India announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics hours before opening ceremony

DHARAMSALA, 4 Feb: Just hours before the opening ceremony of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, India joined the global chorus of the diplomatic boycott of the Olympics.

India announced the diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics after China “politicized” the Olympics by featuring a PLA soldier who was injured in a deadly skirmish with Indian troops in its domestic torch relay. 

“It is indeed regrettable that the Chinese side has chosen to politicize an event like the Olympics,” Arindam Bagchi, a spokesperson of India’s Ministry of External Affairs said in a televised speech on late Thursday while announcing India’s decision to boycott the Opening and the Closing Ceremony of the games.

Apart from the Indian envoy in Beijing giving both the ceremonies a miss,  India’s public broadcaster Doordarshan won’t be broadcast the opening and closing ceremonies live as well.  

“Consequent to the announcement by @meaindia, @ddsportschannel will not telecast live the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics being held in Beijing,” Shashi Shekhar Vempati, the CEO of Prasar Bharati (Doordarshan & All India Radio) said in a tweet. 

Reacting to the development, activist group Students for a Free Tibet-India(SFT) who have long campaigned and called for the boycott of the “genocide games” has said a statement it issued on its Facebook post that “When you allow a genocidal government to host an Olympic Games, politicization is inevitable.”

India now joins the likes of the US, the UK, Lithuanian, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Scotland, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Kosovo and Taiwan who have all announced the diplomatic boycott of the winter games and boycott the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony that will start later today at 8 PM in China.  The 2022 Winter Olympics will be held over 4 -20 Feb.

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