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Might is right in anarchic world of Indian sports

cricket Updated: Feb 05, 2010 23:29 IST
Pradeep Magazine
Pradeep Magazine
Hindustan Times
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It is an anarchic world out there, each day bringing more and more depressing news which is threatening to tear asunder the already fragile fabric of sport in India.

The anarchy is so pervasive that it is extremely hard to pick one individual or body for marked attention. Be it within the sports administration or outside it, the machinations of those who treat sports as a tool to further their personal and political agenda is now ready to explode in our faces.

In the year of the World Cup Hockey and Commonwealth Games, when millions are being poured in to build magnificent sports arenas, almost every federation is busy fighting within itself for lucrative spoils .

The mess in Hockey India is now being sorted out in the courts, and no one knows who is in control or out of it. KPS Gill, the man who was literally booted out of his job as federation president after India failed to qualify for the Olympic Games for the first time in its history, is even eyeing a comeback. If anyone reminds him of a few uncomfortable facts while he was at the helm, the former police officer gets livid and takes recourse to intemperate language, like he did in a TV talk show with me.

In this world of democratically sanctioned "might is right", the defenders of the "Marathi Manoos" pride are targeting India's most famous film star because he spoke, like many, in favour of having Pakistani players in the IPL.

The law abiding Shah Rukh Khan, it would appear, is on the run, in his own country, while those making inflammatory and seditious statements are left mocking at the law with impunity.

After triumphantly managing to shut out players from Pakistan, the next target of their ire could be the Aussies. The security threat to their well-being in India could be "real" considering the racial attacks on Indian students in Australia and the eyeballs the news is generating.

Among the many do's and don'ts their players will have to follow is the one which any individual with a burning sense of national pride will be most uncomfortable with: avoiding wearing anything in public which reveals their national identity!

What an ingenious way of saving a person from being attacked by "lunatic outsiders" and something which the Australian law-enforcing agencies should follow in their own country.

In this paranoia for security, even journalists are not being spared. Any Indian scribe who is seeking accreditation for the World Cup Hockey has to answer a whole set of questions, ranging from his record not only as a law-abiding citizen but also as a disciplined, loyal worker. Apart from having to answer whether he has ever served a jail sentence, he has to also answer whether he was ever sacked or was any disciplinary action taken against him at his work place.

Food for thought for Lalit Modi! Maybe a concession can be made for those who were either sacked or jailed, if they pay a few dollars more for getting into the IPL press box!