Finding 30-plus outstanding archers tough task for AAI administrator

This article, as it appeared in Mail Today, November 21, 2018

The Supreme Court decision on Monday not to defer the Archery Association of India election proceedings until it passed its opinion on the amendments carried out by the Delhi High Court-appointed administrator SY Qureshi and the objections against some of those over-reaching changes has left him facing a piquant situation.

According to the “new” constitution, amended by the Delhi High appointed administrator, placed before the Supreme Court and filed with the Registrar of Societies of Delhi, at least one third of the AAI General Council shall be archers of outstanding merit and will be nominated by the Archers’ Commission of India.

Since that body is non-existent at moment, the administrator has given himself the right to nominate the archers to the general council in consultation with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The larger question centres around how the administrator will go about the task of finding 30-plus archers of outstanding merit.

Though the election is scheduled for December 22, the last date for submission of names of authorised representatives of State Associations and Board is December 7. So, in effect, the administrator has only 12 days in which to cast his net and find the archers. Not just any archers but those of outstanding merit.

There are 16 archers who have won the Arjuna Award, including four who competed in the Asian Games this year, while Satyadev Prasad was given the Dhyan Chand Award and Purnima Mahato got the Dronacharya Award in 2013. Sanjeev Kumar Singh, an Arjuna Award winner in 1992, went on secure the Dronacharya Award for coaches in 2007 and is now a Government Observer.

As an aside, the Ministry may have to consider nominating a new Government Observer since Sanjeev Kumar Singh will be a voting member of AAI. It is not as if India is brimming with archers of such standing and credibility for the Ministry to be able to find an archer outside of those who are AAI members.

Returning to the task ahead of the administrator (who is, by the way, the Returning Office as well), it should not be surprising if he is forced to whittle down the meaning of the term “outstanding merit” that he has used in the AAI Constitution. Or, will he be compromise on a rule that he wrote down himself and settle for less than one-third representation by archers in the general council?

It is immediately not clear if an archer of outstanding merit representing a state unit or an associate member will have an additional vote as an archer of outstanding merit. It can be presumed that since one person can have only one vote, such an archer will have to choose between voting as an athlete or voting as a representative of a State or an institution.

In the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s case, the Supreme Court has not mandated the elections to be held since the BCCI Constitution have still not got its stamp of approval. Curiously, in AAI’s case, the Court has adopted a different stance, though it has not passed any orders on the “new” constitution.

As of Tuesday morning, link on the AAI website to Schedule-I leads the visitor to a page that reads: “HTTP Error 404.0 – Not Found. The resource you are looking for has been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.” The administrator has opened himself to the risk of having to settle for a “Not Found” report for the 30-plus archers of outstanding merit.

This article first appeared in Mail Today, November 21, 2018

About Rajaraman 453 Articles
Born on March 10, 1961 in Hyderabad, I wanted to be an electronics engineer but my focus on cricket and basketball at school and junior college meant that I missed qualifying from the entrance examination. I led the School and Junior College basketball teams. I then decided he would be sports a journalist like my father, Mr N Ganesan. While I graduated in commerce from the Badruka College of Arts and Commerce, I also spent more time in sports, representing Andhra Pradesh in the National Basketball Championship in 1980 and Osmania University in 1981-82. I joined the 1981-82 batch of Osmania Univeristy's Bachelor in Communication and Journalism. I missed the gold medal by 0.6 per cent and was pursuing the Masters' degree when The Hindu offered me a job as Sub-Editor in Madras. I took up The Hindu assignment on March 17, 1983. Though my job entailed editing functions only, I got to cover the annual Sholavaram motor racing grands prix in 1985 and 1986 and the Himalayan Rally in 1985 when my photographs also found expression in The Sportstar. I left The Hindu in November 1986 to join Press Trust of India as Sports Reporter in Hyderabad. I was called to New Delhi to report on the World Table Tennis Championship in March 1987. I covered a variety of events, including the SAF Games in Calcutta in 1987 and Islamabad in 1989. I ventured to Delhi in July 1992 when I joined The Pioneer as a Senior Reporter/Sub-Editor (Sports). My cricket writing skills came to the fore when I was deputed to write on India's tour of Sri Lanka in July-August 1993. I was rewarded with a promotion as Deputy Sports Editor in 1995. The departure of the Sports Editor in January 1996 saw me hold charge. A good performance during the 1996 World Cup cricket and the Olympic Games in Atlanta - when The Pioneer brought out a four-page supplement every day saw me being confirmed as Sports Editor in August 1996. The Hindustan Times, Delhi's largest newspaper, appointed me as Associate Editor (Sports) in January 1997. I conceived and launched a weekly colour supplement, Sport during the World Cup football finals in 1998. I covered the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok and the 1999 World Cup cricket in England. I left the Hindustan Times on February 23, 2000 to take up position as Editor, on February 26 and can claim with pride that I played no mean role in building a good site that is rated among the best cricket news sites. Besides, a number of TV channels – NDTV, Star News, Doordarshan, CNBC, Zee News – and radio stations like BBC, SABC and ABC have invite me to in-studio discussions on cricket. In 2001, I authored a book, Match-fixing: The Enemy Within (Har Anand Publications). I joined as Senior Editor in June 2001 and worked for two years, helping it transform from a corporate website to a respected sports site and playing a role in driving the hugely popular online fantasy cricket game, Super Selector. I left the website to pursue life as a freelance writer and consultant, editing the Afro-Asian Games Observer in Hyderabad in October-November 2003 and helping the Board of Control for Cricket in India's Communication Committee. I joined the respected weekly magazine Outlook as Senior Special Correspondent in April 2005 and worked there till September 2007, with a story highlighting Sunil Gavaskar's minimal contribution to Indian cricket after his retirement being one of the best in my career. For a year, till Sept 30, 2008, I was Sports Editor, Samay, Sahara India's National news channel. I live in New Delhi with my wife Sudha and daughter Priya and after a short stint with and, I am now consultant with the Organising Committee Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi (28° 40' 0 N, 77° 13' 0 E) lending my shoulder to the wheel that will make India a hugely popular sports destination.