Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat has decided to return her prestigious Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award to the government in protest against the recent election of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh as president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Phogat expressed her disappointment and dissatisfaction with the election process and the involvement of close associates of Singh. This move comes amidst a wave of discontent within the wrestling community, with other athletes also expressing their concerns.
1. Vinesh Phogat’s Stand: Returning Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award
Vinesh Phogat, a World Championship medallist, has announced through a letter posted on social media that she will be returning her Major Dhyanchand Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award. She expresses her disappointment regarding the election of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh as the president of WFI and believes that his close associates should not be a part of the WFI administration.
2. Election of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh as WFI President
Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, a close aide of the former president, won the WFI election by securing 13 out of the 15 available posts. This election result has raised concerns among wrestlers who demanded the exclusion of Singh’s associates from the WFI administration. The election process and the involvement of close associates have been criticized for lacking transparency and fairness.
3. Dissatisfaction among Wrestlers
Vinesh Phogat’s decision to return her awards is not an isolated incident. Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik also announced her intention to quit the sport following the election results. These actions highlight the growing discontent among wrestlers and their displeasure with the current state of affairs within the WFI.
4. Suspension of the Newly-Elected Panel
In response to the concerns raised by the wrestlers, the Sports Ministry suspended the newly-elected panel for not adhering to the provisions of their own constitution while making decisions. The ministry has also asked the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to set up an ad-hoc panel to oversee the affairs of the WFI. The suspension reflects the government’s commitment to addressing the issues within the wrestling body.
5. Government’s Response and Future Implications
The government’s decision to suspend the newly-elected panel demonstrates its willingness to take corrective measures and ensure transparency in sports administration. The move also raises questions about the future of wrestling in India and the steps that need to be taken to restore athletes’ faith in the governing bodies. It remains to be seen how the WFI and the government will address the concerns raised by Vinesh Phogat and other wrestlers.
Why is Vinesh Phogat returning her Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award?
Vinesh Phogat is returning her awards to protest against the election of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh as the president of WFI and the involvement of his close associates in the administration.
What is the reason behind the dissatisfaction among wrestlers?
The dissatisfaction among wrestlers stems from concerns about transparency and fairness in the election process and the involvement of close associates of the newly-elected president.
What action did the Sports Ministry take in response to the wrestlers’ concerns?
The Sports Ministry suspended the newly-elected panel for not following the provisions of their own constitution while making decisions. They also asked the IOA to establish an ad-hoc panel to manage the affairs of the WFI.
How did other wrestlers react to the election results?
Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik also announced her intention to quit the sport following the election results, highlighting the widespread discontent among wrestlers.
What are the future implications of the government’s actions?
The suspension of the newly-elected panel reflects the government’s commitment to addressing the concerns within the wrestling body. It raises questions about the future of wrestling in India and the steps needed to restore athletes’ trust in the governing bodies.