oppn parties Due Process Avoided, Mary Kom's Selection Unfair To Nikhat Zareen

News Snippets

  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
Due Process Avoided, Mary Kom's Selection Unfair To Nikhat Zareen

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

If a star sportsperson browbeats the sports association to have his or her way, is it good for the sport? The way celebrated boxer Mary Kom was 'selected' for the World Championships without a trial bout in the 51kg category was not good. It went against the prescribed selection process and reeked of highhandedness. It was highly demoralizing for a young boxer like Nikhat Zareen who fancied her chances against Mary Kom in the trial bout. It also showed the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) in a bad light as they cancelled the trials at the last moment. Most observers feel that it was done at the instance of the ageing champion.

As a way of explanation, Rajesh Bhandari chairman of the BFI selection committee said that "we received a representation from Mary Kom's coach Chotte Lal Yadav and we all came to the conclusion that Mary has performed consistently in this weight category and has the experience and performance." Which coach will put down his protege? Chotte Lal Yadav would always recommend Mary's name. But he is not the chairman of the selection committee. In any case, due process should have been followed and trials should have been held to allow a young boxer to prove her mettle. The BFI also said that it did not want to expose Zareen at the World Championships at a young age. But Zareen pointed out that she was part of the team for the same event in 2016 and she has grown three years older now.

The BFI further claimed that the 36-year-old Mary Kom is in the form of her life and that Zareen's performances at the camp have been below par. There is no doubt Mary won gold in the President's Cup in Indonesia recently and Zareen won just silver in the Thailand Open. But deeper analysis shows that the field was much stronger in the Thailand tournament. Further, Mary Kom has only recently shifted to the 51kg category (her forte and the favourite class is the 48kg but she was forced to move up as it is no longer a part of the Olympics) while Zareen has always been in that class. A trail bout would have been the best way to settle the issue.

To be fair to the BFI, young pretenders have in the past won in trial bouts against more experienced pugilists only to perform disastrously in international competitions and had then faded away. A single bout is often not conclusive evidence of the superiority of a particular boxer. But if that is the way the selection process is designed, then it should have been followed. Also, Zareen is not your flash in the pan boxer but a consistent performer in her class. It was very unfair for the BFI to deny Zareen a chance to prove her mettle against the high profile Mary Kom. It also reinforced the view that star sportsperson in India often have their way when it comes to selection and associations often bend the rules to accommodate them.