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A Gill wind blowing this way

india Updated: Apr 23, 2008 22:55 IST

Hindustan Times
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There was the Dustin Hoffman-Meryl Streep-starring Kramer vs Kramer. There is the Cold War-laced comic strip Spy vs Spy by Antonio Prohias that appears in Mad magazine. Then there is Gill vs Gill — the latest clash of the same-nomenclatured. Sports Minister Manohar Singh Gill has finally taken on Indian Hockey Federation’s Kanwar Pal Singh Gill after the ruckus created by a television sting operation which exposed the Federation’s Secretary and Mr Gill’s right-hand man K. Jothikumaran accepting a bribe to induct a player in the national team. Mr Gill thinks that Mr Gill is at the root of the problem that has seen Indian hockey ailing and failing for more than a decade and is no longer willing to let the latter pass the buck.

Like all great rivalries, the titans in this clash are very similar. Both are alumni of Government College for Boys, Ludhiana, and this venerable paper had — unconsciously — carried a photo of KPS with a piece on MS. The soft-spoken Mr Gill may not have the same sort of rambunctiousness as Mr Gill, but it seems that the latter has finally met his match. The former Chief Election Commissioner wants the IHF chief to ‘introspect’ and ‘review his position’. The reply from Mr Gill has been to reportedly laugh and state that “there was no problem with the selection process” and by extension with Indian hockey.

Mr Gill, of course, has been handled with kid gloves all this while because of the great service he rendered to the nation by flushing terrorists out of Punjab. So it had to be left to Mr Gill, a man who has served his nation as CEC as well, to bell the tomcat. As for whether we want the two Gills to patch up, let’s just quote American writer and journalist Brendan Gill: “If it were better, it wouldn’t be as good”.