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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2583

An abrupt decision!

By Ramu Sharma - Syndicate Features

The Government’s decision not to allow Indians residing in foreign countries to take part for the mother country is a debatable decision. It is not clear why such a ruling was suddenly applied when for all these years India had allowed American "Indians" in particular to wear the national colours in the international sports arena.

For years altogether we have benefited from players holding American passports and learning the trade there to wear the national colours during International Tennis Tournaments. In other games too the country has allowed foreign Indians to come especially for the event and take part for India.

Mohinder Singh Gill, one of the top triple jumpers in the world, an Indian product but staying on in America did duty in international athletics for India. Jasjit Singh, a tennis personality, also served India while staying away from the country.

Even now Vijay Amrithraj’s son is based in USA and so is Shikha Oberoi, the tennis star. But they do turn our regularly for India. Why not grant such cases dual citizenship and do away with the latest rule.

By staying and practicing in America and turning out for India a player does not become less loyal to India. The rule has some logic only if the outside Indian takes the place of a domestic player. But in the event the home drawn player should also be better than the foreign acquisition. So far no home drawn player has suffered. Why this distinction now? It just does not make sense.

I remember weightlifters staying in England taking part for England in the Commonwealth Games and for India in the Asian Games. England never did object to them wearing Indian colours. Why should India object?

There is no logic in this new ruling. It does not stand scrutiny. Men and women go abroad to make a living in sport, particularly tennis coaches who have, in fact, been very successful in the U.S.

Sports should, in fact, have no boundary, no nationality. There is, of course, such a thing as qualifying for a country. That obstacle can easily be overcome.

Indian sportsmen and sportswomen abroad are not of such a high standard as to be able to represent the country of their adoption. Why deny them a chance to take part for India in the international arena.

The earlier the government has a rethink on this ruling the better. There should be no restrictions on sportsmen.

- Asian Tribune -

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