Friday, Aug 19, 2022
×
Outlook.com
×

When Varnas Decide The Jersey Colour

Ethnic sports can at times kick up a caste spirit that rules rural India. It may spill on to even the scorers.

Upside Down Photograph by Tribhuvan Tiwari

Bittoo Singh did not mean to take an all-Dalit team to a kab­addi tournament. It just so happened that late in summer 2016 the teams that confron­ted one another in Gurgaon’s Chakkarpur village were his Dalit boys facing off against the Yadavs of nearby Sikandarpur.

The tournament, with over 30 teams participating, was meant to get villages in and around the National Capital Region to engage with each other through kaba­ddi matches. Never were these encounters painted as a battle of the castes by the teams or organisers, though from the very beginning the caste composition of many teams was apparent. There were Dalits and Jats, Brahmins and Yadavs, Rajputs and others, representing teams sent by different villages.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Must Read