India’s top squash player Dipika Pallikal has joined the ‘male chauvinism’ chorus started by tennis star Sania Mirza, and said that it has always existed in sports.
“It’s been very evident for long years. Not only Sania, Jwala (Gutta) also came on. Yes, there has always been male chauvinism in sports,” Pallikal said.
Pallikal’s observation comes barely a few days after shuttler Jwala Gutta too supported Sania who accused that the All India Tennis Association’s handling of the Olympics selection reeked of male chauvinism.
In a letter to AITA after the team selection for the London Games, Sania wrote that it was “humiliating” to be used as a “bait to try and pacify one of the disgruntled stalwarts of Indian tennis”. She was referring to Leander Paes.
Sania’s letter has rekindled the debate of gender discrimination in sports with sportswomen like Jwala and Pallikal raising their voices.
“Yes, I guess we have always showed it with our racquet or whatever sports we play, but it keeps coming back,” Pallikal said.
Asked about Squash Racquets Federation of India’s surprise move to not send her nomination for the Arjuna Award, Pallikal said, “Recently, I only read it in the papers that my nomination for the Arjuna Award has been delayed.
As an Indian athlete and a world number 15 sportsperson, I would love to be recognised by the government, and achieving something like Arjuna Award is a boost for all of us.”
“I read in the papers that it was stopped, I don’t know for what reason. It saddened me a lot, why couldn’t I get an Arjuna Award,” she added.
The country’s No 1 squash player, Pallikal did the country proud by helping India win their maiden gold medal at the Asian Senior Squash Championship.