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El juez del Tribunal Supremo Antonin Scalia, conocido por sus decisiones reaccionarias, racistas, anti-mujer, anti-gay y contra la clase obrera, las cuales él disfrazó como eruditas y precisas interpretaciones del texto legal, murió repentinamente el 13 de febrero. Recordando su nombramiento a la corte en 1986, algunos pueden decir que su muerte llegó 30 años muy tarde. Teniendo en cuenta el dicho de que se debe decir solo cosas buenas de los muertos o nada en absoluto, no decimos nada.Pero sí tenemos algo que decir sobre el Tribunal Supremo de los Estados Unidos (TSEU). Reacciones políticas iniciales a la muerte de Scalia sugieren que habrá una batalla real dentro de la clase dominante — en este caso entre los dos partidos políticos capitalistas grandes – sobre el próximo nombramiento. Se espera que las próximas decisiones del TSEU resultarán en votos de 4-4. La batalla puede ser un conflicto tan amargo como las próximas elecciones presidenciales, aunque una sin el voto popular. La pregunta es: ¿Puede la clase trabajadora entrar en esta batalla interna de la clase dominante con demandas independientes?De las tres ramas del gobierno de EUA — la rama legislativa, el Congreso; la rama ejecutiva, el Presidente; y la rama judicial, el Tribunal Supremo — el Tribunal Supremo es la menos democrática. Sus miembros no son elegidos, son nombrados por vida por el Presidente y son aprobados por el Senado el cual está compuesto de millonarios, y ha sido el baluarte más estable de opresión y explotación de clase. El TS defendió a los dueños de esclavas/os en el siglo 19 y a los grandes capitalistas y banqueros contra la clase trabajadora y los pueblos oprimidos en los siglos 20 y 21, con solo unas pocas excepciones en tiempos de gran lucha de masas.En un artículo del 20 de julio de 1989, el presidente del Partido Workers World – Mundo Obrero Sam Marcy escribió que a pesar del proceso de ampliación de los derechos de voto a las/os afroamericanos, mujeres y jóvenes desde que fue escrita la Constitución, “ha habido un proceso social y económico simultáneo que es superior en fuerzas. Ese es el proceso de concentración del poder en instituciones no democráticas. Proviene de la concentración de los medios de producción en manos de una clase dominante que tiene el poder y lo distribuye en las zonas más propicias para ella. Así que no es accidental que el poder en última instancia deba ser ejercido por el Tribunal Supremo. Ese es más fiable para ellos, más conservador y que responde solo a aquellos que les han designado” (Para leer el artículo completo, ver tinyurl.com/hqbw146)Mientras que los partidos Demócrata y Republicano chocan entre ellos sobre si el Tribunal Supremo debe ser un obstáculo flexible o rígido para el progreso social, la clase trabajadora y los pueblos oprimidos deben utilizar la apertura creada por este conflicto para exponer la naturaleza antidemocrática de la corte y exigir el fin de su papel como órgano designado a defender el dominio de la clase de los súper-ricos.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
Kolkata: The just-concluded two-Test series between India and New Zealand is definitely one Virat Kohli and boys would wish to forget like a bad dream. Not only did they lose the two matches, but they were also humbled in every department laying bare the chinks in their armor which, in recent past, lay hidden under the veneer of success, mostly at home. And what cost India the series was their inability to shave off the tail in both the Tests.While India did come into the Test series knowing that playing in testing New Zealand conditions was going to be tough. But one aspect that gave much confidence was India’s bowling battery. In fact, India was fortunate to get the services of Ishant Sharma ahead of the first Test. It is another story that he had walked into the game, not 100 percent and ended up sitting out the second game. But what would have hurt India more was the failure against the wagging Kiwi tail.While Shami and Bumrah did bowl like champions on the second morning of the second Test, even they failed to clean the tail and what could have been a healthy lead of around 60-70 runs, ended up being a single-digit lead and with it, the Kiwis roared back into the game and sealed it on the third afternoon.And this has been India’s problem for some time now and was all the more evident in New Zealand despite the bowlers getting helpful conditions. Off-spinner R. Ashwin, who did not play the second Test, had said that New Zealand has some good tailenders who can bat really well.While there is some truth to that, India’s below-par show can be gauged by numbers which show that while the Kiwi bowlers made the most of the conditions and used their skill to good effect, Indians fell flat on their faces.The average of New Zealand’s eighth to tenth-wicket partnerships stood at 34.16 with two 50-plus stands in this series. In contrast, India’s tailenders managed just 124 in four innings at an average of 10.33.In the first innings of the first Test, the hugely impressive Kyle Jamieson and Colin de Grandhomme added 71 runs for the eighth wicket and then the towering Jamieson and Trent Boult shared 38 runs for the final wicket to take the lead to 183. India lost the Test by 10 wickets.In the second Test, Jamieson and Neil Wagner shared a 51-run stand for the eighth wicket to keep the first-innings deficit to just seven runs, which in the end proved to be key as India lost by seven wickets. India had New Zealand on the mat in the first essay at 153/7, but from there on the tail wagged long and hit another 82 runs to walk right back into the game.It was in the 2014-15 period in the successive series in England (average 42.92) and Australia (43.50) that India’s bowlers had conceded a higher average to the opposition’s last three wickets. Clearly, it is time the bowlers looked at the issue with utmost seriousness. IANSAlso Read: Indian men’s hockey team achieve all-time highest ranking, jumps to 4th spotAlso Watch: Swearing-in Ceremony of Pallav Bhattacharyya as new Chairman of APSC held today
That, at least, is the story today, Scott’s tenure such an unmitigated natural disaster that his belated dismissal works well as an aftershock.Personally, I have no idea if Thibodeau would have been the ideal choice as this team’s next coach. He was pretty good in Chicago, where his biggest failing was that he kept allowing Derrick Rose to get hurt.But George Karl was pretty good in Seattle and Denver and even Milwaukee before going to Sacramento and spending most of the past season answering questions about why he hadn’t been fired yet.Likewise, I’m not 100 percent certain Luke Walton is the Lakers’ answer. Sure, he had a ridiculously impressive record — 39-4 — filling in at Golden State this season. But, let’s be frank, anyone could coach the defending champions, even Byron Scott.The one thing I do know is that Jeff Van Gundy now has been linked to every available job in basketball and beyond. I’m sure if Axl Rose had said no, Van Gundy today would head the list of candidates to be the next lead singer of AC/DC. Starting over again with another new coach — Scott’s replacement will be the Lakers’ fourth since Phil Jackson left in 2011 — might seem like another delay in the team’s return to relevance, relevance that is, as it relates to winning.The Lakers never have stopped mattering. As evidence, I point to a passionate debate I heard on a national radio show two months ago. Three people were arguing over the on-court worth of Roy Hibbert. Folks, I’ll be honest, after about the Lakers’ third preseason game, I never once thought about Roy Hibbert again.As a way to encourage otherwise frustrated Lakers fans, however, I’ll note that any delay in their success only adds to the pressure on Jim Buss, who holds the official title of team vice president and unofficial title of team weak link.Buss is pretty much universally considered to be the worst thing to happen to the Lakers since his late father, Jerry, was the best thing to happen to the Lakers.It was two years ago that Buss told the Los Angeles Times he would step aside if the Lakers weren’t contending for the Western Conference title “in three or four years,” and let this be a reminder that words can be used as weapons.As soon as after next season, Buss could be forced to answer to his own publicly stated expectations, his completely on-the-record assurance looking more and more like a way off-the-mark projection.The only way this changes is if the 2016-17 Lakers do contend, a development so beyond belief that trying to envision it could tear the meniscus of your imagination. Sure, they’ll have a ton of salary-cap space this summer. But the biggest boxers in the world still won’t fit the skinniest elephant.Buss is very much on the clock here, as should be General Manager Mitch Kupchak, the Lakers’ decision-makers recently shooting at a percentage not seen around here since Shaquille O’Neal stopped missing free throws.The Steve Nash decision. The Dwight Howard decision. Four years of Nick Young. One season of nothing but Kobe Bryant. The two misfiring Mikes — Brown and D’Antoni. All those free agents who had the power to decide and decided against the Lakers.Remember when everything — on and off the court — just seemed to go this team’s way? Then an old guy in a suit, David Stern, did something many of the NBA’s best players have found impossible: He stopped Chris Paul one-on-one, forever altering two franchises.After he was hired, D’Antoni talked about improving the Lakers’ offense. After he was hired, Scott talked about improving the Lakers’ defense. Both men now have time to sit back and talk about how those plans worked out.I can’t wait to hear what the next Lakers coach intends to improve. Having covered the offense and the defense, who knows? Special teams?At Scott’s introductory news conference — only 21 months ago — he posed for photos with Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jamaal Wilkes. At one point, Johnson announced, “‘Showtime’ is back, baby.”The words couldn’t sound any more absurd than they do today. “Showtime” is history and now, too, is Byron Scott.In the next few months, the fate of the Lakers will be determined by a bunch of decisions, only one of which will be who’s going to coach.Like watching Shaq at the free-throw line, it might be safest to look away and wait for the crowd’s reaction. There’s no way, of course, they can win in this.But then, the good news is everyone is used to them not winning by now. I mean, these are the Lakers.So, even if firing Byron Scott was the absolute right decision, they still messed up by not firing him quickly enough to hire Tom Thibodeau when they had the chance, right?Somehow, what already was the worst team in franchise history just got a little more worse, the 2015-16 Lakers tacking on one final defeat after the locker room had been packed up for another entirely too long offseason. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
By Bruce Fuhr,The Nelson Daily SportsChris Shaw continues to shuffle the deck chairs on the Good Ship Leaf.The rookie coach and GM traded local Nelson Minor Hockey League product Adrian Moyls to the Kimberley Dynamiters in a Kootenay International Junior Hockey League trade between two Kootenay Conference teams.Also rumoured to be going to the Eddie Mountain squad, but not confirmed by Shaw, is the KIJHL rights to defenceman Bennett Hambrook.Hambrook, with a goal in 12 games, now plays for Prince George Spruce Kings of the B.C. Hockey League.Heading to the Heritage City is 6-foot, 184-pound Brennan Foreman.“We’ve added another player in Brennan Foreman who scored 20 goals last year,” Shaw said from his office in the NDCC Arena Wednesday. “He’s a two-way player whose a shutdown guy and proven offensive player.”Shaw said it was tough to trade the local player from the team. However, Moyls really didn’t produce for Nelson as a 20-year-old, scoring three goals for 11 points in 18 games.“This was a very tough decision,” Shaw confessed. “This was a situation where (Adrian) had never played away from home and Kimberley really wanted him.”“Brennan (Foreman) is also a local kid (from Marysville) so hopefully the change will be beneficial to both kids,” Shaw added.The deal comes on the heels of the Leafs acquiring rugged winger Joel Stewart from the Spokane Braves.Both players are expected to be in the lineup when Nelson travels to Grand Forks for the return visit of a home-and-home series.The Leafs fired the first serve, winning 5-2 Saturday in fight-filled contest.Nelson plays host to one of the hottest teams in the entire KIJHL, when the Kamloops Storm visits the Heritage City Saturday. Kamloops has reeled off nine wins in its last 10 games.Sunday Nelson hosts Columbia Valley Rockies in an afternoon affair.As for the shuffling of the deck chairs, Shaw hopes his wheeling and dealing is complete.“I hope so,” he said. “I’m not really looking to make any other deals but at the same time when you have a bulk of injuries you don’t really have any choice.”[email protected]
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Exactly what is required in maintaining a valid Veterinary-Client-Patient-Relationship as described in the Veterinary Feed Directive?A veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR) is defined by the American Veterinary Medical Association as the basis for interaction among veterinarians, their clients, and their patients and is critical to the health of your animal. A VCPR means that all of the following are required.1. The veterinarian has assumed the responsibility for making clinical judgments regarding the health of the patient and the client has agreed to follow the veterinarians’ instructions.2. The veterinarian has sufficient knowledge of the patient to initiate at least a general or preliminary diagnosis of the medical condition of the patient. This means that the veterinarian is personally acquainted with the keeping and care of the patient by virtue of a timely examination of the patient by the veterinarian, or medically appropriate and timely visits by the veterinarian to the operation where the patient is managed.3. The veterinarian is readily available for follow-up evaluation or has arranged for the following: veterinary emergency coverage, and continuing care and treatment.4. The veterinarian provides oversight of treatment, compliance, and outcome.5. Patient records are maintained.The practical explanation is that it is a formal relationship that you have with a veterinarian who serves as your primary contact for all veterinary services and is familiar with you, your livestock/animals, and your farm operation. This veterinarian is referred to as your Veterinarian of Record (VoR), and both the VoR and the client should sign a form to document this relationship. You can download a VCPR template developed by the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association Drug Use Task Force at: https://vet.osu.edu/extension/general-food-fiber-animal-resources.This can be thought of as similar to having a primary “family doctor” where that individual is the one whom you consult with regarding prescription needs, changes in health status, or specialized services. Because the VoR somewhat regularly provides veterinary services to you, they may be able to approve prescriptions and provide consultation over the telephone. Having an established VCPR is important to help protect consumers and avoid residues in meat and milk. This becomes even more crucial to a farm operation with the changes regarding the purchase of antibiotics and the Veterinary Feed Directive.
dan rowinski Tags:#Samsung Samsung can teach us a lot of lessons. Sometimes, you just need to change everything you are doing. In 1995, Samsung chairman Lee Kun Hee piled 2,000 inoperable cellphones on the pavement at the company’s manufacturing plant in Gumi, South Korea. He then burnt them all to the ground. What was left was ground to dust by bulldozers.According to an in-depth report on the internal processes of Samsung by Sam Grobart at Bloomberg Businessweek, Chairman Lee had given the cellphones to employees as Christmas gifts. They turned out not to work and the bonfire that ensued has been a defining moment in the way Samsung approaches its business ever since.Chairman Lee, as he affectionately known, took over Samsung in the late 1980’s after the death of the company’s founder, his father. He then set out to build his own global empire. That included completely rethinking everything that the company had ever done. Lee assembled his executives in Frankfurt, Germany in the early 1990s and delivered a three-day speech, known now as the Frankfurt Declaration.“Change everything but your wife and children,” was the main message, according to Grobart. In a way, this was the real bonfire that spurred Samsung to the heights of global manufacturing and the leader in the smartphone wars years later.This is a lesson that Samsung’s competitors can learn from.Burn Your Crappy Smartphones To The GroundThe competitive landscape in the smartphone business is … well, it’s not good. There is Samsung. There is Apple. Then there are a bunch of has-beens and wannabes. That list includes former powerhouses of the gadget world, companies that nobody ever thought would be in decline. Nokia, BlackBerry, Motorola, HTC and Sony are the headliner has-beens, while Huawei, LG and ZTE are among the wannabes. Media gets its hands on the Samsung Galaxy S4What is the lesson that each can learn from Samsung? Each should take its mediocre and middling smartphones and burn them to the ground. Then get that bulldozer and grind them to dust. Anybody who has ever lived with an HTC Thunderbolt would probably be extremely happy to see a pile of them in flames. Or maybe a group of Motorola Razrs or Atrix smartphones. Or anything running BlackBerry OS 7. These companies got complacent and made mediocre products aimed at the top of the market. Samsung ate their lunch. And now they need to completely rethink their products to compete. In the end, that should lead consumers to better choices of smartphones and, hopefully, cheaper prices. Already BurningSome burning has already begun, of course. Google is clearing the Motorola pipeline and working on a so-called “X” smartphone that has had some wild rumors attached to it, such as personally customizable hardware and a 4000 mAh battery. (For comparison, Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 will sport a 2600 mAh battery.)Similarly, after the debacle that was 2011 — see: Thunderbolt and its ilk — HTC redesigned its products and came out with the critically acclaimed HTC One X in 2012 and now the HTC One 2013. Great phones in hand, HTC just now needs to burn everything else down about its approach, from its marketing to distribution. The company has started this approach with aggressive marketing efforts aimed against Samsung’s newest Galaxy S4 smartphones. BlackBerry basically set fire to its entire smartphone lineup and is coming fresh with BlackBerry 10, which has shown early signs of success. Samsung Electronics president and head of mobile JK Shin introduces Galaxy S4Nokia may be in a tough spot. Its “burning” metaphor has already come and passed when CEO Stephen Elop wrote the infamous “burning platform” memo, ditched the company’s MeeGo and Symbian operating systems and went all-in with Microsoft’s Windows Phone mobile operating system. As yet that bet has not really paid off for Nokia and it’s hard to envision a future where it will.The smartphone industry is a fickle beast. Nokia’s example shows that, even when you do pile up your old strategy into a rhetorical pile and set it on fire, that does not guarantee you will succeed on the other end.There is more to Samsung’s ascendancy than Chairman Lee’s pile of burning plastic and metal, of course. Samsung succeeds because it is hyper-focused, controls most of its own component processing and spends a ton of money on marketing. It can iterate on ideas faster than its rivals and spread its distribution further. Its rivals, HTC in particular, just don’t have the bandwidth to match it. Top image courtesy Shutterstock Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology
Anamika Acharya, the live-in partner of Asian Games gold medallist Pinki Pramanik, submitted her recorded conversation (audio tape) with Avtar Singh, husband of former CPM MP Jyotirmoyee Sikdar, to police on Monday.Anamika claimed that she was pressurised by former national level athlete Singh to file rape charges against Pinki following a rift between the two over monetary transactions.”Avtar Singh told me that he would support me to reach out to the authorities to prove that Pinki is a male as he had hidden her actual gender identity. Now he is supporting Pinki so that the athlete cannot be proved otherwise,” Acharya told Mail Today on Tuesday. Anamika further alleged that she was forced to do what Avtar wanted.She submitted a CD at the Baguihati police station that contains a audio clip – her telephonic conversation with Avtar.”Avtar Singh and his wife are now supporting Pinki so that the land is not taken back by the government. They are concerned about the land allotted to Pinki and that is why they are trying to prove Pinki is a female which she is not. I will continue to fight against them,” Anamika said.The excerpts of the recorded conversation (submitted to the police) follow as:ANAMIKA: You know that he (Pinki) bought a Bolero.AVTAR: Oh, when?ANAMIKA: When they went to the bank to collect the money that you deposited.AVTAR: No, no they did not say anything. I do not know anything. I did not meet him.advertisementANAMIKA: Out of the Rs 10 lakh you gave, he bought a car for Rs 7 lakh and has Rs 3 lakh in cash.ANAMIKA: He went to the lawyer whom Shankar had brought hereAVTAR: O ya, that one… Yes.ANAMIKA: He told Pinki to go to the police and that he will send a notice to us saying that we are blackmailing him with his photo.AVTAR: It’s not blackmail. Pinky lied. He has played with everybody, managed a job by lying. He should be charged under Section 420.ANAMIKA: Pinki called me in the morning asking whether I am going to ask Avtar Singh. I asked him why should I go? I do not have any relation with anybody. Then Pinky said: ‘Whatever you want to do, you can do.’AVTAR: Whatever you want to do, do.ANAMIKA: But it should not cause any problem to you, right? Regarding your land or anything…AVTAR: What problem?…What land?…I do not have any land.ANAMIKA: The land you have taken from Pinky?AVTAR: No, no there is no land of mine. I am not related to this matter.ANAMIKA: You supported me for so long. But what solution have you got?AVTAR: But I had told Shankar to pay you Rs 6 lakhANAMIKA: But I did not receive any call.AVTAR: You should have waited till Wednesday.Meanwhile, state PWD minister Firad Hakim on Monday directed the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) CEO Vivek Bharadwaj to look into the files of Pinki, who was given a piece of land by the erstwhile Left Front government after she won a gold medal at the 2006 Asian Games.”The KMDA will probe how much land was given to Pinki and whether it was leased out or given on an ownership basis. I have also asked the agency to find out whether Pinki can use the land for commercial or residential purpose,” Hakim said. The state sports department is also probing into the land distribution matter to find out whether the former athlete got it under the state’s sports quota.
Once every four years a great gloom overtakes Middle India. Out there on some foreign field, rich countries and poor ones, renowned sporting powers and others you couldn’t locate on a world map, are collecting medals at the Olympic Games, the most significant global sporting stage of them all.Making up,Once every four years a great gloom overtakes Middle India. Out there on some foreign field, rich countries and poor ones, renowned sporting powers and others you couldn’t locate on a world map, are collecting medals at the Olympic Games, the most significant global sporting stage of them all.Making up the numbersIndians are enthusiastic participants, with large contingents of athletes and officials for global games. They add colour to opening ceremonies but do not bring the weight of their numbers to bear on the medals tally. Surinam has an individual gold medal in swimming, Ethiopia and Mozambique produce athletes of distinction, Thailand won as many individual medals in a single Olympics as independent India has in its entire history. Let’s not delude ourselves: despite the huge haul at the Manchester Commonwealth Games, India continues to remain a fringe player in world sport.For most part it does not seem to matter – as long as there’s cricket on television – but when the world’s finest athletes gather for the Olympics, the truth comes home. Only then is the Indian’s sense of self challenged and that tired question asked: why can’t one billion people win gold?During the Sydney Olympics, the Australian Bureau of Statisticscalculated that the country with the best performance at the Games wasnot the United States with 97 medals, but Barbados with its singlebronze – because sprinter Obadele Thompson’s 100m bronze was a medalearned by a nation with a population of 2,70,000. The worst performer by that count? India.You could crunch numbers a littledifferently. In truth, India does not have one billion candidates forathletic excellence. What it has is one billion mouths to feed. With 26per cent of the country living below the poverty line, there are 740million people who form the population base from where athletes can befound. Half of those are women, not actively encouraged to take part insport. Even when they decide to, support from family and society iswavering. So, more accurately, India is a country of around 300 millionwho cannot win gold. advertisementTainted awardsWhen the country’s highest award for sport, the Arjuna Award, is turned into a system of favour-trading and hand-outs, it’s time to call for change Truth is a tricky customer, it spots and slips through smokescreens.Just before the 1996 Olympics, two American researchers predicted howmany medals participating nations would win based on their real GDP.Their predictions turned out to be accurate, except even here-operatingagainst a low target of three medals predicted by the study – India wonjust one bronze. In 2000 the exercise was repeated and again worked forthe statisticians but not the Indians. Any which way you calculateOlympic performances – GDP, GNP, per capita income – India fails toweigh in again.It’s not only easy to blame the system. It’s imperative. Internationalsport is not a level-playing field, it is a jungle where survivalbelongs to not just the fittest but the best-prepared. The athlete whois not identified by the time he is in his early teens and taken underthe wing of a modern training programme, has already lost time andprecious medals.When they say the era of the amateur is over, it includes the athlete as well as the entire support structure around him. It is here that Indiafails.It begins with the lack of a culture for sport that surrounds a child: a shortage of playgrounds and facilities is the least of it. In India,school-level sport is not a starting point for talent-scouting as it isin countries as diverse as the United States and China. It’s just a gapin the time-table from the world of books. SUCCEEDING IN SPORTS Professionalise sport by restructuring its administration. The system of “honorary” officialdom is clearly outdated: running sport is a full-time business. Hand it over to private enterprise. Have the politicians and bureaucrats make way for management experts who will take care of fund-raising and managing money. All aspects of sport must be under the charge of qualified ex-athletes who will be paid for their expertise. Channel and prioritise spending on sport. Funding and attention should be extended to those sports which show sustained progress over a five-year period, starting now. Progress will mean a steady improvement in world rankings. There is no sense in putting a country’s energies into sports where India only makes up the numbers and brings up the rear in world. It’s not the Government, nor is it private enterprise that can run sport. There is only one institution that has the infrastructure, the tradition and the culture of discipline needed to make champions. The armed forces. It’s time to hand over athletes’ training to the military. It’s time to accept that India is not an Olympic power. Withdrawing from Olympic competition in disciplines where we are not in the world’s top 10 may work. India needs to focus on the Asiad and other world events to get good enough to contend for medals at the highest level. Opt for a more democratic model for sport. Concentrate on developing a culture for sport. Access to sport for all should be the first step, by setting up cheap, accessible sports centres in cities and villages with a network of talent-spotters. Quality will come from numbers.For the middle class, with access to sports clubs and reasonable facilities, it’s merely khel-kood, a trivial pursuit. For the rich, it’s just another diversion you wouldn’t want to take seriously because, seriously, only the yokels do. Sport in India is one way out of poverty – the reasons our young men and women take to sport is not to set the fields of the world alight, but to keep their home fires burning.advertisementIndian sport also works as a welfare state; the average athlete knows that and sets his or her sights low. The state is the patron, the benefactor which can provide an athlete a job in the public sector. Once that is sealed it is the rare athlete that wants to let go of that safety net and pursue athletic excellence.An unknown Ghanaian who plays in Delhi’s local leagues made an observation once: “In Ghana, footballers from the smallest clubs talk about playing in Europe, for Juventus, Inter Milan. In India, they talk of getting a job.” If the athlete’s reach and his grasp have very little to separate them, then who would aim for heaven?This is a peculiar kind of contentment, one that eats away at the soul of aspiration; but it is arrived at only after the athlete’s will is gnawed into once he has dealt with the establishment and the world of feudalism, intrigue and compromise.The administration of Indian sport is two-pronged: the Ministry of Sport, served through its monster-child, the Sports Authority of India (SAI), and the national federations that run individual disciplines. It’s a circus made up of politicians, bureaucrats and career sports administrators, the latter belonging to either one of the first two categories.Once elected to office in a sporting federation – where the voting process involves allegations of bribes, arm-twisting tactics and intimidation – power is not easily relinquished. An Indian succeeds not just because of hard training , but because the gods have decided his federation has a well-meaning set of officials who know what to do with their elite athletes and how to plan their careers.The reason India won only a single medal at Sydney in women’s weightlifting, a discipline in which it had dominated world competition before the sport made its Olympic debut in 2000, was corrupt officials, poor planning, favouritism and biased selection. The same officials, selectors and coaches are still in charge. By now the most dedicated and deserving lifters would have got the message: toe their line or else. Indian hockey could be a metaphor for Indian sport itself, so badly has it slipped-and been allowed to slip-from public consciousness.advertisementTopsy turvyLike the wrestler in this photograph, the Indian athlete can be thrown about-by officialdom. His career is dependent not on his skill but on the quality of officials, mostly unaccountable, who run his sport. Such anarchy exists in a vacuum of leadership and vision. Government control over sport is restricted to the functioning of the SAI, the running of sports hostels across the country and the clearance of special funding and teams for overseas competition; not to areas like keeping an eye on federation elections and a scrutiny of accounts. Moving sport to the Concurrent List will give the Government those rights but its own track record is poor. Poor, in fact, says it all.The national sports budget totals Rs 150 crore, of which the SAI receives Rs 104 crore for maintenance of existing infrastructure, salaries and assorted projects. The outlay for the creation of new infrastructure, promotion of sport in schools and colleges and installation of artificial surfaces does not total more than Rs 16 crore a year. The structures that exist are in a state of disrepair or disuse. When the centre cannot hold, things will keep falling apart.Nothing epitomised the decay in Indian sport as the Arjuna Awards controversy which proved that the prestigious national awards in sport had been turned into a programme of compromised hand-outs. In the list of 2001, India’s greatest male runner, Milkha Singh, was named alongside a sacked hockey coach, a gymnast with no international competition on her CV and an athlete with one half-marathon victory to her name.There will always be two schools of thought on the approach that India must take to sport: whether to concentrate on spending big on putting up stadia and hosting multi-discipline meets and spreading excitement and a buzz around sports, or whether to strengthen the framework on which such grand dreams must essentially rest. Whether to build up the grassroots base from where the numbers will come or to pump money into training a select band of athletes from disciplines that show progress internationally.Ground realitiesThere is a pattern with Indian stadia. Just before a major event, crores of rupees are spent to upgrade the venue, after which maintenance is never a priority, as is evident from the astroturf at this Uttar Pradesh ground. When Indian athletes do well, as the Manchester medallists will testify, administrators, officials and people in politics jostle with each other to organise felicitations and shower them with cash. Everyone likes being fussed over but the more circumspect athlete will say that had they received all that funding and even half that support during training, they could have been slightly better performers. In a world where nano-seconds and millimetres separate a medallist and just another loser, “slightly” embraces a universe. What does Indian sport need more: the Afro-Asian Games (which will cost more than Rs 100 crore) and another set of world-class sports stadia we struggle to maintain once the Games are gone? Or a foolproof, corruption-proof, red-tape-proof programme of nurturing elite athletes and making champions? Champions are the only catalysts that can cause an explosion of interest and enthusiasm around their sport.The 1983 World Cup victory put cricket in a different universe compared to other Indian sports, a universe it still does not share with any other discipline. The burgeoning of chess talent in India has been attributed to the global success of one man, Viswanathan Anand. If India seeks sporting excellence, it will have to rid its establishment of the mediocrity that defines it.
Watford chasing Lyon winger Maxwel Cornetby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLyon winger Maxwel Cornet is attracting Premier League interest.The Mirror says Watford are keen on Cornet – but it will cost them.French sources claim the Hornets are ‘in discussions’ over a £20 million deal.The 20-year-old Ivory Coast international is also a target for AC Milan.Watford are looking to add players this window with Javi Gracia reported to be wanting no fewer than three new arrivals. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
RB Salzburg sensation Haaland warns Liverpool & Van Dijk: We’re fearlessby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveRB Salzburg sensation Erling Haaland says he’ll be ready for his Champions League showdown with Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk.The 19-year-old striker bagged an impressive hat-trick in Salzburg’s Champions League opener against Genk – his fourth of the season.Next up for the Austrian side is a trip to Anfield to face the European Champions who are determined to bounce back from their Napoli defeat.”We’re fearless,” Haaland told Salzburg’s official website. “We’re not afraid of anything, and we always want to attack and score.”Haaland has the uneviable task of going up against UEFA Defender and Player of the Year van Dijk, but outlined his tactics for the challenge ahead.He added: “I don’t think you can train to play against him, but you can train on things that can maybe trick him or maybe set him out of position.”We all have to be at our best, every player, to have a chance against this team.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say