Taking A Stand: Chess Grandmaster Pulls Out Of Iran Tournament Over Compulsory Headscarf Rule

The Logical Indian Crew Kerala

June 13th, 2018 / 12:52 PM

Image Credits: Chess Base

Soumya Swaminathan, Grandmaster and former world junior girls chess champion has excused herself out of the Asian Team Chess Championship which is to be held from July 26 to August 4 in Hamadan, Iran over the country’s compulsory headscarf rule. Announcing the same through a Facebook post, Swaminathan said that, “I find the Iranian law of compulsory headscarf to be in direct violation of my basic human rights including my right to freedom of expression, and right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.”

She also expressed her disappointment with how player’s rights and welfare are compromised while organising official championships. The same reason has left her with no choice but to pull out of the event and expressed regret over not being able to participate in the championship.

“While we sportspersons are willing to make several adjustments for the sake of our sport, always giving it the top priority in our life, some things simply cannot be compromised”, Swaminathan said.

I am very sorry to state that I have asked to be excused from the Indian Women's team for the forthcoming Asian Nations…

Posted by Soumya Swaminathan on Saturday, June 9, 2018


Compulsory hijab/headscarf rule

In 2016, Indian shooter Heena Sidhu pulled out of the Asian Airgun Shooting Championship held in Iran due to compulsory hijab rule for women sportspersons. She had then said that making this rule compulsory went against the spirit of the sport.

Many other international players have also raised objections over the rule of compulsory hijab/headscarf in the past. A subtle protest of sorts took place when many top women chess players decided to boycott the 2017 Women’s World Championship of chess held in Tehran.

Former world champion Marya Muzychuk and US Women’s Champ Nazi Paikidze also boycotted the event. Paikidze even put across a petition asking the World Chess Federation to change the tournament’s location.


The Logical Indian take

Forcing a strict dress code on somebody goes against their sense of personal freedom and rights and is regressive. Especially in an International level sporting event, where players from different cultures participate, the highest priority must be reserved for the sports itself. Mixing politics/culture/religion should be avoided.

The Logical Indian commends Soumya Swaminathan for taking a stand against this and we hope that the concerned authorities take note of this.


Contributors

Written by : Shraddha Goled

Edited by : Abhinav Joshi

Share your thoughts..

Related Stories

Iran Headscarf

Iran: Woman Sentenced To Two Years In Prison For Removing Headscarf In Public

The rise of Vidit Gujrathi, India’s young chess sensation

Three Indians progress to Round 2 of Chess World Cup

GM Harika Dronavalli awarded best woman player at Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival

Harika Dronavalli

World Chess Championship Bronze Medal Winner Returns To India To A Lonely Reception

3 Girls To Represent India at the World School Chess Championship in Romania

Latest on The Logical Indian

Get Inspired

Kerala Floods: Journalist Cancels Daughter’s Engagement, Donates Money To CM Relief Fund

News

Former Cricketer Imran Khan Becomes PM of Pakistan, Takes Oath Today

Get Inspired

Kerala Flood Heroes: Indian Navy Captain P Rajkumar Rescues 26 People, Commander Vijay Airlifts A Pregnant Woman To Hospital

News

New GDP Data Shows India Attained More Than 10% Growth Twice During Dr Manmohan Singh’s Tenure

News

Major Aditya Kumar, Rifleman Aurangzeb Honoured With Shaurya Chakra On Independence Day

News

Maharashtra: Farmers Receive Recovery Notices For Rs 40-50 Lakh Loan Each Which They Never Took

x

Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

Handpicked, newsworthy stories which deserve the attention of a rational generation.