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Wrestlers in India Postpone Medal Sacrifice as Protest Demands Escalate

Wrestlers in India Postpone Medal Sacrifice as Protest Demands Escalate

In a powerful act of defiance, India’s top wrestlers had planned to toss their hard-earned medals into the sacred river Ganges, denouncing the alleged sexual harassment by the head of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). However, after much deliberation and intervention from prominent figures, the athletes have decided to postpone this symbolic gesture. This article delves into the reasons behind their protest, the growing demand for justice, and the impact of their actions on the national sports arena.

The Wrestlers’ Stand:

For weeks, Indian wrestlers, including Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, as well as Asian Games champion Vinesh Phogat, had been camping in New Delhi to demand accountability from WFI president Brijbhushan Sharan Singh, who vehemently denies the sexual harassment allegations against him. Their frustration reached a tipping point, leading them to travel to Haridwar, a revered temple town, where they intended to dispose of their medals in the Ganges as a mark of protest.

Postponing the Symbolic Sacrifice:

A ray of hope emerged when Naresh Tikait, a prominent farmers’ leader, managed to convince the wrestlers to defer their medal-tossing act. Assuring them of a resolution within five days, Tikait emphasized the wrestlers’ invaluable contribution to India’s international sporting success. He expressed his commitment to ensuring they would never face shame or dishonor for their accomplishments.

The Significance of the Ganges and Their Medals:

In a statement delivered in Hindi, the wrestlers highlighted the sanctity of their medals and the sacredness of the river Ganges. They firmly believed that the Ganges, with its divine stature, would serve as the perfect custodian for their cherished accolades. By entrusting their medals to the holy river, they aimed to emphasize the flawed system that shields alleged offenders and overlooks the suffering of the victims.

The Hunger Strike and Demands for Justice:

As part of their ongoing protest, the wrestlers also announced plans for an indefinite hunger strike at the iconic India Gate war memorial in New Delhi. This intensified demonstration signifies the unwavering determination of these athletes to fight for justice. They view their medals not merely as symbols of personal achievement but as embodiments of their lives and souls. The wrestlers firmly assert that relinquishing their medals would render life meaningless unless their demands for accountability are met.

Inspiration from the Past:

The decision to dispose of their medals evokes the iconic act of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali. Following his denial of service at a restaurant due to racial segregation in the United States, Ali threw his 1960 Rome Olympics gold medal into the Ohio River. Similarly, the Indian wrestlers seek to make a resounding statement by relinquishing their hard-earned accolades to shed light on the issue of sexual harassment in sports.

The Role of Brijbhushan Sharan Singh:

As a parliamentarian from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Singh’s stature adds a layer of complexity to the ongoing controversy. While he has been stripped of his administrative powers, the protesting wrestlers demand his arrest, refusing to settle for anything less than the full accountability and justice they seek. In their pursuit of justice, they have approached the Supreme Court, which has directed the police to register a case against Singh.


India’s top wrestlers have momentarily postponed their intended act of sacrificing their medals into the river Ganges, opting to continue their fight for justice. Their protest resonates with the nation, capturing the attention of sports enthusiasts and advocates for change alike. The resolute actions of these athletes embody a larger movement against systemic injustices, leaving an indelible mark on the country’s sporting landscape. The wrestling community, the public, and the authorities eagerly await the outcome of this ongoing battle for accountability and justice within the Wrestling Federation of India.


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