India’s dream of a gold medal on their maiden entry into the knockout stages of the women’s hockey competition came to a premature end when the team lost 1-2 to Argentina in the semifinals at the Tokyo Olympics here on Wednesday.
Hours after India lost to Argentina at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday, two upper-caste men used casteist slurs to abuse hockey player Vandana Katariya’s family in a village in Haridwar.
The police have detained one of them but are yet to file a first information report in the case, police officer LS Butola said.
Despite playing a tight encounter against the Las Leonas of Argentina in the semi-finals, the Indian women’s team, captained by Rani Rampal, failed to make it to the Gold Medal match and lost, 1-2. While the entire country seemed to come together to celebrate the valiant efforts of the Sjoerd Marijne coached side and sent their wishes for the upcoming bronze medal encounter against Great Britain, in Roshnabad, where Vandana comes from, the picture wasn’t so pretty. Immediately after the loss to Argentina, two upper-caste men from Vandana’s village in Roshnabad, Haridwar began skirting around her house – jeering and bursting firecrackers in mock celebration of the loss. In a country like India, especially in states like Uttar Pradesh, casteism is still very much an ugly, unwelcome resident, ready to raise its head at the smallest of events and this was another such crushing example.
The news of the casteist attack has left the nation shocked and enraged. Many have come out in support of the Katariya family and have condemned the actions of the upper caste men.