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All in The Family:
The Fat Cats of India's Olympic/Sports Mafia

GIRISH K.N. YADAV

 

 

 


New Delhi, India

You may recall that India was booted out of the Olympics a few weeks ago, and has not been allowed -- not even a measly facsimile of our flag -- into the Sochi Games currently underway in Russia.

They did mention India briefly during the opening ceremonies.

As the three Indians skulked their way into the stadium under the Olympic flag, the announcers and commentators reminded the world -- in 79 different languages and lord knows how many dialects -- of how India was now a pariah because its Olympic Association (“IOA”) was led by criminals and it would not be allowed back into the fold unless we ‘cleaned up’ our ’act’.

Well, you might’ve also heard by now that those same scoundrels got together last week and have, reluctantly and belatedly, elected a new committee.

And are telling the world and the International Olympic Committee (“IOC”) that they have now indeed cleaned up their act by appointing a fellow named N. Ramachandaran the new IOA President. He and a ’new’ team of ’clean’ office bearers, we’re being told, were finally elected ’unopposed’, even though it was 14 months ago that the IOA -- Indian Olympic Association -- was suspended.

Can we now please come and play with the other kids, Mr Ramachandaran was heard begging of the IOC the other day. At the very least, at the closing ceremonies? Please, please, pretty please!

Well, I wonder if Thomas Bach knows much about Mr Ramachandaran.

The latter is no ’new’ face. He’s an old ’pro’ from the sports industry, the most recent gig being as president of the World Squash Federation.

But here’s another tidbit you need to know about Narayana Ramachandran.

He’s the brother of Narayanaswami Srinivasan -- it’s true, they’re brothers, even though they go by different last names -- who is … yes, the president of the Board of Control of Cricket in India. It is no secret, Cricket in India is corruption-ridden from top to bottom. The Board is currently under investigation, and so is Mr Srininvasan for a number of ‘iffy’ matters.

That’s not all.

Mr Srinivasan’s son-in-law, Mr Gurunath Meiyappan, is currently being under a probe by the Supreme Court of India for a match-fixing scandal, and there is talk of Mr Srinivasan being embroiled in it as well.

Sports, as many of you may already know, is B-I-G business in India, the same way the Mafia is involved in ’big business’ in America. And it is tightly controlled by a handful of scoundrels who, for good reasons -- good for themselves, that is -- keep the control within "the family".

So, the billion dollar question is: do the IOC and Mr Bach know of the nexus between the these three good souls?

Now, some of my fellow countrymen may already be flailing their arms in disgust, trying to remind me of the presumption of innocence, and the fact that if you are a brother or an uncle to a crook doesn’t make you a crook.

Well. Let me get this straight, then …

Pray, you are not saying, are you then, that merely because Indira was the daughter of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru shouldn’t have been sufficient qualification for her to become Prime Minister?

Or that because Rajiv was her son shouldn’t have been the only reason why he was sworn in as Prime Minister after her death?

And that Rajiv’s wife shouldn’t have automatically become Congress Party chief after his death?

And that Rahul doesn’t qualify to be prime minister merely because he is Rajiv’s son?

And surely, you are not saying that it was not okay to kills thousands of innocent Sikhs in New Delhi in punishment merely because they shared the same religion as that of the two security personnel who knocked off Indira Gandhi?

Are you telling me that what’s good for the goose is NOT good for the gander?

That you can use the family or religious nexus in some cases, but not in others?

I have one more question:

Couldn’t you find a single honest man or woman -- out of 1,200,000,000 of us who populate this country -- someone who is untainted by scandal and criminality, to lead your Olympic Association?     

 

February 11, 2014        
 

Conversation about this article

1: Kulwant Singh (USA), February 11, 2014, 8:46 PM.

He doesn't appear to be the sporting type. Unless you consider eating samosas to be a sport.

2: Dr Birinder Singh Ahluwalia (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), February 13, 2014, 6:55 AM.

Guilty by mere association is an abhorrent concept in a well established, properly functioning democracy. (So far there is little proof that India is such a democracy.) However, in a well established, properly functioning democracy, the appearance of even the slightest "conflict of interest" or "improper behaviour" is sufficient basis for the rejection of an "appointment" or election, and would demand the resignation from any such appointment or election. I believe the new IOA president fails the litmus test.

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The Fat Cats of India's Olympic/Sports Mafia"









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