[Answered] Discuss how political interference in sports administration has led to poor performance of sports in India? Why it is important to establish accountability in sports administration in India?

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Issue of political interference in sports administration that led to poor sports performance. Why establishment of accountability is must in sports? Conclusion. Way forward.

Rather than just being a form of recreation, sport has become a matter of national pride and is both socially and economically important to the development of the country. However, in spite of the growth of sports in the country, there has not been any significant improvement in the management of sporting activities, with poor sports governance persisting at every level of administration. One of the main reasons for this has been increased political interference in sports governance in the country.

Issue of political interference in sports administration that led to poor sports performance:

  1. India, with a pool of talented sportspersons, hasn’t really been able to make a mark on the international stage. Despite the government spending a substantial amount of money in developing sports infrastructure and training methods, the country still needs proper administration and governance to uplift the standards.
  2. Sports federations and associations in India function in a very political manner having office bearers as politicians or businessmen.
  3. Most of the sporting federations in the country, including the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) are politically dominated organisations that build a compelling ground for a law which drives for the transparent administration of sports in the country.
  4. The federations need to be headed by experienced sports personalities who can understand the technicalities of the sport rather than by people who are money minded and corrupt.
  5. Given the manner in which politics has pervaded every sphere of life in India, it is inevitable for sports to not remain oblivious from political influence. E.g. Cricket, the most followed game in the country, has been deeply affected from the politicisation of sports. The office bearers of the BCCI, the administrative body for cricket in India, either have strong political backgrounds or have held political offices before.

Establishment of accountability is must in sports:

  1. A law is needed to prohibit people having a political background from holding positions in sports federations and associations.
  2. Running these federations without any political influence will be an immense boost for sports in the country.
  3. A stable solution that could go a long way in improving sports administration in the country is having ex-sportspersons take a step forward to work for sports by either joining politics or being office bearers of sports federations.
  4. Poor accountability lead to:
  5. Politicians being employed as the administrators.
  6. Heads of the sports organizations are simply people favoured by the ruling party.
  7. Poor Infrastructure which often lead to poor performance. This is mainly due to corruption in sports administration.

An apt example is that of Sachin Tendulkar, who retired from all formats of cricket in 2013, but continues to work towards the development of sports in India by being an active member of the Rajya Sabha and also being a part of the advisory committee of the BCCI. In another example, Padma Shri, Arjuna awardee and Olympic silver medallist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore was given independent charge of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

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