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Updated: July 4, 2012 15:21 IST

MMS clip worsens female athlete Pinki’s plight

Staff Reporter
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A file photo of Pinki Pramanik being taken to court in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal last month, after she was arrested on charges of “rape” and her being a “male.”
A file photo of Pinki Pramanik being taken to court in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal last month, after she was arrested on charges of “rape” and her being a “male.”

Law, ethics breached as alleged tape of medical exam circulates on net

The ordeal of international athlete Pinki Pramanik has worsened with a multimedia messaging service (MMS) clip, apparently recorded during one of the several rounds of medical testing conducted on her, going viral on the Internet since Monday. Questions about her gender came to the fore following allegations of rape levelled against her by a woman. The clip apparently shows her undergoing tests at a nursing home.

“I’ve heard about the video clip, though I’ve not seen it. Those responsible must be immediately arrested for such dreadful behaviour. But at the moment Ms. Pramanik is in judicial custody and she cannot file a police complaint on this matter,” Tuhin Roy, Ms. Pramanik’s counsel, told The Hindu on Tuesday.

Mr. Roy said he would mention the matter in court during the next hearing.

The young athlete has already undergone several rounds of medical examination, yet the last word on the question of her gender has not come. This has attracted severe criticism from sportspersons and members of civil society.

“She may be charged for a particular crime, but why is she being subjected to this harassment? She is being pushed from one place to another and being treated as an object of curiosity as if she is a tiger in a zoo,” said Shanti Mullick, a footballer who is a recipient of the Arjuna Award.

Ms. Mullick said the manner in which Ms. Pramanik is being treated “is a matter of shame and insult to all sportspersons around the world.” She added that a demonstration would be organised later this week.

Rita Sen, an international athlete herself, pointed out that all athletes undergo medical tests, particularly those who have won medals at important tournaments.

She said she had heard a lot of “uninformed opinion” on the matter doing the rounds. “I hear the radio every morning and the offhand manner in which some of the comments are passed is reprehensible. This is no laughing matter.”

Activists of the Association for the Protection of Democratic Rights, a civil rights group, have approached the West Bengal Human Rights Commission over the “gender-insensitive behaviour” of the police and the administration. “For nearly three weeks, Ms. Pramanik has been in judicial custody. Therefore, the entire responsibility of this MMS clip having been created rests with the administration,” said Ranajit Sur, a member of the secretariat of APDR.

The activists asked the Commission to inquire into the incident and demanded “exemplary punishment” for any offenders.

On Monday, Ms Pramanik’s blood samples were collected for chromosomal pattern tests. A Kolkata court has declined her plea for bail.

The Eastern Railway middle-distance runner won a 4x400m relay gold in the 2006 Doha Asiad and a silver in the same event at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games. She bagged three gold medals in the 2006 SAF Games in Colombo ,in the 400m, 800m and 4x400m relay events. The Railways have placed her under suspension after the accusations came up.

Are we in a civilized country?
What do the Government and concerned authorities do when an individual is being inducted? Is it a failure on their parts?

It is a shame to the country?

Is it the way one successful athlete to be treated?

One cannot live in this country with dignity and self respect!!!

from:  durai
Posted on: Jul 6, 2012 at 19:30 IST

Is it really a question about the person's sex? or this is a general
attitude of a typical indian? People today, really do not care about the
'self respect of individuals'. Making an MMS/ Recording a audio etc
become a sort of fashion. Its time NHRC wakes up and does its basic

from:  Shankar
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 16:36 IST

What I don't understand is that why everyone is not thoroughly examined before national and international tournaments? And when some one has conquered glory, the sports authority and people try to question their identity. This has become today's pattern here. We have no idea how much shame this can cause in international arena. Whether Pinky has a syndrome or not, we cannot account for embarrasment and frustation has been faced by her for the cost of playing for our country's pride. Will we be able to ever account for that? And then we mock at our under performance in olympics? Motivation for all budding sportsmen aspiring to be a future national sports star is seriously trembled by such incidents.I think government should scrutinize Sports authority of India, and let public know about the actions; if we seriously want some future of non-cricketing sports.

from:  Abhishek
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 11:50 IST

What I fail to understand is why are the sports bodies
coming into the picture? There is a complaint and it is being
verified. That is all. What difference would it have made had
the person not been a athlete but say an engineer or some other
So let it be treated as a normal case and the sports bodies do not
get excited.

from:  S.Gardia
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 10:27 IST

I find this case so weird. Will someone be allowede to participate in the national level competitions & then in the international events without proper documents, certificates etc., in which the gender would be mentioned?

from:  Surya
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 09:42 IST

Are we a country of barbarians?

from:  K Palaka
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 09:09 IST

Dear Hindu,

Thx. for the coverage. I am deeply ashamed . I hope the Human Rights commission takes stock of the inhuman treatment and censures all invled including the
doctors. This is not the India we want to build for the next generation.

from:  Vijay Kumar
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 08:56 IST

This is an unacceptable humiliation. It is a violation of ones dignity. Crime! is not yet proved.
Hospital staff and the authority should be remanded by the court. PinkiPramanik was born into a rare condition (aberration) named mosaicism; wherein it leads to under developed male genitalia and mixed chromosome XY(male) and XX(female). Also the male hormone endrogen will not be effective/functional leading to the *brain tricking the MIND* into a female and the childhood is spent as a girl. No way Pinki is responsible and also endure the thorny life. We should have empathy towards this condition of Pinki. Recent years Pinki is into full adulthood and there is a chance Pinki is undergoing hormonal changes which again **will result in very confused and stressfull mental condition**. Piniki was caught into an emotional and physical trauma and this would have resulted in a violent quarrel with the partner and today this sad story.
No one should deny the hardwork by Pinki Pramanik to have won the medals in favour of India. In personal life out of this medical condition and mental truama Pinki landed into this situation. Blame Pinki's fame and money !... It is a Cruel world !... We used Pinki and now trying to throw away !...

from:  Sathya
Posted on: Jul 4, 2012 at 03:37 IST
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