Indian Chess Star Soumya Swaminathan Denies Wearing Hijab In Iran, Pulls Out Of Championship

3:22 pm 13 Jun, 2018


29-year-old Indian chess star Soumya Swaminathan is most definitely India’s female version of Viswanathan Anand. Soumya is ranked 97 among other female chess players in the world and ranks 5th in India. Soumya Swaminathan is also a Woman Grandmaster (WGM) and former world junior girls champion.

The ace Indian chess champion has, in a major blow to India, pulled out of an event in Iran over an official rule for women participants.



Indian chess star Swaminathan Swaminathan excused herself from the Asian Nations Cup Chess Championship 2018, to be held from July 26, 2018 to August 4, 2018.




After Iran’s compulsory “headscarf rule” angered Soumya, she lashed out openly saying the Islamic country’s rule is a “violation of her personal rights”.



Soumya blasted the officialdom in her recent Facebook post, and said, “I am very disappointed to see player’s rights are given little importance while organising official championships.”



Indian chess star Soumya Swaminathan expressed her displeasure while she also raised her opinion against the “compulsory” rule. She further stated:

“I do not wish to be forced to wear a headscarf or burqa. I find the Iranian law of compulsory headscarf to be in direct violation of my basic human rights, including my right to freedom of expression and right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. It seems that under the present circumstances, the only way for me to protect my rights is to not go to Iran.”


Even though she criticised chess officials for allotting events without players’ individual rights, she said that it is an honour to represent India in international events.



A day before her big and shocking announcement, Swaminathan attended the Indian Oil Sports Conclave 2018 held at New Delhi on June 8.



She shook the world of sports with this Facebook excerpt, and one can check its full version here:



Indian chess star Soumya Swaminathan received a lot of positive comments and she’s a true hero now. Some have lauded her bravery, while others are happy with her strong stance.



People called her “Bravo”



This one had a funny take:



This user shamed Iran as well:



Soumya made some people “genuinely” happy!



This user bowed to Soumya’s decision!




Bharat Singh Chauhan, the All India Chess Federation honorary secretary, has refused to comment on this issue but we hail Soumya for her courage. What do you think? Tell us in the comments.

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