As soon as P. V Sindhu won the Olympic Silver Medal in Badminton, the first by an Indian in this sport, Indian media whipped up an unnecessary controversy. It was started by The News Minute, an online magazine run by noted journalist Chitra. This online news portal claimed that Indians were searching for caste of P. V. Sindhu while she was toiling hard to win a Gold Medal. Many technical experts have shown that this search trend had nothing unusual and, in fact, the proportion was same for almost all celebrities in news. The story was picked up by many other media houses, and some even went to the extent of maligning the BJP. How ridiculous they can be?
What is the Caste of P. V. Sindhu
Well, we Indians have multiple identities, like religion, state, caste, gotra, district, sub-caste, etc. There is nothing unusual in searching for one identity. It happened with almost all celebrities which anyone can check with Google Keword Planner Tool. That is what happened with P. V. Sindhu.
The issue was also about claiming P. V. Sindhu as their own by people of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. P. V. Sindhu and her family is currently residing in Secundarabad. She was trained in Hyderabad and grown up in the same city. Naturally, Telangana claims her to be their ‘bidda’ – daughter.
But, her parents were from Andhra Pradesh. Father – P. V. Ramanna was from Guntur and mother Vijaya is from Vijayawada. People of Andhra Pradesh claim her as their Ammayi – Telugu girl.
Trying to find out the caste can be seen in this perspective to link her to a particular region.
But, the fact is something different.
P. V. Sindhu father is a Dalit by caste. Her mother is of different caste. Both of them were good Volleyball players and had a love marriage. They are following Hindu religion, but not associated with any caste. You may not find any mention of them indicating about their caste. They even got job with Indian Railways on the basis of their sports acumen, not on the basis of caste and reservation.
Then, is it fine to call Sindhu a Dalit? Yes, you may. But, it will be even better to let her stick with the most important identity; that is being an Indian. All Indians have celebrated her performance, irrespective of caste and religion. Also remember, Rohit Vemulla is touted as a Dalit because his mother is a Dalit. But, Rohit's father is an OBC.