Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel is back in the trolling news again and this time it is for the kabaddi incident that took place a couple of weeks back. Good that he was present in the stadium to cheer up the players but it seems that he fails to understand when he needs to keep aside his ascendancy.
After presenting the trophy to India, instead of stepping off from the podium he continued staying right there much beyond what was required just so that he could be photographed in the same frame along with the real stars. People were furious, and said he was “trying to steal attention from the players”. The angry tweets are a testament to that.
Also he was in the news for all the wrong reasons during the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro for his obtrusive behavior and his posse reportedly were aggressive and rude. There were reports of him trying to get past certain areas at the venues with unauthorized individuals and on being stopped, his people tried to push past the organizing staff.
Not just that, Vijay Goel kept us ‘entertaining’ us with his hilarious misquotes during the Games. He misspelled Dipa Karmakar’s name while congratulating her on Twitter. He called her Dipa Karmanakar and was heavily criticized on social media for messing up the name of an athlete who missed out on the bronze by a bristle. “Best of luck Dipa Karmanakar, Indian Artistic Gymnastic, Women’s vault #KheloIndia #JeetoRio,” was what he tweeted.
In another incident, he wished track and field athlete Srabani Nanda ahead of her event using the image of sprinter Dutee Chand, another Indian athlete who failed to qualify for the 100m semi-finals in the Rio Olympics. He realized his mistake quickly and removed the tweet but the 62-year-old bungled up again in his correction and this time he wished her luck well after her event was over.
And then in one media interaction, while he was taking the names of the Khel Ratna, Dhyan Chand, Dronacharya and Tenzing Norgay awardees, who met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rio Olympics stalwarts PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik were addressed as “gold medallists” by him, in spite of bearing witness to both the matches.
More than enough reasons for the Netizens to spew their anger all over social media. Right? It isn’t necessary to be a sportsperson in order to become a sports minister but one should have the essential knowledge about the field he is in. After the brilliant performance of the Phogat sisters in the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, the previous UPA Government had promised the famous Phogat family from Haryana a sum of forty lakhs and a good amount of land, to build their academy.
The Haryana Sports Ministry is yet to provide them the money and sanction them the land. Being the sports minister, Vijay Goel should have communicated with the state sports ministers and ensured that these flaws were taken care of, which clearly, he didn’t do yet. At least he should have used his authoritative power and did his part after knowing the sisters contributions to Indian women’s wrestling.
And also who takes sports tips from a Bollywood actor? His tweet, “Met Sunil Shetty, discussed constructive steps for the encouragement & development of Sports in India” was enough to make the nation troll him again. A sports minister with limited knowledge in sports and his country’s athletes isn’t fit enough to play his role and especially, in a sports crazy nation like, India.
An ‘opportunity’ to flaunt his power?
His job is to take care of the players’ requirements and work for their betterment and not just click selfies with them, when they are exhausted or to give away national awards. Indeed it is a good initiative to include sports in the school curriculum because to impart the desired importance of sports, it should be made a compulsory subject at the school level. But why will individuals opt for a career in sports in a country like India, where there is still not much scope for a better future in it, if pursued?
Not everyone can be a Saina Nehwal or a Leander Paes but there are plenty of other outstanding players who are simply not known to the nation. Isn’t it the work of the sports minister to work on these matters but on the other hand we doubt if he will know Deepika Pallikal or Anju Bobby George considering the fact he didn’t even know Dipa Karmakar’s surname properly in spite of being physically present in the Olympics.
Just giving away a large sum of money to the players post their international wins won’t be of much help. One needs to delve into their problems and solve them and undoubtedly it’s the job of the sports minister to keep track of such intricate details. To perform at the international level, one requires adequate internationalized standards of equipment which we don’t really have. Just having a panel discussion of what we lack won’t fetch us medals.
It’s high time for the Prime Minister to take note of the sports minister’s lackadaisical work and how deeply he is hurting the nation’s reputation and sentiments day after day with his obnoxious and unorthodox talks and ways.
This article was first published on The Logical Indians