Malhotra bites the hand that feeds IOA
Politicians suffering from foot-in-the-mouth syndrome isn't new. But while taking a stand on raging current affairs, they usually spare their bosses the rod.india Updated: Aug 09, 2011 00:45 IST
Politicians suffering from foot-in-the-mouth syndrome isn't new. But while taking a stand on raging current affairs, they usually spare their bosses the rod.
However, Indian Olympic Association's (IOA) acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra did not do that. While expressing "shock and grave concern" over London Olympic Games organisers roping in controversial Dow Chemicals, which now owns the Union Carbide, he also criticised the International Olympic Council (IOC) to whom the IOA is affiliated.
Union Carbide's Indian subsidiary ran the plant in Bhopal where a gas leak in 1984 claimed more than 15,000 lives.
Matter of concern
"It is a matter of grave concern for us. A company which is responsible for the death of so many people and against whom court cases are pending is being roped in for the Olympic Games," Malhotra was quoted as saying by a news agency.
But by saying this, Malhotra seemed to have forgotten that IOA thrives on grants received from the IOC, which has a billion-dollar global sponsorship agreement with Dow Chemicals. IOC's deal with Dow Chemicals is already a year old and can't be terminated now because of Malhotra's "grave concerns".
Clash of interest
With IOC giving funds to its members under schemes like Team Support Grants and Olympic Games Subsidies, IOA is in a way receiving money put into the Olympic movement by Dow Chemicals.
Asked about his stand on IOC's deal with Dow Chemicals, Malhotra did try to modify his previous statement and said IOA will ask the IOC to reconsider Dow Chemicals' sponsorship of the Olympic movement.
The London 2012 organisers announced that Dow Chemicals would fund a "spectacular" £7 million (around Rs 51 crore) artwork wrap around the stadium throughout next year's Games. The decision has outraged campaigners fighting for the people who died in the devastating chemical leak in Bhopal.