Time to restore the glory of Indian sports

THIS refers to Rajan Kashyap’s article “Chakravyuh of backwardness: Is Indian sport doomed?” (Aug 23). I share his concern over the steep decline of sports in India. Our performance in all disciplines at Athens Olympics was dismal. Our hockey team has belied our expectations and this shows some deep-rooted malady afflicting our sports. Just one silver medal for a nation of over one billion!

Devoid of democracy and accountability, there is too much manipulation in our sports bodies. This has led to unfair selection of players in some cases and lopsided training. The human resource potential remains unexploited.

Sports bodies need a drastic overhaul. They must develop professional skills, a wise marketing strategy and improve financial health. Bureaucratic bottlenecks and red tape should be removed. Sportspersons, athletes and talented players must be encouraged with more incentives in the form of suitable payments, medical aid and pension after retirement.

In Punjab, a few retired athletes and other players, who made miracles in their younger days in international meets, are wallowing in penury. Let us honour sports and sportspersons. Let’s stop playing politics with them as they are the pride of the nation, symbolising the national spirit, grit and discipline.

Prof K.L. BATRA, Yamunanagar




India is the only country which deputed two Chefs de Mission for its big contingent to Athens Olympics — Union Minister Priya Ranjan Das Munshi and Jammu and Kashmir Minister Nissar Ali. Were the two persons of any help to the team? Instead, Olympian “Flying Sikh” Milkha Singh and Asian Women’s Lawn Tennis Champion and senior IPS officer Kiran Bedi should have been deputed as Chefs de Mission. They would have motivated the team and presented a good image of the country abroad.


Mud-slinging at PGI

Recent reports emanating from the PGI speak about the declining health of the premier medical institution and that makes painful reading, especially the mutual mud-slinging. Undermining the Director’s position for petty ends is a great disservice to the medical fraternity as well as to the cause of promoting health care.

Making a mountain of a molehill of trivial administrative matters can only lead to soiling the fair name of the PGI. This also offends the sensibilities of every right-thinking person. No public interest can be served in this manner.

The PGI is still the ultimate destination for the seriously ill persons in the region. Let not the faith of patients in the premier institution be shaken by mindless circulars and statements.

Dr R. KUMAR, Eye Specialist, Chandigarh

FM ignores ex-servicemen

THE new ‘Senior Citizens’ Savings Scheme’ introduced by the Union Finance Minister with higher rate of interest for those above 60 years age is laudable. However, while introducing the new scheme and closing down the 1989 scheme, Mr P. Chidambaram has totally ignored the defence personnel.

In the defence forces, because of the built-in system, except for the three Service Chiefs and a few officers of the rank of Lieutenant-General and equivalent, the rest retire before attaining the age of 60. Keeping parity with the above criteria, the Minister should have also included all retiring defence personnel or at least those above 55 years in the eligibility criteria to help invest their retiring benefits like the rest in this new scheme.

The problem is aggravated for those who are already retired and have invested their retiring benefits in the 1989 scheme. The provision of continuing beyond three years even for those who have already invested in the 1989 scheme has been withdrawn. The big question is, can the government change the provisions of the scheme for those who are already in it? Does it not amount to cheating the investors? The government should rectify this anomaly.



A neat conjunction

Butcher shops in New Delhi are to have limits placed on their sizes and locations. This looks like being a mixed blessing. While I doubt that the flesh I shall buy from shops smaller than the present ones will be any better than what I now get, certainly, it should be convenient to have a chicken decapitated almost immediately on emerging from the day’s place of worship. A neat conjunction of atonement and dinner!


Vulgar channels

Gone are the days when TV channels were used to educate masses. Nowadays, these channels are being used to spread vulgarity. A host of channels are busy in showing vulgar and obscene programmes. In the garb of ‘Remix songs’, woman’s body is exposed.

These channels pose a direct threat to our age-old culture. If this deplorable trend is not stopped forthwith, the incidence of crime against women will increase. Already the life of women is under a great threat. Vulgar channels will add to this threat. It will pollute the supple mind of the youth and make them useless and inactive. Let us launch a movement against these bad channels.

Prof RAJAN KAPOOR, D.A.V. College, Nakodar

Avoidable controversy

The controversy regarding Veer Savarkar is most unfortunate and avoidable. No one can overlook or underestimate the sacrifices he and his family members, including his brothers and their wives, made during India’s freedom struggle. He was the first to write a book on the upsurge of 1857 and later suffered a lot in Andamans. Savarkar had to languish in jail even after Independence.


Kashmir problem

I fail to understand why National Security Adviser J.N. Dixit said: “If you ask for a glass of water from Pakistanis”, they will say, “resolve the Kashmir problem first”. The Kashmir problem has been hanging fire for over 57 years. Yet no amicable solution has been found. Crossborder terrorism started only in 1989. Why did our leaders fail to evolve a solution before 1989?

I have been visiting the Kashmir Valley since 1938. If Kashmir is the core issue, India and Pakistan should sit together across the table and resolve the problem amicably on priority.

P.P.S. BHULLAR, Mohali

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |