Saturday, February 27, 2010

Demo-crack-stick of democratic hockey

With only a few days left in the inauguration ceremony of the twelfth hockey world cup, Indian Olympic Association chief Suresh Kalmadi offered national team's official sponsor Shara's chief Subroto Rai Sahara to become Hockey India's president. Again, after facing all the issues from national players and sports ministry the care takers of the Indian hockey don't think about the welfare of the game.
At one front the man, who saved the national game from seeing the worst day by paying all the players their due, once again comes forward and rejects Kalmadi's offer very politely and says that he is already too busy and would not be able to do justice to the post.
At another front, IOC, the ultimate care taker of the game applies its right and forget policy.
IOA in January had written to the sports ministry that during the Hockey India's election the returning officer should in no way be connected with Hockey India or IOA. But in the same month IOA appoints G S Mander, president of Wrestling Federation of India which comes under the association.
Actually IOA or its chief I should say has never been interested in the welfare of national sports until and unless it is in his favour.
HI is not at all interested in holding the elections and making itself a democratic body because Kalmadi, who wants to head HI, failed to get a nomination from Maharashtra.
Former Indian captain and now Hockey Punjab secretary Pargat Singh had also alleged that Kalamadi's representative told Pargat that if he chooses Kalmadi as Hockey India chief Hockey Punjab will get the affiliation. Pargat then termed Kalmadi as a 'sports mafia'.
Pargat Singh is also ambitious of getting a big post in HI, but his remarks can not be overruled.
Sports Minister M S Gill had also raised questions on HI's electoral college and said that state units like Bombay, Madras and Bengal had been in existence for many decades and they should be included in the electoral role. Doubting the transparency in the electoral process the minister had also said that there should be openness in the entire process.
The world body of hockey, FIH, had repeatedly said that an elected HI should be in the place before the world cup, but Indians are the best to dribble any ball (off the court).
When Rajasthan High Court stayed the election over the issue of affiliations granted to the state units, HI did not try to get the stay vacated.
Instead of that HI went ahead and did what it ultimately wanted and deferred the elections for third time.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sadma of awards

A day before Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden has qualified for India's highest civilian honour, Padma awards. Though none of the newspapers carried the news properly, but they published that there is a climate change in the top terror leader's mind. And being a terrorist if you think about global warming that is a great step towards the well being of the world.
Padma awards are also meant to be for the people who contribute to make India proud and bring some good to the country.
The committee which decides the awards, consider only the positive work done by a person and ignores the negative part be it a CBI case or Wild Life Protection case.
While Safe Ali Khan who faced charges under Wildlife Protection Act for killing blackbuck in Rajasthan gets Padma Shri, Rekha after putting service of so many years in the industry comes in the same list. And 'an Idiot' who doesn't know what he is protesting against (Narmada campaign) but knows how to promote him self and boasts for his pesticide-drinking.
After putting the best efforts of their life Dr Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Allah Rakkha Rahman win Nobel and Oscar for India and get Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan.
If Nobels and Oscars demand too much effort, friends in high places help. Sant Singh Chatwal, the US-based hotelier keeps US president Bill Clinton and US State Secretary Hillary Clinton's personal numbers in his cell phone (and some PMO officials in his pocket), has been nominated for the Bhushan. Not bad for a bankrupt man who is going to invest $ 1 billion and already invested $ 250 mn in India. Chatwal just faced some cases in India (in which a $ 9 mn fraud is also included) which according to the CBI (whose case closings have always been front page headlines) sources say no cases were pending against him in India.
Though every year the Padma awards have not been away from the controversies, this year the controversy has taken a new dimension where an NRI hotelier has been named without being named in original Padma list.
Vir Sanghavi and Pritish Nandi have asked the Home Ministry about the whole process of Sant getting the award and questioned the transparency of selection process through RTI.
What ever the reasons are there behind decorating people with tinted backgrounds, the Home Ministry's cultural committee needs a doctor who can treat it of favouritism. And who knows next year the same doctor will be given a Padma award like Manmohan Singh's doctor Ramakant Panda gets Padma Shri this year and Atal Bihari Vajpayee's doctor Chitranjan Ranawat got it in 2001.