Jaitley sporting enough to think of Indian sport (Comment)

Published: July 10, 2014

By Veturi Srivatsa

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is, perhaps, the first finance minister who paused during his “Super” budget speech to talk of the needs of Indian sport and also doled out fat sums to the youth affairs and sports ministry in his budget allocation.

For the 2014-15 fiscal, Jaitley has proposed Rs.1,769 crore for Youth Affairs & Sports as against the previous year’s alocation of Rs.1,207.76 crore. The allocation works out to an increase of 46 percent and it should be wholeheartedly welcomed by sportspersons in the country, even if it is a small beginning keeping in mind the overall context of Indian sport.

Ironically, Jaitley is associated with a sport which is seen as elitist by sportspersons of other disciplines only because of the status the cricketers enjoy and the money they command for their performance. Till recently he was the vice-president of the Indian Cricket Board and president of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).

One of Jaitley’s predecessors and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) colleague Yashwant Sinha was also closely connected with sport, as president of the All India Tennis Association (AITA), but not even he thought of Indian sport as much as he has done. Another finance minister, C. Subramaniam was also a president of the AITA when it had Lawn included in it (AILTA) and was a keen sports follower but during his time the government could not think of sport in a big way.

Most finance ministers had a perfunctory interest in sports and at least one of them Chaudhury Charan Singh tried his best to cut down on the budgetary allocation for the 1982 Asian Games, saying money need not be wasted raising flyovers all over Delhi for the Games!

Like in most decisions by this government, surely this spurt in the budgetary allocation will also be credited to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, more so the Rs.200 crore allocated for refurbishing the stadiums in the Kashmir valley. Last week, Modi was in the valley and talked of every Indian’s desire to see that the state made progress and the youth got employment.

Carrying forward Modi’s sentiments, Jaitley unveiled some sort of a vision document of the government for sport. Detailing, he said national level sports academies will be set up for major games in different parts of the country with international level facilities for training of accomplished athletes and for nurturing best talent in shooting, archery, boxing, wrestling, weightlifting and various track and field events.

Jaitley is right, and one need not go into the reasons, that J&K has a lot of sporting talent which is not “finding expression due to inadequate sports facilities”. Cricket all-rounder Pervez Rasool forced his way into the India team by the sheer weight of his performance and so has footballer Mehrajuddin Wadoo.

Modi’s stamp could also be seen in the allocation of Rs.100 crore for setting up India’s first sports university in Manipur. Like in the case of J&K, Modi promised to carry forward Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s vision for north-east.

If India has to encourage winter sports in a big way, J&K has to be the nodal state along with its neighbour Himachal Pradesh, and if archers, boxers, footballers and even hockey players have to be promoted, north-east is the place to concentrate on.

He has gone a step further and talked of unique sports traditions in the countries and states around the Himalayan region by holding an annual event inviting sportspersons from Nepal and Bhutan.

Jaitley has also not forgotten to help the sportspersons preparing for the Commonwealth Games in a fortnight in Glasgow, Scotland, and the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, in September-October. The national sports federations will be a relieved lot as the sports ministry expressed its inability to fund the trip to the two major sporting events and asked the federations to pay for their passage. Now the Rs.100 crore will come in handy to bale them out.

On paper, most of the decisions announced by the Finance Minister sound appealing, but it has to be seen when it comes to the implementation and the time-frame to complete the projects.

Jaitley deserves to be complimented for sparing so much time in his budgetary speech for sports and the good money he has allotted. A good beginning by the government and at least one veteran sports administrator, also from Jaitley’s party, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, would be happy. He is one sports administrator who has over the years held forth soon after the budget presentation to slam the government for not spending enough on sports.

(Veturi Srivatsa is the Sports Editor of IANS and the views expressed are personal. He can be reached at v.srivatsa@ians.in)

IANS 2014-07-10 19:30:05

[+]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Readers Comments (0)

Comments are closed.

Featured

Radio towers owned by KRPI are pictured on Thursday, May 28, near Ferndale, Washington. The towers are located south of Ferndale near the Silver Reef Casino.

Tsawwassen residents fear interference from relocated radio towers

KENT SPENCER VANCOUVER DESI Few things could be more alarming during a personal phone call than suddenly being interrupted by the sound of yelling on…
Continue Reading »

rape-India

Indian website Mintified’s social media campaign saying ‘all men are not rapists’ backfires

HINDUSTAN TIMES An Indian website’s social media campaign that “all men are not rapists” has come in for intense criticism over its “dangerous message”. Mintified started a…
Continue Reading »

Abbotsford

End Gang Life: Dial-a-doper is truly risky business

SGT. LINDSEY HOUGHTON SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. released brand new videos in the End Gang Life campaign. …
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Bollywood

Bollywood choreographer Shiamak’s team to rock Surrey with the annual Summer Funk

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood dance guru Shiamak Davar’s students are all set to rock Surrey in June with their annual Summer Funk. The ‘Rise of the…
Continue Reading »

Abbotsford

End Gang Life: Dial-a-doper is truly risky business

SGT. LINDSEY HOUGHTON SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. released brand new videos in the End Gang Life campaign. …
Continue Reading »

India-Vancouver-desi

Yoga Day organizers in Vancouver still meditating on details

IAN AUSTIN VANCOUVER DESI It’s shaping up to be one groovy day. June 21 is Car-Free Day in Vancouver, plus it’s International Yoga Day —…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

sexy legs and breasts

Men prefer brains over big breasts and long legs: Study

IANS London – What do men prefer, beauty or brains? According to a British evolutionary biologist, men prefer intelligence over big breasts and long legs…
Continue Reading »

Aga Khan

PM Harper, Aga Khan discuss threat posed by violent extremists

VANCOUVER DESI Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed his condolences to the Aga Khan Tuesday for the recent terrorist attack on the Ismaili community in Pakistan. The spiritual…
Continue Reading »

tallest man-India-desi

India’s tallest man spends his days in a cage-like structure posing for photos at an amusement park

VANCOUVER DESI Life is not easy for India’s tallest man Dharmendra Singh, who stands at 8-ft 1-inch, his height being the biggest barrier for his career and…
Continue Reading »

indian summer

It’s so hot in India right now the roads are literally melting

At least 1,100 dead in month-long heatwave THE ASSOCIATED PRESS & NATIONAL POST STAFF It’s so hot in India right now that the streets are…
Continue Reading »

transgender principal

India gets its first transgender college principal

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS KOLKATA, India — India has for the first time appointed a transgender as the principal of a college, a top education official…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood

Bollywood choreographer Shiamak’s team to rock Surrey with the annual Summer Funk

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood dance guru Shiamak Davar’s students are all set to rock Surrey in June with their annual Summer Funk. The ‘Rise of the…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood sex

Bollywood actress Lara Dutta is the surprise package in ‘Singh Is Bliing’

IANS Mumbai – Actor-filmmaker Prabhudheva, who is directing “Singh Is Bliing”, says Lara Dutta will be a surprise package in the film. “I was impressed…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood-Hollywood

Bollywood diva Priyanka Chopra hopes “after Quantico, Indian actors are taken seriously”

IANS Mumbai – She remembers being bullied as a “brownie” in her teenage years in the US. But now Priyanka Chopra, who has landed a…
Continue Reading »