community, prompting calls for systemic reform. The appointment of Sanjay Singh as the new president has generated skepticism about the federation’s commitment to addressing the underlying issues. As the wrestling fraternity grapples with these challenges, the departure of Sakshi Malik serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent need for a transparent, accountable, and inclusive approach to safeguard the future of Indian wrestling.

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