Needless controversies dogging Indian boxing
No end to the squabble
Indian boxing may have been wearing the ‘controversy hat’ in recent times with seemingly no light at the end of their tunnel. The controversies just don’t seem to abate with the sport once again in the doldrums with the recent removal of Boxing India President Sandeep Jajodia from his post through a no confidence motion passed at a special general meeting in New Delhi.
Jajodia, who took charge as newly-created Boxing India President only last September with Jay Kowli as secretary were expected to set things right in Indian boxing as there was a general feeling that Jajodia – a corporate bigwig and Jay – a reputed boxing referee and former pugilist – would get Indian boxing on track.
It may be worth recalling that Boxing India got its ‘provision recognition’ from the International Boxing Association (AIBA) in September 2014 and subsequently permanent membership after uncertainty gripped the future of Indian boxing after the world body had banned the erstwhile Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) in December 2012, citing possible manipulations in its conduct of elections.
Interestingly, the IABF had amended its constitution ahead of its September election to create the chairman's post to accommodate Abhay Singh Chautala at the end of his 12-year reign as the federation president and one is not sure whether this move prompted the AIBA to act tough. The sports ministry also slapped a ban on the IABF.
Why didn’t IOA recognise Boxing India?
Strangely, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) did not recognise Boxing India although the world body made India a permanent member of AIBA. Clearly, it seemed subtle politicking was in play behind closed doors as if to serve a message that the functionaries of the erstwhile IABF were keen to have a big say in Boxing India’s affairs and used the IOA non-recognition thing as a tool to keep BI under pressure.
For close to two years since December 2012, Indian boxers were allowed to take part in international competitions, but not under their national flag – surely a big disappointment for our pugilists who take a lot of pride in boxing for the country. Given this scenario, Boxing India was seen as the body which will clean up the mess and take the sport forward.
But in a matter of months, the inept functioning of Boxing India came to the fore. Boxing India President Sandeep Jajodia was believed to be inaccessible to most state units among others, while there was a line of thinking that Boxing India secretary Jay Kowli was not able to forge a much desired camaraderie with Jajodia in running the affairs of Boxing India.
One is not sure who is going to become the next Boxing India President, but one thing is clear – the new Boxing India President and secretary must get all its state units along and forge a united front or else the same controversies will corrode Indian boxing.