Hooda said the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and Jannayak Janta Party (BJP-JJP) are defrauding not only the farmers but also the commission agents and workers of crores of rupees.
Hangzhou 2023 was important to India for a simple reason: it was the first time we were
going to the Asian Games after an unprecedented seismic upheaval across the entire spectrum of sport in this land. While other countries who were to fetch up in China concentrated on training and, thereby, getting better, the Indian Olympic Association, which controls and coordinates our affairs, found itself virtually taken over by loyalists of the ruling party with a foot in sport. The IOA experienced an irresistible drive for absolute power, plus some tumult. It was a big operation, no opposition was brooked and the rules of the game were altered.
PT Usha came in as chief of the institution and Kalyan Chaubey, former India goalie, as head of football’s national fed- eration with additional, crucial duties in the IOA, but neither had any track record in administration. It, of course, was a major argument against the move but it didn’t matter: the former athlete was just too big to be nettled and Baichung Bhutia, taking on Chaubey electorally, managed but one vote.
The BJP, pulling strings ever so dexterously, had the former Bengal player coming in from Gujarat with Northeastern support. The scene changed completely and dramatically. Similar developments over-took the other bodies, often consensually, and if there were organisations which tended to play up for political or other reasons, ad hoc committees supplanted their big boys. One reason why the ruling dispensation reportedly found it easy to swing things its way was that seasoned campaigners in sport officialdom were not exactly universally adored ~ or even admired ~ people, their past often blemished by serious controversies. Silent and withdrawn today, time was when Indian sport shook when they moved.
The state Olympic associations no longer had votes in the IOA, marginalising them as the state bodies dealt directly with centrally regulated titular heads in their dominions.
And yet, despite the sprawling safety net, a goshawful flare-up couldn’t be pre-empted or shaken off when wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia went up against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the BJP member of Parliament accused of sexual exploitation of girls in the sport he led. Singh has sometimes seemed up against it but the party is said never to have jettisoned him. Will wrestling be India’s pride in Hangzhou?
Even if it is, it perhaps isn’t the present dispensation of the IOA that should be sung paeans to be the administrative revolution is not that old but, come Paris 2024, India will know exactly where Indian sport is. Outstanding Indians Neeraj Chopra or PV Sindhu, to name but two win in spite of the system but the improbable, against-all-odds champion can at times point at the Establishment’s steel-strong leadership quality. It is what totalitarian regimes ~ Russia, China, erstwhile East Germany excel in to