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Politics dominating sports in J&K

LocalPolitics dominating sports in J&K

JAMMU, July 20: On the one hand, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir is making every effort and striving hard to carve a space on the country’s sports map, but, on the other hand, the politicians are involved too much in the fractured Sports Associations and are calling shots to dominate sports scenario in the State.
Too much involvement of the politicians in the jaundiced Sports Associations in the State rather than making them healthy and wealthy, makes them unhealthy and poor, resulting in unfair selection of the players and dismal performance of the State teams.
According to the reliable sources, the Associations like Powerlifting, Wrestling, Hockey, Taekwondo, Karate and Bodybuilding etc., due to factionalism and internal bickering of the members, are being dominated by the politicians, to leave the budding sportspersons in the lurch.sport and politics
“No-doubt, you need heavyweight politicians or bureaucrats as patrons or mentors for good health of the Sports Associations to make their functioning smooth and hassle free, besides serving them as beacon-lights to guide and goad them even in tough and terrible situations. However, too much involvement of these politicians in electing ‘blue-eyed’ or the members of their choice as office bearers weakens the entire system,” expressed head of one of the premier Sports Associations of the State on the condition of anonymity.
Sources said that one of the top brass politician and a Minister while putting Constitution into the winds grabbed one elitist post each in two prominent Associations of the State namely J&K Wrestling Association and Hockey J&K, despite the fact that the Wrestling Association already held a separate election, wherein former president of Wrestling Federation of India was elected president of the Association and the Hockey J&K is waiting in the wings for the elections already announced by the Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council.
Sources further said that J&K Sports Powerlifting Association is still functioning in the State, under the patronage of a Minister from the present coalition, despite the fact that the General Secretary of the Association had already been disassociated by Powerlifting Federation of India, which had also constituted an Adhoc Committee to run the affairs of the Association in Jammu and Kashmir.
Sources further said that the fractured Jammu and Kashmir Taekwondo Association is functioning in the State, under separate heads in each province. The Kashmir based Association has the patronage of the Advisor to former Chief Minister, while the Jammu based Association is being run by an outstanding sportsperson of the State. At the end of the day, the internal bickering between the two factions is simply marring the talent in the State.
Similar is the case with Karate, Bodybuilding and most of the other Associations of the State, wherein the factionalism results in nepotism and regionalism to butcher talent and skill of the players.
“The custodians of these Sports Associations are hardly keen to promote sports and sportspersons in the State. One gets a feeling that they are simply behind power and pelf. That is why they are leaving no stone unturned in holding the top posts of the State Sports Associations,” said a coach from Sports Authority of India (SAI) while expressing anonymity.
It is pertinent to mention here that almost all the Sports Associations of the State are divided and fractured-some on regional basis and some on the basis of as to who will reign the kingdom and rule the roost, and in such a scheme of things, the politicians are the top gainers.
Now, should the State Government take initiatives to develop sports infrastructure in nooks and corners of the State or streamline the system by setting the Associations right first, is a million dollar question.
Going into the philosophy of the things, one gets a feeling that the dire need is to make the system proper first and then take initiatives to raise sports infra in the State.
For that matter, the State Government, which seems to be committed to uplift the standard of sports and games in the State, needs to focus on strengthening the health of elitist sports body-the Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council by solving the disputes of the Sports Associations and then only concentrate on building infrastructure.
The Government should let outstanding sportspersons run Sports Associations in the State to see games and sports flourish in Jammu and Kashmir.

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