Interference in Team Selection: Story of Sports in India

Cricket in India is more than a sport. It is a religion which is followed by billions of crazy fans. This popularity has increased the flow of money in the sport as well. This can be attributed to the success of the team at international level and tremendous marketing strategy. The introduction of Indian Premier League last year changed the careers of many aspiring cricketers in terms of monetary compensation.

As the sport has grown in the country so has the competition. There is a very stiff competition for selection in district, state and national team in all categories. And this cut throat competition has lead to corruption in the system as well. The corruption is very much prevalent in the various sports played in India. The influential people in the association have ensured the selection of “their wards” in the team by hook or crook. We have come across various stories in newspapers. But perhaps for the first time the players have revolted for such malpractices against the association.

Indian Cricket Star, Virender Sehwag has made allegation against Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) for manipulation in the selection of Delhi under-16 and under-19 team and Ranji teams. Sehwag had lashed out against the DDCA administration on Sunday. “It has often happened that four selectors get together and vote for ‘their’ players, leaving the chairman of the committee and me defeated,” he said. “Especially when I am on national duty, they put pressure on the stand-in captains and the interference becomes more rampant.” There was allegation leveled on Sehwag as well that he has been allotted 23 acres of land by Harayana Government and thus he wants to leave Delhi and represent Haryana in the upcoming Ranji Trophy Tournament. But later few other senior and former players backed Viru thus giving ample of reasons to affirm that what Sehwag is saying is true. These names include Gautam Gambhir, Ishant Sharma, Ashish Nehra, Aakash Chopra and Mithun Manahas.

“There’s a need to bring about transparency in the selection process. If things don’t improve, I will not hesitate to move out of Delhi this year itself,” Gambhir said. Nehra, meanwhile, said this was probably the DDCA’s last chance to set things right. “The manner in which the DDCA functions, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to leave Delhi. I think this is the last chance for the association to clean up their mess. For two years, when I was injured, I didn’t hear one word from anyone, and the moment I made my comeback, they are all looking to cash in on me,” he said.

Mark Twain once said- “It is curious – curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare.” As a Cricket fan, I am in full support of the players who have shown moral courage to speak for the legitimate. If they are very genuine in their allegations then they must be supported and backed. They have shown courage to take on the association directly. Mind you, it requires lots of guts to revolt but someone needs to do that to keep things right. DDCA must ensure that it sorts out matter with the players and must not act reluctantly by allowing players to leave. Instead the nepotistic should be taught a lesson. This is an issue which concerns all the sport in country and it will be good for sporting fraternity if they can show such courage and stand for what is just.

It is a fight not against the system only but also for the ethics and well being of the sport as well.  If such corruption is allowed then many young dreams will die young and many careers will finish before they start.

The Indian Political System – As I See it

This is purely based on my analysis and I might be wrong in my interpretations – so feel free to criticize me and have a healthy discussion, I anyway love making mistakes , learning and then evolving from there on. And before I start , this is Quite Serious and Insightful unlike my other posts.

” This Politician Doesn’t Deserve My Vote ”
” All politician suck big time. – (PJ) What ? ”
” All are corrupt , inefficient and India will always remain this way – Lets Shift to America , UK etc. ”

During the past few years I have met many people who are part of the system (MPs , MLAs , Corporators etc.) and also people who have been constantly challenging the system like Ramesh Ramnathan ( Janagraha) , Arvind Kejriwal ( RTI ) , Capt. Gopinath etc. and my opinion about this whole system and setup has undergone a sea change. I was always of opinion that the best way to solve India’s problems is to make all the politician stand in a line and then shoot some of them, so that the rest of them start working properly. Though I still feel that it could be one of the solutions but I have also realized that leaders are nothing but a true reflection of the people they represent (Majority obviously) or as they say in Hindi , Jaisi Praja – Waisa Raja.

Let me explain better with the real life experiences I had. I am sure most of you would have seen SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE and might have been angered and disgusted at the way Mr. Danny Boyle had portrayed the slums. But trust me its much more worse than that. The last time I happened to travel through an internal road of a slum, atleast half of it was filled with filth, consisting faeces and god knows what else (Just the thought of that moment , makes me uneasy) and then there are people sitting on their charpais , on the same road and cutting vegetables , making chotis , eating food, etc. like any of us would normally do in our balconies. Politicians visit such places, NGOs visit , I and U might visit(only if its unavoidable) but do you think anyone would want to clean that filth ??? None !!!! Instead we would try to teach children, give them money, clothes, etc. because we know that they live there and its them who got to make sure things are clean and neat. Even if someone takes the initiative and cleans it up, they would make sure that it again goes back to its old condition within no time because that is their system; that is how they have been living , that is a part of their habits and lifestyle.

The same applies to us in India too, when we people are so used to filth around us, why would a handful of us at the Helm of Power be responsible for cleaning it?

Now let me familiarize you with the election process in India.

Over 90% of the people do not get basic food and money to survive.

Over 90% do not understand government policies, fiscal policies, infrastructure expenditure, industrialization and other similar things.

What really matters to them is the food that they can get and its all about those 2 rupees per kilo rice, money that is spent, those bottles of Beer that are splurged,etc. which make a party win and come back to power again.

With the so-called educated population who can understand macro factors and differentiate between good and bad being just 10%, out of which only around 70% do not vote.

And to reach out to billions through people employed as “party workers”, requiring a daily expenditure of approximately Rs.1000 per person per day, it basically means that just to merely contest an election and have any chances of winning, you need a minimum of a whopping Rs. 25 Crores for  the level of a MP, 8 Crores for an MLA and around just a crore for a corporator.

And when someone is spending so much, along with other party expenses, marketing expenses, etc., with no system of Political Donation unlike America wherein people are educated, literate, self-sufficient (to the scale of 90%), what else can one expect???

Trust me, from my experience, over 30% Politicians want to work genuinely for the Public but its the system, bureaucracy and other Politicians which literally handicap them. So how do you solve the problem?? Get smarter, educated people and make them understand and form a higher, smarter vote bank with over 70% from current 10% and trust me Indian Political System will be much much better than America’s.
I will try to put up one effective solution to all the problems keeping all the problems in mind. Do check that out too.

Just imagine that you have full access to RBI with Billions of Dollars, No police, No Parents, No teachers to bother you, literally no one to ask you any questions or hold you accountable. What would you do???

Do you keep the cash for a billion People whom you don’t even know, or have sex, deposit the cash in Swiss Account, buy properties and live life king size?

Its simple. There are only a handful who have skills to play through the system and climb to positions where they get access, with hardly a handful to question, then what do you expect ??

Lastly, the other day one of my friend, during a long discussion was complaining about how the politicians have ruined this country: “They are supposed to do this and that, but all they do is nothing. Its all about criminals and muscle power”.

Later, we saw a woman who had parked her vehicle at the wrong place. I told him that i will go and tell her its wrong. That is what i am supposed to do. Whether she listens to me or not is a different story altogether, but let me do what i am supposed to do. And he said “NO NO, its her wish, let her do what she wants. How does it bother you and what difference does it make to you?”.

This is the case with most of us. We complain and expect everyone else to do what they are supposed to do without doing what we are supposed to do. :)

And frankly, most of the times we are clueless and handicapped and don’t even know what we can do. Slums are too far, NGOs are run by government officials to make money.

I cannot commit, i have no time, am not good at this – I will try to address all of these issues along with a solution – watch out for my next post.

Hopefully this can initiate a debate and action or not, I hope people will be forced to think. In case you have liked it and feel it makes sense , then please do SHARE it with your friends, family & contacts.

Rohit Begwani
rohitbegwani@gmail.com

Let us join in the march for a better India

Youth for Equality (YFE) is a group of alert aware citizens who share the youthfulness to believe in ourselves to “Get the system right and keep the system right”. YFE is an all India organization encompassing men and women of all walks of life irrespective of caste, creed, class, religion and region. It draws its strength from its large support base mainly from the youth and students of India along with all the responsible citizen of the country. YFE along with the Art of Living has come together to start a campaign called ATAC (Against Terrorism Against Corruption).
The March

His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder, Art of Living, has conceptualized this march to awaken and empower citizens in order to create an on-ground structure that will actually effect a change in societal circumstances and situations, in keeping with His vision and mission of a stress-free, violence-free planet where individuals contribute towards the goal of a One-World Family. The objective of the march is to awaken and empower the people of India, especially the youth, to participate in the democratic process. This march is the first step of a nationwide campaign aimed at amplifying the collective voice of the citizens and propelling the youth of India against Corruption and Terrorism. We Endeavour to catalyze this movement, across the nation, with a 3 fold solution: AWARENESS, ACCOUNTABILITY & ACTION.

With this motive Youth for Equality along with WAYE and AOL has planned a march on March 1st, 2009. India has been badly hit by terrorism in last decade or so and yet our government hasn’t done any concrete step to enhance the security and intelligence of the country. Corruption, another evil in our system is eating up all the progress which we are making towards becoming a developed nation. If we want to prosper it is very essential to uproot terrorism and corruption. As a country, we need to actively start moving in a concerted way against these twin evils that are now threatening our very existence. So let us send out a call to our country to create a safe society. A society where there is no fear in walking into an airplane, a train or a bus. Or when we enter a mall, a cinema or a hotel, with our children. Or even our very own homes.

Let us take responsibility and bring the change – for our future and our future generations. Ask not what your country can do for you, Ask what can you do For your country.
We need to take future in our hands; see it resting on our palms and take nation ahead.

Change is inevitable and it is important that Indian Youth takes the responsibility to bring the change. So, here is the call for all the citizens whose conscience is yet awake and they want to make the system effective. Be the Change.

Join the march

The March

Website: http://www.themarch.in

SMS MARCH <Your Name> to 56767 to get the latest details about march.

You can also register with YFE by sending ON YOUTH4EQUALITY to 09870807070

Remember, It’s no good when citizens of nation only complain and expect someone else to fix their problems.

How corrupt are we?

Corruption seems to be an endemic part of India as the latest report of Transparency International rates India as the 85th most corrupt country in the world but did we really need an international report to tell us as to how corrupt we are?
New Zealand, Sweden and Denmark seem to be from a different planet all together as they have been voted as the least corrupt countries all over. The redeeming fact was that our next door neighbor Pakistan is at the 134th position, but seeing our economic progress and the lack of theirs, Pakistan is not really the country that we should be comparing with. Where India and China were at par at the 72nd position last year, India has slipped whereas the Chinese despite hosting the most high profile event of the World- the Beijing Olympics have maintained their position.
The harsh reality is that corruption in India is not limited to the politicians and the government employees. It is woven in the social fabric of our country and is tangible in every section of society. Just look around you and you will see the impact of Corruption. The traffic policeman standing at the signal, the ticket checker at the railway station, the peon in the college premises have all been involved in corruption. But to say that these are the only people who breed corruption would be giving credit where it is not entirely due. For we are the people because of whom corruption thrives in our country.  It isn’t just the public sector where corruption thrives but the entire society. The person who offers the bribe is equally corrupt as the person who accepts is. So is it a lack of the respect for the law that makes us corrupt? Is the law enforcement in our country so weak that people believe they can get away with such activities?
The differentiating factor between India and the other nations of the world was its rich culture and heritage and its spiritual and religious outlook. But inspite of all this corruption has thrived in India. Look every where whether it is the public sector, private sector, the government, the judiciary and even the armed forces, none of them can stand up and say that we are not corrupt. Is there something wrong in our parental and teaching process for not instilling morals in us?
Perhaps this is the cynic view that many NRI’s hold once they have shifted abroad. The reason why they refrain from coming back to the country is corruption. The irrational rules of the system, the inefficient bureaucracy and the corrupt society are what confirm their beliefs. And those are the feelings shared by many of us staying within the country.
India is on the threshold of becoming a superpower in the world. But all these dreams can not be realized if corruption were to continue. One of the actors in Rang De Basanti had said, “No country is born great, it has to be made great”. It applies to every country including ours. Strong efforts need to be taken by all of us in order to curb corruption. The Right to information (RTI) act was a great step in empowering the common man in his fight against the system. Now he has the courage to challenge corruption. But this is not enough. For starters we could have separate to speed up the corruption cases, the media could play a bigger role in tarnishing the image of corrupt people in public and we could have stronger laws to deter corruption. We might have received freedom from the British more than six decades ago but we are yet to receive freedom from the perils of corruption. Corruption is like a termite which if not stopped now could eat up our entire society. But as Mahatma Gandhi had once said, “Be the change you want to see in the World” – the efforts will have to begin from our side.

Eradicating the Evils of Corruption

Corruption is a cancer eating into the vitals of our society. It does not allow the under developed and developing nations to transcend and become developed nations. Most developing countries are doing well on many fronts – except tackling corruption – which in turn affects many development projects and impacts the grassroots by depriving the marginalised of essential benefits.

The rich are growing richer at the cost of the poor.

What is needed is a one-stop solution for solving the evil of Corruption.

The solution has to change the face of our society and take it from the downward path to one of upward growth.

One ideal solution would be, to register every citizen uniquely using their biometric (all finger prints, all fingers or palm vein) and issue Multi Purpose Biometric Smart Card cum Debit Card, linked to a Cashless Money Account.

Every transaction of every individual and organisation will be made through the Biometric Smart Card and the transactions will be made transparent on the web.

A suitable ‘e-Administration’ communication and transparency tool should be available for tracking all communications and compliance online by anyone anywhere. This would minimise corruption, to the point of eliminating it. It will create a level playing field.

Total transparency and accountability needs to be made a way of life. Every transaction must be made public, for public scrutiny. This would deter us from doing any thing on the sly.

We need to create a new world order, where every citizen has an equality of opportunity, and allow every individual to explore their potentials to the maximum.

This would encourage everyone to contribute their full potential, for the growth of the community and society at large without impeding the growth of others.


– Written by Kris Dev, ICT and e-Governance Consultant with 30 years global experience in Asia and Americas.