‘Too many Dalits’: Upper caste men abuse hockey player Vandana’s family

“It was a caste-based attack,” Vandana Kataria’s brother, Shekhar said.

Haridwar: She is the first Indian woman to score an Olympic hat-trick, the goals that ensured the women’s hockey team entry into the quarter-finals of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 29-year-old Vandana Kataria had given it all, even as she lost her father just months before Olympics, for the women’s hockey team.

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But much to the dismay, two upper caste men on Wednesday hurled casteist abuses at Vandana’s family saying that the team had lost the Olympic semi-finals with Argentina because it had “too many Dalit players.”

“It was a caste-based attack,” Vandana’s brother Shekhar was quoted as saying by Times of India. Hours after the Indian women lost to Argentina by 2-1 at the semi-finals, the family heard loud noises outside their house.

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“Suddenly, right after the match, we heard loud noises. Crackers were being burst outside our house. When we went outside, we saw two men from our village — we know them and they are upper castes — dancing in front of our house,” Shekhar said.

When the family stepped out, the men had reportedly hurled casteist abuses and said the Indian team lost because of too many Dalits.

“They went on, saying that it’s not just hockey but every sport that should keep Dalits out,” the complaint filed by Shekhar said. “Then, they took some of their clothes off and started dancing again … It was a caste-based attack.”

Shekhar had filed a complaint with the Sidcul police station in Roshnabad village of the district. An FIR is yet to be registered by the police, the report added.

Meanwhile, the internet came in full support of Vandana Kataria and her family.


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Sruthi Vibhavari

Sruthi Vibhavari is a budding journalist from Hyderabad. A graduate in Economics and Political Science, she is a keen follower of contemporary socio-political and economic developments in the country and also the world. While she occasionally writes poems in English, she is also an Urdu literature enthusiast – right from Mirza Ghalib to Gulzar.
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