Santhi Soundarajan: The Strong Athlete Who Failed The Gender Test & Was Denied The Silver Medal in 2006
When in April 2015, in an interview with Diane Sawyer, Jenner came out as a transwoman, the world was shooked by this revelation. In June 2015, Jenner debuted with her new name and also created buzz by becoming the face of Vanity Cover with her new feminine look. Cartilyn Jenner came out with her sexuality after 65 years and the world embraced her open heartedly. A strikingly contrast to the story of Santhi Soundarajan, an Indian athelete, who in 2006 was denied the silver medal as she didn’t pass the gender test, her private parts were examined, her identity as a women was questioned. Sadly, many people don’t know about her and her whereabouts.
Nobody stood for her. My question is where these people when Santhi was stripped for her identity. However we can’t blame the world for this but the people of India. When the country itself didn’t stand for the dignity of its citizen. Is it only about being men or women? Does the person’s passion doesn’t count? Is the faith of a person in India who got laurels and pride to the country and we as fellow country mates did nothing to save her pride. Recently when the media got to know about her working as a laborer in a brick kiln, they once again set the matter on fire. But was it in any way advantageous to her? She does not want publicity, neither she wants her medals back; what she wants is just respect by her fellow country mates.
Adding to the society where rich and powerful still dominate the society, we get the picture of how people belonging to the lower caste suffer. Santhi belonging to the Dalit group and being a woman—lives a life of double discrimination. Santhi who is 34, wants herself to be recognized as a woman who supported her old parents. She is just another normal person like you and me. Who are we to assign her a role in the society? In an interview Santhi Soundarajan when asked what she wants she said is “All I want is a job.” Is she asking for something very big? We live in a democracy where our constitution provides equal rights to everyone irrespective of caste, gender or religion. As India coming to its celebration of 68th year of independence we should all pledge to fight for the wrong and stand for what is right. BEING MALE OR FEMALE IS NOT A CHOICE, BUT HUMANITY IS.