While India’s Olympic medallists, protesting women wrestlers are facing systematic violence for raising their voices against the president of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), an elected official (MP –Member of Parliament) with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh—since Sunday, May 28 even FIRs have been filed against them for protesting – some “seers” (saints in saffron garb) have joined in the political chorus in support of the MP.
Over the past few days, these self-declared religious heads, seers from Ayodhya have been demanding an amendment to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act on the grounds that it was being widely misused. Coming out in support of Singh, who is facing allegations of sexual harassment of female wrestlers under POCSO, the saints state that there is an urgent need to amend the said act as it is being put to ill use. With the Ram temple being a major political plank of the Modi regime, the sudden emergence of these saints in the face off is being seen as an effort by the ruling party to galvanise their version of “faith” against young women protesting sexual harassment.
Mahant Kamal Nayan Das, successor to Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, who is chairman of Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, said Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh was being harassed because of the POSCO Act.
“Innocent people are being harassed by misusing the POSCO Act. Fake allegations are being levelled against them, especially seers, mahants and politicians,” said Das. Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is a living example of this harassment, Das added.
This comes after the protesting wrestlers faced violence, were dragged, forcibly pushed to the ground, manhandled, thrown into buses and removed to unknown destinations on Sunday while the sexual harassment accused Brij Bhushan attended the inauguration of the new Parliament building complex just 2 km away. He was also seen greeting the other leaders at the ceremony, as was provided by the New Indian Express.
It has also been alleged that Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh will hold a Jan Chetna Rally, a public meeting, at Ram Katha Park in Ayodhya on June 5 in which the saints are likely to take part. “Seers will demand amendment to POSCO Act at a public awareness rally at Ayodhya’s Ram Katha Park on June 5. Former judges and legal experts will take part in the rally,” said Das. The rally is being termed as a show of strength by the BJP MP.
Seers from Varanasi, Mathura, Vrindavan and Haridwar will also attend the rally, said Laxman Kiladhish Mahant Maithilisharan Maharaj.
Ironically, Mahant Gaurishankar Das of Hanuman Garhi lauded the efforts by Brij Bhushan to take wrestling to new heights. He also gave his decisions and dubbed all the allegations of sexual harassment against the BJP MP from Kaiserganj parliamentary constituency as fake.