‘Wrestlers Protest Is Pure Drama; It Won’t Achieve Anything’

Amlesh Singh Yadav, an international wrestler and a National Gold Medalist, terms the ongoing protest of wrestlers to be mere propaganda. His views:

Let me begin with saying that I am happy to hear that wrestlers who were camping at Jantar Mantar for a month have been removed from the protest site. They were not only causing problems for the common man in a VIP zone but were also seen misbehaving with security personnel. Their threat to immerse Olympic medals in the Ganga was a cheap drama to gain media attention and stay relevant in the news.

It all turned out to be a damp squib in the end. Being a wrestler myself, I can tell you that they have very little support in the wrestling community. This is the age of social media and people are aware of real issues. The video clips of their demonstrations and moving in and out of the protest site have exposed the hollowness of their claims. They have found support only from a select group of people and organisations which are proven opponents of the current government at the Centre, be they farmers from one community or political leaders. They are not going to achieve anything from such demonstrations.

The timing of their protest coincides with the timing of national trials which clearly shows and reveals their intentions to escape trials. They – just a handful of them actually – want to play in international tournaments without attending the trials. This demand is illegal and will never be met. The Wrestling Federation has been overhauled to disallow their arm-twisting tactics. Now, youngsters from every part of the country are finding place in wrestling trials and the best talent will represent India.

Yadav has been a National Gold Medalist in wrestling

The WFI will not allow any kind or blackmail or pressure from any lobby to favour a select group of wrestlers. Have you noticed that these wrestlers have virtually no support from other wrestlers in the country? As I pointed out earlier they have support only from the political opponents of the ruling party, not from any sportsperson or organization.

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What they are trying to do now is creating nuisance by challenging the police and judiciary by ignoring their advice. That is the reason why they announced throwing their medals in the Ganga. This creates small sensation in the media and, with coordinated efforts, social media. But this will not hold for long.

The fact is that these wrestlers were losing relevance after reforms were brought into the (Wrestling) Federation. They could not digest it when their dominance in the wrestling was challenged from younger talent of other states. So they launched their theatrics. But all this has fizzled out now and they are losing trust and confidence by each passing day. My advice to them is that they should return to the mat and prove their prowess there instead of holding demonstrations.

As told to Rajat Rai

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Rahul Bhasin
Rahul Bhasin
11 months ago

A nicely compiled story but still case demands investigation.

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