Tokyo Olympics 2021 and discrimination: Vandana Katariya’s family harassed, another to the row of casteism sexism and discrimination
From caste and class to gender to race and culture, we wonder if we can ever come to the ground with no discrimination. Yesterday, when the Indian women’s Hockey Team was unanimously putting all their efforts to win the semi-final, Vandana Katariya’s family was harassed by a few upper caste men in Haridwar. Vandana Katariya is from a Dalit Family. Following India’s loss to Argentina, casteist insults were reportedly directed at her family. The upper cast men mocked the family by bursting crackers and danced outside their home, shouting that the India team lost since it had “too many Dalit players.” For more context, Vandana Kataria is one of the best players in the Indian Hockey team who has a hat trick under her name. Saddening is the fact that people can’t forget to identify her with her caste.
Well, this is not the first case. As the Tokyo Olympics 2021 are proceeding, so is the trend of relating every incident and highlighting with some or the other discriminatory and dividing ideas. And all we can make out of this behaviour is that win or no win, people can’t forget to discriminate.
Starting from the start, let’s talk about the International example that needs to be highlighted. The Japan Olympics Chief, Yoshiro Mori in a meeting on Feb 3 made an utterly sexist and derogatory remark on women saying “If we increase the number of female board members, we have to make sure their speaking time is restricted somewhat, they have difficulty finishing, which is annoying,” as reported in BBC.
Talking about the incidents in India, the row is neverending. While the Vandana Katariya incident remains the most recent one where caste-based discrimination is seen in the backdrop of Tokyo Olympics 2021, there another more interesting incident is when PV Sindhu won the Bronze medal. As reported by ScoopWhoop Unscripted, ‘PV Sindhu Caste’ became one of the most searched terms with a 700% increase in searches during August 1 and 2. While PV Sindhu has won 2 Olympic medals for the country, it’s disappointing ṭhat people are interested in knowing about her caste.
Another incident that needs to be highlighted is when Mirabai Chanu who has won a silver in women’s 49kg weightlifting. While for many, finding a northeastern winning for India was a surprise, derogatory comments like “Not an empowerment but beginning of destruction. a 26yrs old unmarried girl is destroying her fertile years, who has already destroyed her most fertile years too; can’t be called the icon of female empowerment. she could bring new beautiful lives to the planet Earth” flourished on Twitter. Comments like these are utterly sexist and non-sensical.
Not an empowerment but beginning of a destruction.
26yrs old unmarried girl is destroying her fertile years,who has already destroyed her most fertile years too; can't be called as the icon of female empowerment.
she could bring new beautiful lives to the planet Earth. pic.twitter.com/WKtmcu41mh
— ࿗ ࿗ ࿗ ࿗ (@RusticXyz) July 24, 2021
Another incident on a similar line can be the subtle sexism that was practised when women in Bollywood were being compared with female athletes who are winning the Olympics. There were raging comments on the idea of real feminism and women empowerment. Female actors and feminist icons like Swara Bhaskar, Karika Kapoor etc were put on the pedestal of comparison when Mirabai Chanu had won the silver. When the common argument of real feminism should be celebrating women’s women’s growth irrespective of their fields, comparing the feminism of two women in different fields was absolutely baseless.
Well, these are just a few incidents with Vandana Katariya’s family harassed being the most recent one, we wonder how many more we are going to see in the upcoming developments of the Tokyo Olympics 2021. Such incidents do nothing but trivialize the achievements of the players, the morale of the supporters and the unity of the country. They only show the discriminatory ideas and conceptions of the people and the society and it’s a sorry situation to find the same.