The Role Sports Play

PEOPLE cutting across countries and continents have their favourite sports and players. Football, basketball, athletics, cricket are sports which are much popular among the sports buffs.  While individual sport like tennis and badminton stand out for sheer art and science, team sports do not lag far behind in terms of aesthetic sense.  In as far as the United Nations and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation are concerned, sport is a tool to propagate and cement peace and development.  The UNESCO recognises and regards sports as a fundamental right of citizens. The UN General Assembly first adopted a resolution to observe a global sport day in 2013, and the first International Day of Sport for Development and Peace was celebrated on April 6, 2014.  The date assumes significance because the first Olympic Games of the modern era were inaugurated on April 6, 1896. Sports act as building blocks to join people because team work and mutual respect are essential, and inevitable, ingredients in any game. Individual development, health promotion, gender equality, social amalgamation, economic prosperity and communication are issues which are dear to sports’ managers as well as the UN. Moreover, a popular sport rallies people around for a common cause making it an absolute necessity to act as a game changer in international relations between countries. Sports bring about solidarity and non-violence.  The enormous power of sport needs to be harnessed by more refined methods.



Catholic Politicians Invoking Hindu Gods

THE photograph that appeared on page 3 of ‘The Navhind Times’ dated April 4, 2019 shows South Goa Congress Lok Sabha candidate Francisco Sardinha, along with his supporters, seeking the blessings of Lord Damodar at the Lord Damodar temple in Vasco. This has been the usual practice of Goan politicians, including Catholics, before the start of the electioneering. However, I am reminded of an incident that took place in Mumbai some  two decades ago  when a photograph of a Church dignitary was published in a national daily showing the prelate lighting the traditional and innocuous welcome lamp at a Hindu puja. There was a hue and cry over the publication of the photograph. Today, times have changed, and it is considered a privilege instead, by the Church, as it is seen as one way of fostering communal harmony. Not only the welcome lamp but even performing ‘aartis’ has become n accepted practice in the Catholic Church as part of inculturation. However, it is still not known whether seeking the blessings of a Hindu deity and offering ‘aarti’ to the deity violate the first commandment of God by constituting acts of idolatry, explicitly proscribed by the Church.



Governor Of A Political Party

KALYAN Singh is presently the Governor of Rajasthan. Prior to this he was a BJP politician from Uttar Pradesh, having served as the chief minister of the state for two terms. In the past he was involved in the Babri Masjid demolition, and in general he is not the one to be considered above controversy. Singh has invited trouble for himself by stating that he is one of the BJP workers, and that the BJP should emerge victorious and Narendra Modi should become the prime minister again. Noting that Singh prima facie violated the poll code, the Election Commission had referred the matter to President Ram Nath Kovind for necessary action against the Rajasthan Governor. The President has forwarded the same to the Union home ministry. What is shocking is how the Governor of the state could utter such words glorifying the party he was affiliated to! Has he forgotten that by virtue of his present position as Governor he should display total neutrality in public life? He has lowered the prestige of the august post with his reckless utterances. You may be the most ardent ‘karyakarta’ of your party but you must shed all the affinities  with the parent party the moment you start holding the post of Governor. The holder of a constitutional post should know that he/she should rise above partisan politics. Ordinary government servants are expected to maintain political neutrality at all levels, so much so that even attending political meetings and rallies is considered inappropriate. The posts of President, Vice-President, Governor as well as Speaker and Chairman of the august houses are above politics to say the least. We have seen how different people holding such high positions have isolated themselves from their parent organisations and maintained the dignity of their constitutional positions. It is unfortunate that Singh has dug his own grave of doom. Through his ill-conceived articulation he has created problems for his own party. He ought to take a leaf from L K Advani’s blog who said ahead of the BJP’s foundation day – ‘nation first, party next and self last’.