Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): A national bodybuilding championship held in Ratlam has kicked up a row after a video of women bodybuilders in bikinis (dress code for women bodybuilders) performing at the venue where Lord Hanuman's idol was kept went viral on social media. Congress called it a sloppy show but Madhya Pradesh’s women bodybuilders and powerlifters termed it a hypocrisy.
Amid the controversy, Congress party members recited Hanuman Chalisa in Dhan Mandi area and washed the programme's venue with gangajal as protest. Meanwhile, BJP leader Hitesh Bajpai said the Congress party had an evil eye. Free Press talked to women bodybuilders and powerlifters to know their views on the controversy.
Bodybuilder Bihu Pal: "This is hypocrisy. Bodybuilding is a sport where we have to show our muscles. Men do the same with shorts. So, why are people only questioning women? If not in a bikini, then how else will we show our muscles? God made us all humans. We should stop discrimination in the name of Lord Hanuman."
Powerlifter Muskan: "Sport is sport. Bodybuilding is a sport about showcasing your body, your muscles and your hard work. Lord Hanuman is considered a God of strength. We should respect the athletes and their long haul. It's not about the clothes. If the nature of sport doesn't discriminate between men and women, why should we?"
Cong has evil eye: BJP
BJP leader Hitesh Bajpai said, "Congress party members have problems with girls participating in gymnastics, swimming, and bodybuilding as they have an evil eye, specially when women are concerned. This very well explains contemptible mindset of Congress party. A sport is a sport, we should treat it with respect."
Cong media team to boycott Bajpai
After Bajpai’s controversial remarks on Congress party members’ character, state Congress media cell chief KK Mishra issued a letter stating that party’s media team would boycott Bajpai and they would not take part in TV debates with him till he apologised to women and Lord Hanuman.
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