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My Last Word
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My Last Word III: Why despite success Kalmadi shou (10/27/2010)
--K. Arumugam
Why, despite CWG's success, Kalmadi and the likes should go

My Last World Part III:

The traffic control and Security aspects were excellent. Opening and Closing ceremonies were no less. Double the medals tally and extremely satisfying hockey event; Metros in place, life became easy and better in Delhi.

Despite being all the positives, why does one still feel Suresh Kalmadi and his likes should go from sporting sphere. Why nobody wants to give him any credit?

Because, Kalmadi carries a wrong legacy. His track record of being sports administrator, individual sports or umbrella organization (Indian Olympic Association), is very bad. Ultimately, as Pargat Singh often points out, he turns out to be the ugly face of Indian sport.

Kalmadi’s model of sports is bidding for mega events, creating gigantic sporting stadiums, ceremonies etc.

I don’t think this approach had done any good to sports now, or will in the future.

In one of his interviews after the CWG, he was pointedly asked “how the stadia are going to be utilized”. His answer was, behold, “it is the job of the government”.

This is exactly what has been happening. All the real ground work for sports is done by the government and its agencies, state or central. IOA or Federations have been face of sports despite not deserving. They do not even have a blue print for sports development. These moribund organizations have been blessed by the respective International Federations for self-interest, the glut of IOA and Federations have reached a high that they give in writing that they don’t need any government support to run the sports! These are happening under Kalmadi and due to his manipulative skills.

Kalmadi is a successful politician. Four times Member of Parliament, once Central Minister for Railways. That’s why perhaps he still survives in sports after his name is sullied in the run up to the CWG.

At the same time one should agree his approach of sports (mega events, ceremonies etc) has misled a whole lot of policy makers. By and large, political class in the country feels organizing big events are stepping stones for sporting excellence. Kalmadi is responsible for the misconception.

Sports is first winning medals, and it can occur only if educational institutions (Schools, colleges, universities etc ) take it up seriously, if they have right curriculam and sporting fields. Its these institutions that need sporting facilities and appropriate academic priorities to sports. This is not even in the talks.

I firmly believe as long as Kalmadi and his likes dominate sports, this country’s top politicians and bureaucrats will be misled as to proper priorities of sports.

Secondly, if any investigation as to why much of the CWG funds gone to foreign agencies, will be interesting. I have a gut feeling even ordinary works that India could have managed were sourced out.

47 Australian firms have won contracts worth A$ 83 million, so also many other countries. Even conducting our national game of hockey has been entrusted to an Australian!

The actual motives behind draining our resources on other countries need a thorough investigation, and why India should accept an outsider as CEO at colossal cost, why our leadership allowed all these.

Answers for all lies in making Kalmadi to do what he likes to do – politicking – rather than straying into sports.

The last part of the series ‘The Video Umpiring Fiasco’ will appear shortly.

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