An open letter to the Prime Minister

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes an open letter to the Prime Minister

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Dear Prime Minister

Glad to know that you have started taking interest in sports. We wholeheartedly support your initiative to bring our football to decent world rankings by inviting Brazil to overhaul our domestic football scenario. One hopes, our mandarins ruling the football, led by your friend and colleague, Mr Das Munshi, do not interfere with your idea and take Brazil down with us to some where around 125 or so! Since you have the Indian Football at heart, as a first step, please don’t allow him anywhere near a football ground for a period of at least five years.

The purpose of this letter is to appeal to you do something similar for Indian hockey. Indian hockey led by Mr. K.P.S. Gill, Jyothikumaran et al are exploring the depths our country could reach. They are succeeding in their efforts, as can be seen that we reach new low in each tournament year after year!

“The Hockey Wizard,” as the world calls him—Dhyan Chand—must be doing somersaults in his grave.

Indian hockey with great players such as Balbir Singh, Udham Singh, Balbir (Jr.), Leslie Claudius, Rajagopal, Deshmuthu, Govinda, Mohammed Shahid and Dhanraj Pillay to name only a few kept our National Flag flying for decades.

Jana Gana Mana played after Olympics would bring goose pimples and a lump in Nation’s collective throat.

As the team loses tournament after tournament, often ending in the bottom-half, players are sacked, coaches are tossed out, but the officials sit on their seats as if stuck with glue.

They are running Indian hockey like their personal fiefdom not accountable to the people, sporting public, the sports ministry, the Parliament or the nation at large.

It is only a sport we agree, but then how long can a set of people dearly hold on to their positions and be unaccountable with ‘a devil may care’ attitude, despite an avalanche of failures ever since they took charge, eons ago?

Since they are in a mood to quit, they should be thrown out, shown the door in the interest of Indian Hockey.

These gentlemen who only know how to play that have reduced hockey, once a National Game, to hookey.

Please act before our (un)friendly neighbour offers tips to you improve hockey in India when you visit them next.

Yours sincerely
ERR