Mumbai: Noted activist Medha Patkar (68) said the decision of the protesting wrestlers to immerse their hard-won medals in the Ganges should wake up the conscience of the entire nation, specially its women. "Nothing is more important than self-dignity and this is the message that the wrestlers are sending by drowning their medals in the river," she told FPJ on Tuesday. "Water is the symbol of purity and it is significant that the wrestlers are drowning their medals in the holy river," she added.
Several wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrajg Punia have been demanding for the past several weeks the arrest of Brij Bhushan Singh, BJP MP and president of the Wrestling Federation of India, for allegedly molesting several female wrestlers. Ms Patkar said she fully endorsed the agitation sepecially because the Central government appears to be in no mood to give justice to the protestors.
Patkar: Failure of govt and authorities to arrest Brijbhushan an affront to all women of India
"It was only after the Supreme Court intervened that the police registered an FIR against Brij Mohan Singh. To this date, he has not been arrested. What is even more shocking is that no one from the government has spoken against him. This is an affront to all women of India. It is not a political issue but one that affects the dignity of all women," she observed. "The registration of the FIR appears to be merely a formality. The central government is not taking any serious action under the law against Brijmohan Singh, who has a criminal record. We will not remain silent witnesses to this display of arrogance," she noted.
Ms. Patkar announced that on June 1, trade unions, farmers' associations, women's organizations, and NGOs across India will hold demonstrations nationwide in support of the protesting wrestlers. "This will be a national movement," she added.
Patkar also stated that on the day the new Parliament was inaugurated, the protesting women were brutally attacked by the Delhi Police. Now, they are not even allowed to peacefully protest at Jantar Mantar, which has further angered them. The issue is gaining momentum in all states, and the government will have no choice but to arrest Brijmohan Singh and bring him to trial, she asserted.