"Nobody wants to be me, it’s not easy being Jwala," says Indian badminton ace Jwala Gutta, as The Quint catches up with her for an online interview.
In just the last year, we have interviewed Jwala on a few occasions. The first of which was when she called out Babita Phogat for her racist remarks towards the Muslim community, following the initial outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“You’re provoking people against another community,” Jwala had said, while condemning Babita’s tweets.
While it may have been new territory to see an Indian sports star criticise another, that interaction with Jwala would not be the last time she set the record straight, as far as the wandering moral compass of India’s sporting heroes is concerned.
So, even as the last few weeks saw some of India’s biggest cricket stars take to Twitter to ‘protect’ the country’s ‘internal matters,’ we caught up with Jwala once again as she spoke about her contemporaries’ silence on all national matters before, and since.
"It’s quite surprising to see you’re okay with everything. And if you are okay with everything then please tell me how you are okay with everything. It may change my perception," said Jwala, questioning India’s biggest sports stars’ silence on issues that have divided this nation over the last many years.
"Being a woman in this country, who is independent and vocal and opinionated... it’s like a sin literally," she said, while talking about the many roadblocks she has had to face in her life after making the decision to speak out when the system needed to be called out – be it during her playing days, when she took on the badminton federation, or now, when she criticises the authorities.