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Wrestlers Threaten to Immerse Medals in Ganga, Drawing Parallels to Muhammad Ali’s Protest Against Racism

Recently, India's leading wrestlers announced that they will immerse their hard-earned Olympic medals in the holy river Ganga, similar to the story of iconic Muhammad Ali, the legendary American boxer who threw his medal in the Ohio River as a protest against racism.

Wrestlers Threaten to Immerse Medals in Ganga, Drawing Parallels to Muhammad Ali’s Protest
Wrestlers Threaten to Immerse Medals in Ganga, Drawing Parallels to Muhammad Ali’s Protest (Image: Siasat)

In a striking display of dissent, India's leading wrestlers have threatened to immerse their hard-earned Olympic and world medals in the holy river Ganga at Haridwar. The protest comes in response to their detainment by the Delhi Police and the filing of FIRs against them following their demonstration against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. The wrestlers, however, refrained from carrying out the symbolic act and declared that they would return if no action was taken within five days.

In a heartfelt note shared on Twitter by wrestler Vinesh Phogat, the athletes expressed their disillusionment with the administration's exploitation of their achievements. Phogat stated that they no longer wished to keep the medals as they felt used and manipulated by the authorities. Their demand for justice stems from allegations of sexual harassment against BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who stands accused by several women wrestlers.

While such an act of protest is unprecedented in India, athletes worldwide have taken bold stands for causes they believe in. One iconic example is that of Muhammad Ali, widely regarded as 'The Greatest,' the legendary American boxer. Ali's refusal to accept societal injustices and his unwavering commitment to his principles continue to inspire generations.

Muhammad Ali, the legendary boxer and cultural icon, made a powerful statement against racism during a pivotal moment in his early career. In 1960, a young Cassius Clay, as he was known at the time, won the gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the Rome Olympics. However, upon his return to the United States, he was confronted by the harsh realities of racial segregation and discrimination.

Motivated by his experiences and the prevailing social injustice, Ali decided to take a bold stand against racism. In a symbolic act of protest, he reportedly threw his gold medal into the Ohio River. While the exact details of this event have been debated over time, the gesture became a powerful symbol of Ali's refusal to accept a token of achievement from a country that continued to oppress people of color.

By discarding his Olympic medal, Ali drew attention to the systemic racism and inequality deeply rooted in American society. His act echoed the sentiments of many African Americans who were denied equal rights, facing discrimination in various aspects of their lives. Ali's protest was a catalyst for change, inspiring others to question and challenge the status quo.

Also Read: Delhi Police Files FIR Against Protesting Wrestlers, Detains Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, & Bajrang Punia

This act of defiance set the stage for Ali's transformation as a social activist and outspoken critic of racial injustice. He would go on to become an influential figure, using his platform to advocate for civil rights, religious freedom, and peace. Ali's refusal to compromise his principles in the face of adversity helped spark conversations and drive progress on issues of race and equality.

Although Ali's decision to throw his gold medal into the river was a personal one, it resonated with people worldwide. It served as a powerful reminder that sports and individual achievements should not overshadow the urgent need for social change and the fight against racism.

source- The Indian Express

Also Read: WATCH: Farmers Break Barricades Near the Wrestlers' Protest Site at Jantar Mantar

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