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Are you from Bangladesh: Questions that Dipa Karmakar does not want to answer!

GUWAHATI: Ace Gymnast from Tripura Dipa Karmakar has recently gone candid about the questions that she faced due to her north-eastern identity.

During a talk show organized by InsideNE and mediated by Editor-in-Chief Afrida Hussain, the first female medal winner in the 2014 Commonwealth games said she was often asked by people from mainland India if she was from Bangladesh.

Speaking to Afrida Hussain on Sunday, Karmakar narrated how she had to face questions about her ethnicity in ‘mainstream’ India.
“People used to ask me ‘are you from Bangladesh?’ “Where is Tripura? Is it in Bangladesh”, she said during the talk show. Such questions used to dishearten the athlete, admitted the gymnast.

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“It’s really sad to see that I belong to such a state which people do not know about”, she said.

Karmakar also stated that she had to face taunts for her choice of sport as people sometimes fail to understand gymnastics, she claimed.

“I do gymnastics which people sometimes consider as a circus act. On top of that being a woman that too from Northeast… I was surrounded by negativity from all over”, said Karmakar.

Karmakar not only overcame her negativity by clinching the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games but also became the first Indian Gymnast to bag a medal at the event. She is now considered as a path-breaker in the field of gymnastics in India.

Speaking about Mirabai Chanu and Lovlina Borgohain’s feats at the Tokyo olympics, she said, “Being a woman and from Northeast, I feel immensely proud that two female contenders from Northeast bagged medals for the country at the Tokyo Olympics.”

Karmakar was joined by Olympian Bombayla Devi, former world champion Sarita Devi and Oinam Geeta Chanu Boxing Coach from Manipur for the talk show titled Northeast: The Powerhouse of Sports.

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