On Thursday, Indian sprinter Hima Das wrote history when she clocked 51.6 seconds to grab the gold at the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships women’s 400m final race.
Her extraordinary feat brought her fame and wishes from all over the country, with the Prime Minister and President joining in. However, her fame took a disturbing turn as people became more interested in knowing the athlete’s caste rather than her story.
Google trends showed how searches relating to the sprinter had spiked following her win and also how Das’s caste was the most suggested searched topic relating to her.
However, the Twitterati was quick to shame the people who were curious to know Das’s caste. “#HimaDas’s journey from rice fields of Assam to becoming a world champion fighting all adversities, Patriarchy, Poverty with determination serves as an inspiration. Yet, we never forget ‘CASTE’. #HimaDas’s caste is the most frequently searched thing about her on. google. Shame,” one user wrote.
Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Kerala and a few other states had the highest search results.
Earlier, in a similar incident, when PV Sindhu won silver at the Rio Olympics, Google searches about her caste went up, highlighting our country’s fixation with caste-based identities.
(Featured Image – Jansatta)