More voices on the flag | india | Hindustan Times
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More voices on the flag

The sports minister maintained a stoic silence on the flag-bearer controversy for the second day running despite repeated calls and SMSes, though the country’s elite athletes like Abhinav Bindra and Karnam Malleswari lambasted the Association of Indian Universities official for the indiscretion.

india Updated: Aug 28, 2011 01:45 IST

The sports minister maintained a stoic silence on the flag-bearer controversy for the second day running despite repeated calls and SMSes, though the country’s elite athletes like Abhinav Bindra and Karnam Malleswari lambasted the Association of Indian Universities official for the indiscretion.

The incident at the World University Games in China can be rated on the same scale as the one, which happened last year during the CWG where the Pakistani chef-de-mission, Muhammad Ali Shah, snatched the flag from wrestler Shujauddin Malik, causing a huge uproar. The Pak government ordered a probe and Shah had to tender an apology. One wonders, why the Indian minister is silent.

Samresh Jung
(Shooter, Best athlete at the 2006 Melbourne CWG)
An official becoming a flag-bearer is a surprising thing for me. I think the honour should be reserved for players and they should be given the pride of place. Depriving a player of his right leads to disappointment.

Karnam Malleswari
(Olympic bronze-medallist lifter, 2004 Athens Olympic Games flag-bearer)
This shows how we treat our sportspersons. In our country, officials are more important than players…and then we expect medals from our athletes. The official who did this unsporting act should be questioned about his credentials.

Anju Bobby George
(World Championship bronze in long jump, flag-bearer at the Worlds in 2005)
Leading the contingent with Tri-colour in hand is the player's domain; it should be respected, not breached. What has happened is unfortunate. It's strange that the AIU couldn't shortlist a flag-bearer from among a whole lot of top athletes.

Vijender Singh
(Bronze-medallist boxer & flag-bearer at closing ceremony 2008 Olympic Games)
It is shocking and surprising to see an official becoming a flag-bearer. For a sportsperson, holding the flag is a great honour and he lives with this dream. I still cherish the day I became the flag-bearer — at the closing ceremony of 2008 Olympics.