A square peg in a round hole this ‘sports mafia’ can be described in respect of its presence in elitist sports body of the State to prove a stumbling block in the promotion of games and sports in Jammu and Kashmir. It will be no exaggeration to describe its activities as plaguing sports promotion. The sincere efforts of the State Government in taking steps to promote sports and games through J&K State Sports Council and the Department of Youth Services throughout the State are getting frustrated because of a mafia having gained ascendancy and having till date, remained uncontained. How is it that those Associations, Federations which have been de-affiliated by the Central Government are still receiving grants- in – aid from J&K Sports Council caring not too hoots for repercussions for criminally violating the rules and regulations. Deciphering this ‘sports mafia’, we can authoritatively unravel the fact of a nexus in operation comprising unauthorized members of some Associations and a few officials of the Council functioning in close propinquity with one another. Some officials of the Council have; in fact, specialized in actively sponsoring non functional cum disaffiliated Associations and those are getting grants -in-aid just for nothing. This is but only organized loot where genuineness in the entire gamut of things appears to be an oddity.
Just see the manipulations and alibis created to legitimize this loot by showing “sports activities” going on at all the levels like district , State and even National , of those sports which are either nonexistent or are in disputes like Tennis Ball Cricket , Thang Ta etc etc. We are, in our right, asking for an early clarification on the issue as to why the J&K Sports Council releases the funds for such nonexistent groups? Why should a concurrent audit like system not be introduced in the Sports Department to ascertain whether funds were released on need based requirements and to the genuine Associations and their Federations strictly in accordance with the laid down procedures and their end use ensured? Alternately, a snap type short audits could be devised to check this organized loot in the name of “promotion” of sports. We would urge the concerned authorities to identify the composition, the nitty – gritty of this unauthorized and ineligible net of Associations and Federations, those existing on papers only and identification of those officials whose patronage, they were enjoying.
The cookie crumbles with impunity in the Sports Council, the extent could be gauged by the fact that a circular issued by the Governor some two years back with intent to subject the funds allotting exercise to be well defined and prescribed, inter alia, banned Government employees from being office bearers of the Sports Associations and the resultant election of new office bearers of many Associations. However, they continue to be there like inseparable ruches to these Associations only for ensuring the loot was uninterrupted in supply. That they could circumvent the contents of the circular easily without any hindrance rather than result in their wings clipped shows the malaise of the prevailing system. How can sports in our State flourish and how can the existing and the potential talent be exploited remains shrouded in indecisiveness at the higher levels who prefer to look to the other side conveniently.
We do not ignore series of mega events arranged under the State Foot Ball Academy and the State Cricket Academy under the aegis of the J&K State Sports Council in almost all the districts of the State but few of its officials are bringing bad name to it by their illegal and unwarranted activities. Many members on the standing committee of the Sports Council too are fed up with the goings on and want such unwanted and corrupt elements to be reined in. Their perturbation and foreboding from within could frustrate genuine sports activities which need to be underlined. Such ruffian elements, who in the name of promoting sports and even luring some young sports persons of “assured jobs” on the basis of “certificates” etc issued by their unrecognized and nonexistent Associations and Federations are reported to be enjoying some top political support. The Government, in its own interests, must sternly purge the system of such elements which are hell bent upon stalling any genuine sports activity in the State and look at the affairs of sports promotion only as a means of getting grants in aid which otherwise were meant for real Associations engaged in sports activities. Is it because of these shoddy reasons, our sports and sports persons are not fairly visible at the State as also at the national levels despite there being talent in abundance?