One can’t undo the basic traits and qualities: Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore
In an interview with HT City, Rathore says, “I have spent a large part of my life as an Army man. And I was a sports person, too. Even if one gets into politics, one can’t undo the basic traits and qualities.”Updated: Jan 13, 2019 13:02 IST
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is one of the fittest ministers in the country. And he is also one of those who knows how to appeal to the youth of the nation. Minister of State (Youth Affairs and Sports, and Information and Broadcasting) Rathore says, “I have spent a large part of my life as an Army man. And I was a sports person, too. Even if one gets into politics, one can’t undo the basic traits and qualities. Therefore, I am just what I am; therefore, I am happy that youth is able to connect with me.”
They surely do: Last year, he kicked-off a wave of fitness awareness in the country by posting a fitness challenge video in which he himself was seen doing burpees. In no time, from celebrities to common people, everyone was seen following his example. He says it is “very critical” that the young generation is taken seriously. “It is very critical that we are able to communicate as government, as parents and as teachers with today’s youth. India is going to be spearheaded by them, the young generation, so we must be able to listen to and communicate with them.”
An Olympic silver medallist, he says sports background has helped him serve the sports ministry better. “I understand the entire atmosphere of sports. So, it’s easier for me to be able to provide a direction to Indian sports. Yet, I have to say that it’s the sort of path that the Prime Minister is giving to this department,” says Rathore who has won 25 international medals for Double Trap Shooting.
He adds, “Our philosophy about sports is very simple: We decided to change the ‘VVIP syndrome’. Officials, federation officials, managers, etc., have to take a back-seat... We have put the sportsperson on the forefront.”
He feels that a lot of “ground” has been “covered” as far as the VVIP culture being a norm in the system is concerned. And there is still more. But to achieve this much, he had to “go through the process” “fighting” and “pleading with the system” with the “hope that some sort of systemic help is provided to us”.
Not one to mince words, the Information and Broadcasting Minister (State) feels strongly about freedom of expression in India for one and all. “In India, the freedom of speech is absolute. There are no two ways about it. It is unquestionable. But, with the freedom of speech, the same constitution also gives us a sense of responsibility and duties. If these two things are kept in mind, the country will continue to grow stronger and there will be no questioning of freedom of expression,” says the Padma Shri awardee.
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First Published: Jan 13, 2019 12:05 IST