Soumya Swaminathan Withdraws From Chess Championship & Now People Are Attacking Priyanka Chopra

People contrasted Swaminathan's refusal to participate in the championship against actor Priyanka Chopra's recent visit to Bangladesh

Chess star Soumya Swaminathan decided to withdraw herself from the Asian Team Chess Championship, which was to be held in Hamadan, Iran, from July 26 to August 4. Swaminathan refused to be a part of the Indian Women’s team at the championship as she didn’t want to be “forced to wear a Headscarf or Burkha” as per the Iranian law.

“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 not to go to Iran,” she wrote in a Facebook post.

ALSO READ: Priyanka Chopra Has Taken A Stand On The Rohingya Crisis & Power To Her For That 

Swaminathan was praised by fellow sportspersons for standing up for her “personal rights”. However, people contrasted Swaminathan’s refusal to participate in the championship against actor Priyanka Chopra’s recent visit to Bangladesh.

I’m in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh today for a field visit with UNICEF, to one of the largest refugee camps in the world. In the second half of 2017, the world saw horrific images of ethnic cleansing from the Rakhine State of Myanmar(Burma). This violence drove nearly 700,000 Rohingya across the border into Bangladesh – 60% are children! Many months later they are still highly vulnerable, living in overcrowded camps with no idea when or where they will ever belong…even worse, when they will get their next meal. AND…as they finally start to settle and feel a sense of safety, monsoon season looms…threatening to destroy all that they’ve built so far. This is an entire generation of children that have no future in sight. Through their smiles I could see the vacancy in their eyes. These children are at the forefront of this humanitarian crisis, and they desperately need our help. The world needs to care. We need to care. These kids are our future. Pls Lend your support at #ChildrenUprooted @unicef @unicefbangladesh Credit: @briansokol @hhhtravels

A post shared by Priyanka Chopra (@priyankachopra) on

As UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador, Priyanka Chopra visited the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh last month. During her visit, the 35-year-old actress was seen wearing a headscarf as she spoke to Muslim children in the region. People condemned Priyanka for “accepting” the Muslim tradition of wearing a headscarf while in Bangladesh (all the while ignoring how they were also placing a wardrobe imposition, against an individual’s choice).

Last month, when news of Priyanka helping Muslim refugees had first emerged, she was criticised for not doing enough charitable work for Indian citizens.

ALSO READ: Marvel Is Making A Muslim Superhero Film & Priyanka Chopra Might Be ‘Mis-Cast’ In It 

The actress was also recently embroiled in a controversy over her American TV show Quantico, after an episode including Hindu terrorists wearing rudraksh maalas was aired. Priyanka later apologised for having hurt people’s sentiments.

Incidentally, the compulsory hijab rule in Iran has caused trouble for Indian athletes before too. In 2016, Indian pistol shooter Heena Sidhu had withdrawn herself from an Asian Airgun Shooting Championship in Iran over the compulsory hijab rule.

The same year, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Iran had also sparked a debate as she covered herself for her meeting with President Hassan Rouhani.