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Cleanse the Augean stables

Cleanse the Augean stables
Highlights

Even as the Lodha Committee recommendations still hang in the balance, given the pleas filed on behalf of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), there is no denying that the reforms suggested by the three-member panel have drawn the attention of the country’s finest sports ambassadors from diverse fields. 

Even as the Lodha Committee recommendations still hang in the balance, given the pleas filed on behalf of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), there is no denying that the reforms suggested by the three-member panel have drawn the attention of the country’s finest sports ambassadors from diverse fields.

It is least bit surprising that many have petitioned the Supreme Court for having such measures in all sports bodies. If the apex court has sought the response of the Centre, it only indicates that there is urgency in addressing the pleas.

However, what needs to be read in its totality is that the signatories have literally called for an administrative overhaul of all the bodies that control their respective disciplines. It is rather a sad commentary on Indian sports functioning that not even a single body exists that can be described as a role-model.

Each and every association and federation is crammed with nefarious characters whose only intention is take advantage of the powers in their hands and make hay. The crisis within gets exposed whenever a rebel emerges and points an accusing finger at the incumbent authorities for their arrogance in the discharge of official duties.

Alas, how Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) will respond remains to be seen considering that transparency and institutional integrity have never been among the credible features of Indian sports administration.

It hardly matters as to who all signed the petition because although they belonged to an era, when administration was inept and anti-sports on the face of it, none of these honourable gentlemen and ladies raised their voice bar a murmur here and there, which anyway was stifled even before it reached a crescendo.

That is the tragedy of Indian sports. In other countries, many a big name took on corrupt officials in their heyday least bothered about whether their career would be cut short. In India, such a behavior would be described as an outlandish emotional expression from frustrated elements, who had missed the bus. It took guts for the king of comebacks, Mohinder Amarnath, to call the selectors as a ‘bunch of jokers.’

He paid a heavy price, but survived. The signatories to the latest petition were those who raised a hue and cry during the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. They did call for handing over the baton to proven athletes and also formed a Clean India Sport.

However, none of them uttered a word when Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala were almost rehabilitated by the IOA, which is headed by an equally controversially and unfit N Ramachandran.

Although cleansing should be undertaken at every level and in all sports bodies one wonders if any athlete will actually dare take on the mantle and more importantly not fall to prey to devious mechanisms.

Rather than accuse politicisation for all the ills, one must understand that it is the system that is at fault and it would take eons for one to get a feel of freshness.

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