She’s The Man: The Pinki Parmanik Gender Blunder

Posted on June 19, 2012 in Sports

By Gauri Jagatap:

Pinki Pramanik, Indian track athlete has been under surveillance as doctors decide the gender of this Commonwealth Games medal winner. Pramanik was detained on Thursday, after her alleged partner Anamika Acharya, filed a complained against her, stating that the athlete is a male and has been forcefully cohabitating with her for several months. Pramanik had also apparently promised to marry her, but later denied to.
Pinki Pramanik was taken to a private nursing home, where it was confirmed that she’s a male. Now it rests upon the Government medical authorities to decide her fate.

While Pramanik has pleaded for innocence, stating that it’s a conspiracy and that she’s being framed for no reason, her father has stoically supported her, stating that he’s her father and he knows her to be his daughter, slightly putting a rest to the allegations.

Pramanik finds support from the West Bengal Athletics Association as well, as Kamal Moitra, secretary, argues about how the authorities failed to point this issue out, when several check-ups and tests had already been performed while participating in international competitions.

On one hand, the above reasons seem fair enough to justify Pramanik’s side. On the other hand, however we find no dearth of criticism she’s faced in the past. Co-athletes like O.P. Jaisha have claimed to have had problems with Pinki’s ‘peculiar’ behaviour and have had objections against sharing rooms with her during events.

Controversies continue to beset Pinki, as doubts are being raised against her gender. People have been hypothesising about how she might have been a male who went through a sex-change operation.
Pramanik has been previously arrested under Arms Act when a revolver was found in her bag. She was however let off owing to lack of evidence to prove intentional crime.

Several cases in the past reflect how male athletes have posed to be women. However when proved to be otherwise, they were stripped off of all accolades and medals. It remains to be seen, if the same happens for Pramanik, who has been one of the few palanquin bearers for the scenario of athletics among women, and has put India on the world map.

If Pramanik is indeed found to be a man, it should be yet another blow to the Athletics Association. However, it will only be severe injustice to this athlete if she’s indeed a woman, as she struggles to form an identity. She will remain to be a person of high potential and talent, who got lost in the middle of controversies.

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