Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Curious Case of Pinki Pramanik

I have not heard of anything as bizarre as this. An international female athlete middle distance runner from India, a Railways employee, who won a gold in the 4x400 m in Doha Asiad and a silver in the same event in the Commonwealth games in Melbourne, three gold medals in SAF Games Colombo in 400m, 800 m and 4x400m relay, is now being repeatedly examined to know whether she is a man or a woman (after a neighbour complained that she raped her). Several tests have been done and apparently they are inconclusive. Now they are doing a blood test to know her chromosomal pattern tests.

If this humiliation is not enough someone recorded an MMS of her test being done and circulated it. The tests are still inconclusive.

It is unbelievable. What is it with these people? Can't they find out a person's gender without so many tests? How come she has been on India and Railways teams and no one knew then? Are those officials to be blamed for not knowing her gender? And what of these MMS chaps? Where do they come from?

My question today is not so much about the outcome of the tests as the manner in which it is being conducted. If Pinki does turn out to be a woman as certified the competent (?) authorities, we can pretty much take the responsibility for her going suicidal (unless she is a very strong woman). What of womanhood being suppressed and being humiliated and all that? Forget womanhood - no human can be treated like this.

India's tennis ace Sania Mirza brought out the issue of how Indian sportswomen have been humiliated in last week's clash of super egos in our tennis arena. Here it is much more. And then we have cases of players being raped by coaches, harassed by selectors and administrators, driven to death (as the young tennis player  who died after being harassed by the Punjab police official who was also the tennis body chief). Before this malaise gets worse, it is time to get more vocal and and bring attention to these issues.


Rahul said...

I do not understand one thing here. Why should anyone resist a gender test? Especially, when it is very critical to the case. It is mandatory to do the test as it will be the primary evidence. I guess, then the cops have to forcibly do it. But they should have produced her in a court of law if she had resisted the test and should have done the test under the court's direction. Then she/he may not be able to resist the test legally.

Harimohan said...

After almost three weeks Pinki has been found not to be a man, and as tests are inconclusive, maybe doubt remains that she is not a woman either. I do not think there was any case of resisting the test though - and now it appears that she had been treated as a man all through her custody period - no woman constables etc. The attitude is that she will be treated as a man as alleged by someone - until proved otherwise - which i find unacceptable. She should have been treated as a woman until proven otherwise right, considering she has represented India as a woman? It is really inexplicable and downright condemnable.