INDIA: The ongoing Wrestlers Protest has witnessed a series of unexpected developments. Recently, renowned Olympic medalists Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, and Vinesh Phogat made a striking announcement, stating their intention to “immerse” their medals in the holy Ganga river.
The athletes have given the central government an ultimatum, demanding strict action against Union Minister Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh within the next five days. Failure to meet their demands would result in the wrestlers plunging their hard-earned medals into the sacred water body.
Sakshi Malik has garnered considerable recognition by winning an Olympic bronze medal along with three medals at the Commonwealth Games. Vinesh Phogat, a respected figure in the wrestling community, has secured two medals at the World Championships, two medals at the Asian Games, and three medals at the Commonwealth Games.
Bajrang Punia, another esteemed athlete, boasts an Olympic bronze, four World Championship medals, two Asian Games medals, and three Commonwealth Games medals. These medals represent not only the individual achievements of these wrestlers but also symbolize the pride and respect they bring to the nation. The potential submerging of these medals would be viewed as a disservice to the entire country.
Response and controversy
Rakesh Tikait, leader of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Tikait), has criticized the wrestlers’ decision, highlighting the significance of the medals as a national heritage that represents the achievements of Indian athletes. Tikait expressed the intention to explore appropriate actions to address the wrestlers’ grievances and initiate discussions with the government.
Subsequently, the wrestlers have reconsidered their decision due to a phone call from an anonymous BJP leader requesting time for resolution and family pressures urging them not to proceed with their plans.
Speaking on behalf of the wrestlers, an anonymous source revealed, “We were given assurances that our demands would be addressed, so we decided to step back temporarily. However, if the government fails to fulfill its promises, we will return to the Ganga once again.” Tikait, meanwhile, summarized the situation, assuming control over the heated scenario.
He stated, “We have requested five days’ time and urged the wrestlers to wait. Following that, we will organize a mahapanchayat (grand assembly) to determine the next course of action.”
The Wrestlers’ Protest has taken a dramatic turn with the athletes threatening to immerse their hard-earned medals in the sacred Ganga river if their demands for action against Union Minister Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh are not met within five days.
The achievements of Olympic medalists Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, and Vinesh Phogat represent a source of national pride, and the potential submersion of these medals would be viewed as a disrespect to the entire nation.
As the situation evolves, the wrestlers have temporarily withdrawn their plans, awaiting a resolution from the government. However, the wrestlers remain resolute and ready to resume their protest should their demands go unaddressed. Rakesh Tikait, in his role as a leader, has taken charge of the situation, with plans for a grand assembly to determine the future course of action after the five-day period expires.