Sexual Harassment Case: Wrestlers Leading a Directionless Protest
Instead of having a friendly tête-à-tête with the cunning BJP ministers, the wrestlers need to think wisely about the direction of their protest which has already gone directionless.
By Rakesh Raman
The protest being led by Indian wrestlers Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, and Bajrang Punia against the accused Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is going totally haywire.
After meeting sports minister Anurag Thakur today (June 7) and home minister Amit Shah last week, the protesting wrestlers have failed to get what they demand – the imprisonment of Brij Bhushan. Strangely, however, according to reports the wrestlers have stopped their protest.
Since the wrestlers are surrounded by naive or almost illiterate supporters, they are not able to articulate their demands for which they have been protesting. While their main demand is the arrest of Brij Bhushan, they should discuss other issues only after his arrest.
The reports suggest that during their meetings with the ministers – who are actually the colleagues of accused Brij Bhushan – the wrestlers are demanding an impartial investigation into the sexual harassment case that Brij Bhushan is facing.
However, the wrestlers fail to understand that if the ministers in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of prime minister Narendra Modi want to protect the BJP leader Brij Bhushan, they will say that the police investigation is impartial even if it has many flaws.
Actually, Delhi Police is notorious for submitting dubious investigation reports that suit the evil designs of the ruling party BJP. For example, a Delhi court had found that the standard of police investigation into a large number of 2020 northeast Delhi riots cases was “very poor”.
[ Also Visit: Digital Microsite on Protest by Wrestlers in India ]
While the corrupt Delhi Police works under secret directions from the home ministry, the court commented that the police did not bother to take the investigation to a logical end after filing half-baked charge sheets.
The judges who disagree with the investigations of Delhi Police are punished with transfers as it happened in 2021 when a judge who reprimanded the careless Delhi Police officials for conducting a lousy investigation was transferred.
Under these circumstances, the wrestlers will not have any forum where they could complain against the police investigation and they will have to accept the police findings that will exonerate Brij Bhushan.
Even if the harassed wrestlers go to court, they are unlikely to get justice as most Indian courts including the Supreme Court are either complicit in state crimes or they form perfunctory committees to acquit the BJP politicians such as Brij Bhushan.
There is also a likelihood that the wrestlers who have complained against Brij Bhushan are implicated in false cases as it had happened last year when social activist Teesta Setalvad complained against the dubious investigation into the Gujarat riots in which Modi is an accused. Setalvad was punished by the Modi government in collusion with the Supreme Court.
[ Also Visit: Web Platform on Protesting Wrestlers in India ]
The wrestlers have, in fact, experienced the Delhi Police brutality when on May 28, they were not only attacked ruthlessly by the police, but false cases of rioting were also filed against them for protesting peacefully.
In order to protect the BJP leader Brij Bhushan, the Modi government may ostensibly accept the other demands of wrestlers such as scrapping of police cases against them and reforms in the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).
But when the wrestlers end their protest, it will be a status quo and in the process Brij Bhushan will stay acquitted. Earlier, it had happened during the year-long farmers’ protest in 2021 when farmers failed to get any of their demands – including the main demand of minimum support price (MSP) – accepted after stopping their agitation around Delhi.
Despite a massive protest by farmers, Modi did not remove another BJP leader Ajay Mishra, a Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India. Ajay Mishra is accused of a conspiracy to murder a few protesting farmers in 2021 at Lakhimpur Kheri in the Uttar Pradesh (UP) state.
And even if Brij Bhushan is jailed, the Modi government will soon release him as it had released last year the Bilkis Bano case convicts who were jailed for the rape and murder of innocent people.
Therefore, instead of having a friendly tête-à-tête with the cunning BJP ministers, the wrestlers need to think wisely about the direction of their protest which has already gone directionless.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of the humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He has also launched the “Power Play: Lok Sabha Election 2024 in India” editorial section to cover the news, events, and other developments related to the 2024 election.
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