May 4, 2010

By other means, minus the shooting

Do students of the Political Sciences study sports federations? They should. To my mind, these associations exhibit a purer form of politics than that seen in conventional politics of state governance.

Several limiting constraints are eliminated in such an arena. Chief among these is no longer having to adhere to a delineated ideology, which allows free rein to individual preferences. One is therefore not restricted in choosing partners just to remain on the right (or left) side of a House. There are no whip-py actions which ease the process of floor-crossing. There is no need to publish a manifesto with manifestly unattainable goals of progress. A "horses for courses" policy can be applied to trading of allegiances. In fact, you could think of it as a market free of any artificial friction.

This state of affairs is not restricted to India. For long, the conduct of FIFA's top echelon has come under fire, with the likes of Sepp Blatter having demonstrated a slipperiness and an appeasement policy of certain federations (in return for voting support) that mirrors some of our best coalition tactics.

I have long felt that the members of the BCCI are best equipped at the sport of sport administration, rather than the sport of cricket. Politicians of all hues mix there to form a kaleidoscope of changing alliances that are trickier to sort out than the holdings of an IPL team. Perhaps there could be an upper limit of say, 50, to be a BCCI office-bearer, and the gentlemen currently in charge could use the BCCI as a sort of a junior (under-19?) league to groom their 'scions'?

The Sports Minister1 has set about putting in barriers to people being BDPLs. (Ironically, the Minister is a man of a vintage higher than the retirement age he has proposed for heads of sports federations.) Not surprisingly, the various presidents have spoken in unison against the move, which restricted their tenure to twelve years. That's right, twelve years. That's Six Olympics, Three Football World Cups, Twelve IPLs, and at the current rate, 12 World T20s. Clearly, these guys are insatiable.

Expressing gratitude to the sporting gods (who have otherwise clearly abdicated all responsibilities and are partying in one of Allen Stanford's beach resorts) for the lack of a Quizzing Federation of India (no, this isn't the one) we end with a trivia question:

Which pair of brothers respectively head the Federations of the largely unrelated sports of Table Tennis and Boxing?

1: To his credit though, M.S.Gill has been a keen mountaineer and patronised that sport in India


Gagan said...

Six Olympics? Shouldn't it be 3?
The brothers Ajay and Abhay (?) Chautala

Unknown said...

Nope, don't forget the Winter Olympics :-) Correct on the Brothers Chautala!