Rani Rampal on Vandana Katariya Casteism row: Indian Women’s Hockey Team Captain on Saturday urges people to rise above casteism as her teammate Vandana Katariya’s family faces alleged casteist abuse.
Despite the team’s commendable performance in the Olympics, Katariya’s family was subjected to casteist attacks by few people in their neighbourhood, after the team was defeated by Argentina in their semi-final match. Rampal condemned this as a shameful act.
During a virtual press conference, rani said, “Whatever happened with Vandana’s family was a shameful act. I just want to tell people to rise above casteism. Our religions are different, we come from different parts of the country but when we play, we play for the Indian flag.”
She stated that despite coming from different parts of India, the players toil together for India’s victory. The team’s captain gave an example of the people who showered them with love and respect even though they did not win the medal. She said that they should learn from such people. She mentioned that in order to make India a hockey nation, the players need the support of everyone.
In order to mock Katariya’s family, two neighbours had allegedly danced and burst crackers outside their house in Haridwar. According to the local officials, they hurled casteist remarks at the family saying that the team suffered a loss because it had too many Dalit players. Rampal mentioned that their behaviour was wrong and the incident should not have happened. She hopes that they got a lesson to not behave like that with any player or person.
India narrowly missed the medal as they had ranked fourth in the Games after losing to Great Britain by 3-4, in the bronze play-off. However, Rampal assured that the team has the potential to win a medal in the 2024 Olympic Games or the one after that in 2028. According to Rani, the coming year is pivotal to the team as the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games are lined up, along with the Asia Cup, which is the qualifier for the World cup.
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