Hima Das, the 18 years old girl from Assam, created history as she became the first Indian woman athlete to win track gold in the women’s 400 metre event at the IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland on 12th July. Entire Nation hailed Hima Das. India’s prime Minister, number of celebrities from Tollywood and Bollywood praised her. While the celebration of her achievement was on one hand, other side of the story is a slap in the face of our system.
The obscure athlete literally hit the social media sites like a bolt from the blue. It didn’t matter that Indians had not heard of the name of Hima Das before. The truth is that, Hima Das was no star until 12th July, nobody knew her. So when she won the medal, everyone started to forage the details about Hima Das on Google. Who is Hima Das? From where she came from? Not only this, soon after Hima Das bagged the gold, people on social media sphere got busy searching for “Hima Das caste”.
This is not the first time that a title holder is being seen from the prism of caste. Earlier Google searches on badminton champion PV Sindhu’s caste raced up after she won silver at the Rio Olympics.
Hima Das Caste has now the most searched topic on Google. Interestingly, some netizens have also condemned the inquiry of Hima Das caste. Referring to Hima Das as #HimaDasGoldenGirl, a netizen wrote on social media site, “India is a sad country. A young athletes wins India’s first gold medal at World Junior Athletics Championships and what do her countrymen search for in Google. Her caste! Pathetic”.
If anyone types Hima Das on google, the immediate search result comes in as ‘Hima Das caste’. However, many Netizens seemed to have noticed this and many took to the micro-blogging site to express their views regarding this matter.