Olympic Star Vandana Katariya’s Family Faces Casteist Abuse Post Hockey Defeat

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Vandana Katariya Family Faces Casteist Abuse: Indian Hockey Team’s defeat in the women’s hockey semi-final at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday did dampen the spirits of the country which had its hopes of Olympic medal pinned on the team. However, the fact that the Indian women’s hockey team had beaten three-time champions Australia 1-0 to book a semi-final berth for the first time was a feat in itself.

In 2021, the Indian women’s hockey team scripted history by competing in their second consecutive Olympics for the first time. The girls have given an exemplary performance throughout the Olympics.

Two upper caste men, however, think differently. Post defeat, they began circling Vandana Katariya’s home at Roshnabad village in Haridwar. The hooligans burst crackers and hurled caste abuses at her family and insulted them. According to them, the team had lost because too many Dalit players were a part of the team adding that every sport should refrain from having Dalits as team members. Police have detained one of them. An FIR is yet to be filed, as per a report.

A lot of netizens have taken to twitter to criticise the ill-treatment meted out to her and her family members and praise her for her brilliant performance during Olympics.

In April this year, Katariya’s father had succumbed to COVID-related complications. She skipped his funeral as she was duty-bound. At this year’s Olympics, she became the only Indian woman to score a hat-trick. Does she deserve this kind of treatment by anyone in the country? We are living in the 21st century and humans have proved that there is more to each one of us than our race, caste, religion and gender. However, why is it some people love to blame a particular caste for losing in a match that’s totally dependent on one’s timing, agility, focus and hard-work. In fact, it is a team-based sport and every player is equally accountable for victory and defeat. Leave sports, cursing a caste for failure in any field is incomprehensible. It reflects how deeply are caste-related prejudices embedded in the minds of Indians and how irrational such ideology is.

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