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Making sport of India

Making sport of India
Highlights

Brazenly bizarre! The two words sum up the grotesque side of the ever-manipulative administrators, who call the shots in Indian sports, and do everything in their mite to take it to the pits. 

Brazenly bizarre! The two words sum up the grotesque side of the ever-manipulative administrators, who call the shots in Indian sports, and do everything in their mite to take it to the pits.

We have had two such classic exhibitions by officials, who gave a damn while going about their acts of omissions and commissions in the past one week.

It is perhaps a good indication that the Kalmadi-Chautala episode was nipped in the bud, or at least that is what one makes of it.

Ironically, officials and politicians, who went all over the town condemning the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) daylight coup, had their own personal agenda behind the utterances.

There is no denying that the Kalmadi-Chautala chapter marks a blot on Indians sport administration. However, what ought to be read between the lines is that the incumbent IOA body headed by N Ramachandran dared the nation while bringing the two back into the Olympic mainstream.

Those who are crying foul are no saints, either. If one’s memory serves right, the excesses committed by Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel during the Rio Olympics brought more shame to the country than the majority of athletes who returned empty-handed from the jamboree.

Goel would do well if he does something about revamping the IOA as Ramachandran has virtually ‘legalised’ his position despite breaking established norms.

It is only when people like the IOA boss and most heads of national associations are brought under the scanner that we can avert more such diabolic Kalmadi-like backdoor entries.

Interestingly, a more profound devious act is going unnoticed although there is every possibility that it would boomerang and make India the butt of ridicule, all over again, thanks to the operatives running the All India Tennis Association (AITA).

One fails to understand the logic behind making Mahesh Bhupathi the non-playing captain of the Davis Cup team at a time when there was no need to change Anand Amritraj on whatever grounds.

The manner the AITA runs its business is so nonsensical that just prior to the London Olympics, its manipulative operations almost split the players.

It was such a psychological blow that Indians came a cropper in the mother of all sports extravaganzas. This disbelief in the administrators (the Association boss Anil Khanna was more keen on a global role) is still the root cause for the unrest that prevails in the team composition.

Bringing Bhupathi will have damning ramifications. The bad blood with Leander Paes is bound to spill onto the courts in the not too distant future.

Already, fissures have cropped up with the ouster of Rohan Bopanna, inarguably the country’s best contemporary singles player. There is no guarantee that Paes will take orders from his sworn enemy.

It is rather disgusting that when Ramesh Krishnan expressed his willingness to take over the mantle, Bhupathi was put onto the hot seat.

Bhupathi’s elevation is taking one step forward and two backward, which is not exactly the vibrancy one needs at the dawn of the new season.

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