HYDERABAD: The Union government’s budget allocation to encourage sport and infrastructure has been meager, nor has it been able to initiate sweeping reforms in sport, said BV Papa Rao, former sports administrator, retired IAS officer and filmmaker
As part of the ‘Deccan Dialogues’ series, Papa Rao discussed the state of sports with economist and political strategist Mohan Guruswamy. The two analyzed the problems facing the sports administration, the political stranglehold that is hurting the sports administration and the necessary reforms.
Papa Rao, one of the founders of the Clean Sports India movement, which aims to reduce corruption in sports, said the movement had had an impact in 4-5 years under the UPA government, the RSS and the BJP were now standing. to reforms. Guruswamy agreed, citing the BCCI as an example of an institution dominated by BJP and RSS members.
Speaking about the plight of the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA), Guruswamy stated that Hyderabad was once one of the best cricket teams in the south, hosting regular test matches. That is no longer the case and the members of the HCA are openly looting the association. “The members used to ride bicycles, now they ride cars,” Guruswamy noted.
According to Papa Rao, the three goals for improving sports are: to form an election committee to conduct polls for all sports federations, to form an ethics committee to oversee sports organizations and to establish a dispute mechanism. Guruswamy highlighted how certain sports centers had delivered many medals, such as the two struggling ‘akhadas’ in Delhi and Haryana, and Manipur in boxing, and wondered why such local influences to promote any sport could not take place anywhere else.
Papa Rao stated that he had written to then Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju about how the NDA government was “destroying” the ongoing programs that had spawned Olympians over the past 25-30 years. “Rijiju, although a tribe from Arunachal Pradesh, has destroyed this plan,” said Papa Rao. He said the sports sector had only received 0.07 percent of the Union budget and that both the public and private sectors had to spend more.
When asked why women outperform men in sports performance in the country, Papa Rao attributed it to women being more disciplined than men in general, and a response to the repression they had faced for thousands of years. “If we spend more money on sports for women, they will do much better than men,” he claimed.