SpeakOut: Should politicians be heading sports federations?

Goal.com's Debjit Lahiri brings forward an age old debate on whether the politicians should be allowed to head different sports bodies or not...
With reports circulating of a public interest litigation in the Bombay High Court seeking ban on ministers heading sports associations, one once again puts up an age old debate on the table.

Should politicians be allowed to rule at the helm of sporting federations? Well, the initial reaction as a sports fan, is a straight NO ! Perhaps you would have a similar reaction.

It is after-all our 'negative' perceptions on Indian politicians, developed over a course of time, be it because of our experiences with them at the societal level or because of things we have heard and seen about them in the media, that has triggered this spontaneous reaction.

But hey! lets not simply jump into a conclusion here. We could do far better with a more logical and reasonable outlook. So, first of all, politicians are NOT bad, or rather they are not SUPPOSED to be bad. In fact, they are the people who are more adept in decision making and administrating than perhaps anyone of us. Skills that are essentially important for heading a sports association that includes tackling all sorts of problems that may arise in the body and at the same time guiding the game to prosperity!

So, doesn't that make them more suitable for the job? Well, apparently yes, but wait! Perhaps it would be unfair to simply count out the other side of the story.

Once again, let us put aside our perceptions about politicians and look at them simply as people who are good in administrating and decision making!

Now, all of these personalities do hold important positions in the Government structure and it would be safe to say that they are supposed to deal with issues that are far more important than sports. Take Sharad Pawar for example. He currently serves as the Minister of Agriculture, a key position in the office, dealing with the arguably country's most important asset. Agriculture forms the mainstay of Indian economy and being responsible for it's growth, it is very much understandable that sports should come secondary to Mr. Pawar.

So why entrust the responsibility on such a person for whom that particular sports is second fiddle in his agenda? One not only misses out on another candidate for whom this might be all in all but also adds an extra burden on the former who is having to handle highly important issues elsewhere.

This burden quite evidently does not allow them to devote proper attention to the game; the very reason we find so many developmental projects lag around despite them being initiated.

And say he does take up the sports body as his first priority, then again it is the country that suffers in other important fields!

Now, it is completely a separate issue whether the concerned is taking good care of his primary office in the first place, irrespective of other involvements, but simply on a hypothetical outlook, it isn't quite ideal to have a person on a dual role!

So, whats the advantage of having someone else, say a former player, to head the concerned sports body? Firstly, as discussed earlier, the sports would be his primary priority. Further, there are certain intricate issues in a game that only someone who has played the game would be best fit to understand and that is where a person with a playing history could play a vital role in the game's development.

It is indeed tough to take a stand but going by the reasons one cannot help but lean towards the latter side. Afterall, one always prefers the specialists; so why burden politicians with added responsibilities? Someone who has been there and seen it all, does seem to be a safer option!

What Do YOU think? Should Politicians Be Heading Sports Federations?

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