No one had thought that the wrestlers who brought laurels to the country would sit on a dharna at Jantar Mantar. The demand was also such that it was not easy to fulfill. The Wrestling Federation is an elected body, so the Sports Ministry could not even dissolve it directly. On top of that, 7-time BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who was president for 9 years, was also not a weak player and was not even ready to bow down. On the first day, the series of allegations and counter-allegations went on in such a way that everyone lost their sleep.
In such a situation, everyone’s attention went towards Sports Minister Anurag Thakur. Thakur was in his Lok Sabha constituency and was attending an important government program there. Throughout the day, he was in constant contact with the players and the president of the association, Brij Bhushan Singh. But when he found that the matter was getting out of hand, he reached Delhi late at night. He knew the attitude of the Speaker, so he called the wrestlers to his house at 10 o’clock in the night.
Here the experience of Anurag Thakur, a 4-time MP who played Ranji cricket and a minister in the Modi government, came in handy at every step. He has been a player, so he appreciates the difficulties of the players and their feelings. He put the essence of this whole experience in persuading the wrestlers. First he called them to his home and convinced them. When they became relaxed, all the things were explained to them and alternatives were suggested. Among these, a 3-member committee was to be formed and in that also the suggestions of the wrestlers were sought. Till the investigation goes on, Brij Bhushan Singh should stay away from the whole system. All the officials of the Sports Ministry were present there so that all the options could be decided immediately.
Thakur was engaged in solving the matter behind the scenes
But the players talked about meeting for breakfast in the morning and left. The next day, when they gathered again at Jantar Mantar, it seemed that the players would not agree to persuasion. On the other hand, Brij Bhushan Singh took back his steps and canceled his press which exposed everyone. Here many players started coming forward in support of Brij Bhushan Singh. The mistakes of the wrestlers sitting on the dharna were also being counted. Government sources began to wonder why these players were not coming back with their suggestions on options. Is there some force that is stopping them.
But behind the scenes, Sports Minister Anurag Thakur was busy in resolving the issue as soon as possible. Both sides were in constant contact. After all, the patience and persuasiveness of the cricketer-turned-politician, an expert in politics, paid off. On the second day of the dharna, wrestlers once again reached Anurag Thakur’s house late in the evening. This time Thakur Sahab’s homework was complete. The player spoke according to the way he wanted. Talked to the wrestlers alone as well. Heard their anger and also shared their pain. Sat in a small group and explained. Told them what their duties are for the country. The Wrestling Federation cannot be dissolved in one order. After 4 hours of hard work, the players left their house after finalizing the agreement.
The Assistant Secretary, Wrestling Federation was immediately suspended. All the activities of the wrestling association were stopped, an oversight committee was entrusted with the task of looking after the day-to-day work. Till the report of the investigation comes in 4 weeks, President Brij Bhushan Singh will not interfere in any work of the Sangh. A major crisis was averted.
Here the Sports Minister was seen flourishing as a mature politician. Because it was not easy for both the parties to accept the settlement peacefully.
Tags: anurag thakur, BJP MP Brijbhushan Sharan Singh, Indian Wrestler, Wrestler
FIRST PUBLISHED : January 22, 2023, 17:56 IST