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Dear Mainstream media, mind your line and length

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Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh
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Why does the mainstream media appear to support WFI chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who has been accused of sexually harassing wrestlers?

Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is a six-time MP and a BJP strongman who has been holding the post of president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) since 2011. He is also one of the accused in the Babri demolition case, who was acquitted by the court later. He has been facing sexual harassment allegations from seven women wrestlers and a minor, who have been protesting at Jantar Mantar in Delhi for the past few days. They have also accused several coaches at the national camp in Lucknow of exploiting women wrestlers.

However, despite these serious charges, Singh has not faced any action from the WFI or the BJP. He has denied all the allegations and even threatened to commit suicide if they are found to be true. He has also questioned the credibility of the complainants and mocked them by saying that he was not eating “Shilajit rotis” every day to sexually abuse 1000 children. He has claimed that he has the support of most of the wrestlers and coaches and that only Vinesh Phogat, a double World Championship medalist, has spoken against him.

The mainstream media, which is often accused of being biased toward the BJP and its allies, has also been largely silent on this issue. Apart from some online portals and social media platforms, there has been little coverage or debate on the allegations against Singh and the plight of the women wrestlers. The media has also not questioned the role of the WFI or the BJP in this matter or demanded any accountability from them. The media has also not highlighted the achievements and struggles of the women wrestlers, who have brought laurels to the country in various international events.

One possible reason for this silence could be the fear of antagonizing Singh, who is known for his outspoken rhetoric and his influence in Uttar Pradesh politics. Another possible reason could be the lack of interest or awareness among the media and the public about women’s sports in general and wrestling in particular. A third possible reason could be the patriarchal mindset and culture that pervades both the media and society, which often ignores or normalizes violence and discrimination against women.

Whatever may be the reason, it is clear that the mainstream media has failed to perform its duty as a watchdog and a voice of the people. It has failed to expose the truth and demand justice for the women wrestlers who have been allegedly harassed by Singh and his associates. It has failed to uphold its ethical and professional standards and values. It has failed to serve its purpose as a medium of information and education for the public.

The mainstream media should realize that by ignoring or supporting Singh, it is not only betraying its own principles but also harming its own credibility and reputation. It is also doing a disservice to the sport of wrestling, which has a rich history and tradition in India. It is also disrespecting and discouraging the women wrestlers, who have shown courage and resilience in fighting for their rights and dignity. It is also depriving the public of their right to know and participate in matters of public interest.

The mainstream media should therefore change its attitude and approach towards this issue. It should give more space and attention to the allegations against Singh and the protests by the women wrestlers. It should investigate and report on the facts and evidence related to this case. It should question and criticize the role and responsibility of the WFI and the BJP in this matter. It should highlight and celebrate the achievements and challenges of the women wrestlers. It should educate and sensitize its audience about women’s sports and rights.

The mainstream media should remember that it has a powerful role and responsibility in shaping public opinion and influencing social change. It should use its power wisely and responsibly, for the benefit of society and democracy. It should not become a tool or a mouthpiece of any individual or party, but rather a platform for truth and justice.

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