Indian Chess Grandmaster Soumya Swaminathan recently pulled out of the Asian Team Chess Championship in Hamadan, Iran due to the country's compulsory headscarf rule. In a Facebook post, Soumya called the headscarf rule as a direct violation of her basic human rights.
Here's the Facebook post that has now gone viral:
It must be noted that this is not the first time that an Indian sportsperson has declined to participate in Iran. Back in 2016, Indian shooter Heena Sidhu had also pulled out of the Asia Airgun meet for the same reason. Iran has strict dress codes for women sportspersons.
Soumya had given the nod to the tournament when it was first scheduled to be held in Bangladesh but when the new dates and new venue came up she decided to skip the event.
At a time when other associations are raising their voices against these medieval rules, it remains to be seen whether the All India Chess Federation (AICF) will protest against the decision to allot the tournament to Iran.
The Pune girl, however, has very realistic expectations when it comes to garnering support over the matter, as she recently told TOI: “I can't expect everyone to be of the same opinion as me. It's subjective issue.”