The Great Indian Sporting Tragedy.
Bedi in his letter expressed his displeasure on the idea of honoring an administrator with a statue instead of an athlete. Bedi made a strong argument in the letter. Cricket grounds around the world honour great cricketers with statues . The MCG has a statue of Shane Warne; In the Adelaide oval, you will find a statue of the great Sir Don Bradman. Antigua honoured the great WestIndian batsman Sir Viv Richards with a statue and Barbados has a statue of Sir Garfield Sobers. A few days ago former cricketer and World Cup winner Bishan Singh Bedi wrote a letter to the DDCA. The letter was written to the head of the DDCA, Rohan Jaitly son of the former head, the late Shri Arun Jaitly, demanding the termination of his membership with the DDCA and the removal of his name from a stand that was named after Bedi to honour his contribution to Delhi/Indian cricket. This letter came after it was announced that there would be a statue for the late Mr Arun Jaitly outside the iconic Kotla stadium which was renamed to Arun Jaitly stadium after the late politician's demise. Bedi in his letter expressed his displeasure on the idea of honouring an administrator with a statue instead of an athlete. Bedi made a strong argument in the letter. Cricket grounds around the world honour great cricketers with statues. The MCG has a statue of Shane Warne; In the Adelaide oval, you will find a statue of the great Sir Don Bradman. Antigua honoured the great WestIndian batsman Sir Viv Richards with a statue and Barbados has a statue of Sir Garfield Sobers. The Kotla has been a breeding ground for great Indian crickets over the years. The likes of Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Ishant Sharma, Ashish Nehra, Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and many more, all call Kotla their home. As Bedi expressed in his letter it would be nobler if an athlete who performed on the ground was given the honour of a statue. This saga sheds light on a bigger problem in Indian sports. A country of more than a billion people on paper should have an advantage over other countries when it comes to sports. In theory, a bigger population should mean a bigger talent pool helping sports excel in the country. As we know, that’s not the case in India. It isn’t difficult to understand that bad administration is the core of almost every issue India faces in regards to the development and improvement of sports in the country. There are many examples of the failure of the administration in regards to the development of sports in the country. One such example that can paint a picture for us is the 2010 Commonwealth Games that took place in New Delhi. While there was a huge scam that was widely spoken about in the news and papers, the ground reality of the bad administration and its aftermath is only visible when you go see the facilities which were prepared for the games. For instance, the games village that housed the athletes from all the commonwealth countries (during the games) stands right next to a field and a track which is used to host football and track and field events on a daily basis. However, the housing was made with such bad quality materials and had such shoddy maintenance that today it only homes gigantic beehives. A facility that could have been used to house athletes from around the country to hold grassroots camps lies completely empty. The same tragedy is taking place in the Football administration of the country. Today, the FSDL Reliance group has more control over Indian football than the All Indian Football Federation. The 11 team ISL has now officially been announced as the top tier of Indian Football, yet it doesn’t have a relegation system in place. This affects Indian Football and the quality and competitiveness of the league in many ways. If India is to strive to become a world power in sports like the US and China it is very important for the government to honour athletes and give importance to professionals who have trained in sports administration and grassroots development. Building Statues of corrupt politicians such as the late Shri Arun Jaitly who did little to nothing for the sport will do nothing to inspire future generations of Indian athletes. As expressed in the article above, grassroots development along with good governance is the only pathway to large scale success for Indian sports