Indian Hockey needs a savior journalist.
Indian hockey is in ICU & its only salvation is a good investigative journalist who ferrets out the truth & goes hammer and tong after all the bad apples in Indian Hockey. It needs a person who is willing to desist from the natural tendency of publishing controversial statements to sell newsprint. It needs a few good men to stand up for what is right & help change the culture of Hockey before it withers away in the vine.
We eternal fans are anguished by what has been happening in Indian hockey. It takes great courage to support a losing team, yet we do so because we love everything about the Indian game, the artistry, the breathtaking skills, the unassuming players, & people from all around the world have expressed the same sentiments on multiple occasions.
See the situation we are in;
We have dictators for sports administrators like K P S Gill, Jyotikumaran, Narinder Batra & the current selectors who add or subtract players in our national teams depending on their whims or fancies having no regard to their abilities or worse still taking bribes or bowing to influence peddlers. They play regionalism or dirty politics & all of us including journalists, stand by & let this gross injustice be perpetrated. We have past administrators & current ones fight it out in court & shamelessly try to hang onto their power & we just watch.
We have, former Olympians, the so called selection committee who barely watch any games of the players they are selecting and are responsible for the slide of Indian hockey that started during their era, yet do not have the honesty to introspect as to why it happened. They are loath admit to themselves that the game has really changed, that they are not that knowledgeable anymore & it is high time to allow somebody who observes these players everyday to make the final selection.
Yet we lovers of our game just watch this spectacle without even questioning them as to the appropriateness of their actions. Moreover by their arbitrary actions they are perpetrating on their current fellow hockey players the same treatment that befell them in their playing days and which they vociferously complained against. Their actions are suspect at the least, if not smacking of downright viciousness. We watch our Sports Ministries & their bureaucrats like Suresh Kalmadi play their power games, play one group against the other & shamelessly stand behind arcane rules, watching our game go relentlessly down the tubes. We watch Hockey India in cahoots with FIH, deny the affliation to venerable founding fathers type of institutions like Mumbai Hockey Association, being denied their due right–& do nothing.
What adds to the disaster is this:
We have a foreigner in Coach Brasa, who has no vested interest, who has tremendous credentials, who plays no regionalism or politics, & is genuinely trying to improve Hockey & we all standby & watch him being pilloried by the above mentioned actors, just because he does not play their games.
Doesn’t the journalist have a role to support what is in the best interest of the game & an individual who selflessly tries hard for his players, even if it brings on the wrath of his superiors, who asks for better food for his wards, & better training equipment, yet is rebuffed by those that show no feeling for their fellow Indians. Here is a person spending countless hours with the team away from his family & friends just to help Indian Hockey & when he asks for a prerogative, that all coaches have all over the world, a final say in the selection of the team he is denied that privilege & India just watches this injustice in silence.
When he complains about contractual defrauding, or promises not kept or SAI bureaucratic willful roadblocks or the system is bringing Indian hockey down, is it not the duty of all of us to investigate if this is really true. We have very talented players as alluded to by all, yet our hockey goes down relentlessly, culminating in us not making the Olympics for the first time, yet all the journalists just stand by & report the bad news, not one has the decency to do an investigative piece as to why this happened. They then open themselves to the charge, that all they are interested in is to sell newsprint & not in the betterment of the game.
To add to the insult, this is a repetition of the treatment by the same suspects (SAI, Sports Ministry, IHF), to Dr Ric Charlesworth, one of the worlds greatest players, member of parliament, Olympic winner, with multiple Aussie teams, renowned coach, who coached the current World Cup winning Aussie team on our soil, & all he wanted to do was help Indian Hockey, which he so admires. All our journalists & all Indians just stood by & watched this decidedly ungrateful spectacle shamelessly. Even now we continue this, when in Democratic India we watch Coach Brasa, who is speaking from his heart be muzzled, & his only fault is that he is speaking the truth as he sees it. So is he not allowed free speech as a democracy means or is our democracy a “sham”!
Is there not a single journalist out there that would like to put our beloved game back on its tracks. We, as fans have lost all hope that, the current guys running Indian hockey can right this ship, & we feel, possibly incorrectly, that only an investigative journalist, who can get to the bottom of all this, can help Indian Hockey& change its “System & Culture”
We fans are crying out for a journalist savior. Please help us out.