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SAS 2008: A sportsman's office experience (5/11/2008)
--K. Arumugam
Former India captain Pargat Singh is good at conversation. He is here in Ipoh as manager of the Indian team. Its long time since one spots Pargat on the turfs. He retired from international hockey in 1996, and from domestic hockey around the same time. He is now a high profile Director, Sports, of Punjab Sports Department.

He has an interesting episode to tell.

That came when I asked how you as a sportsman is happy and content in pushing files in the office.

He said one is used to it, and without that office cannot function. He further said those who have knowledge of sports should sit in such positions because you can contribute and also many times prevent some impending calamities.


“Yes” he continued. “A couple of months back I got a circular from a high ranking Secretary, Punjab Government that there should be 25 percent reservation for sports persons in the teams. We knew it is there in the educational institutions and in job market. But reservation in the teams, how can one goes about it. As a sportsman I decided it cannot be done and it is not going to benefit anybody including those who are supposed t to be the beneficiaries”.

“I refused to implement much to the annoyance of babudom, who kept on bringing pressure on me”.

“Then I decided enough is enough and I should do something about it. I took the appointment of the chief minister, who can only save me from this embarrassment”.

“When I met him I told how can I go about it? To give benefit, should I ask the reservation beneficiaries to run only 80 metres while others full 100 metres? Or should I place the beneficiary 20 m ahead of others on the starting block?”

“Chief minister laughed and convinced. He asked the babu concerned why such an impractical circular was sent to sports department in the first place. The big babu came out with a standard reply that due to this and that amendment, some number he said, every government department is bound to implement this reservation, circular and such a stuff”.

“Chief minister asked him to withdraw the order sent to sports department”.

“Now, tell me. Is it not a worth a job lest I don’t know what would have happened? Because am a sportsman I understood the folly in such things and stood for sports. Even while file pushing there are many things one can do”

Yes, Pargat has a point

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