On a fine Sunday morning, I was shuffling in my chair in front of the television, owing to the reshuffling of the Cabinet of Ministers. History was made when for the first time a sportsperson was appointed as Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports. It was a change welcomed by almost everyone, apart from the few who, for reasons known best to them, don’t trust Rathor’s dexterity as an administrator.
A lot of love and admiration followed the congratulatory notes and wishes. But, as Ben Parker (Spiderman’s uncle Ben!) said “with great powers come great responsibilities”, the flipside of all the love and admiration from the hopeful sports enthusiasts Rathore is receiving is the expectation from them! Rathore’s ground level knowledge, his focused attitude, a stint as the Minister of Information and Broadcasting surely concocts a brilliant CV, but he still has to test the real waters and this remains a fact.
I was scouting through multiple social media platforms the other day and was overwhelmed by the positive sentiment which was riding in the hearts of netizens regarding this new appointment. It made me think about the hundreds and thousands of aspiring sportspersons, who probably are already or will be looking up to him with starry eyes, counting on him to create opportunities and provide them with the support necessary to grow and who knows?!, be like him one day!
The optimism in the air is quite novel and contagious, to be honest. They are ecstatic about Col. Rathore’s appointment for one reason. And that is hope.
With someone as able and relevant as Rathore, they have hope in their heart that now the scenario in the sports industry will change, and certainly for the better. He is seen as someone representing the true spirit of the fraternity at the top. Hope allows people to dream big and persevere. When was the last time we got to witness such a positive impact as a result of the reshuffling of the cabinet? Well, I for sure don’t recall!
Rathore is known for his honesty and discipline. His roadmap for Indian sports is a testament which shows how dedicated he is to bring forth a positive change in the country. He wants to create an environment which is conducive enough for sports to thrive in India. He is an inspirational figure who has time and again proved his mettle in the sports arena as well as any other challenge which he has ever undertaken. A ‘never give up’ attitude which he has developed through his stint with Indian Army only conforms to the popular opinion. We can confidently say that Col. Rathore has the necessary skill and aptitude to hold this position and he has by means of his diligent work earned the trust and respect of people. For me, this is huge, a Minister of a high order who has a vision and grit to bring about significant change (without any malice!). A Minister whom people can trust.
Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, or RVS as his fans fondly call him, has had a fair share of experience dealing with the system back in his sporting days. He is well aware of the problems faced by the sportspersons in the country. He knows, with experience, what is lacking and how can it be fixed. He brings in a pool of global experience with him and can draw insights to bring about significant improvement. Rathore has won medals in a sport which is still not considered conventional in the country. Under this premise, we can expect that equal amount of importance and opportunities will be provided to players from all sporting backgrounds and not just the commercial or popular ones. Instead of milking the cash cow he can be expected to build a farm with an atmosphere friendly enough to nurture more cash cows. He is empathetic towards the apathy and cold shoulders which our sportspersons at times face and will be dedicated to end it rather than make false promises without any conscience and pressure to keep them.
RVS is not a novice. He has experienced the system from both sides of the field, as a sportsperson as well as a Union Minister, even though his entry into this portfolio may have been recent. He has a fair idea of how a system works. He knows what can be achieved and which plans may never see the light of day. This dual domain knowledge will come really handy while devising long-term policies to bring about a significant shift in how the industry functions. His tenure as Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting equipped him with the necessary skill-set for running a Ministry. He also is in good terms with stakeholders necessary to bring about the desired shift in the country. His pragmatism and goal-oriented approach will help him reshape the current state of affairs clouding the country.
We all know from what we have seen that Col. Rathore is a man of action. He has put in a lot of efforts, hours and hardwork achieving all that he has. He is a doer and is firm about his vision of transforming India into a sporting nation that we all want to see it as! He has been quite vocal about the philosophy with which the Ministry will function, ‘Samman and Suvidha’. Respect for every sportsperson in this country and right facilities & support to all the players representing or aspiring to represent the nation.
This simple thought makes a lot of sense especially if you analyze how the system currently works. The loopholes in the system and lack of interest shown by the administration previously in the actual state of affairs is something that Rathore will have to deal with to bring his vision to life. He is also well aware of that and seems quite ready already! He has plans for recruitment as well, his ideal team would comprise people with sharp managerial skills and a spirit of a true sportsman. That’s some promising sign, a Minister who is already so enthusiastic about his term. He is young and inspiring, can provide a focused vision and conviction to achieve that. This attitude is quite refreshing and says a lot about his intentions.
Rathore’s appointment as Sports Minister is appreciated by the majority in the country. He is a person of substance with great caliber and aptitude backed by experience. He has united all the aspiring sportspersons in the country by giving them a hope, fueling their dream. The trust that people have bestowed owing to his stunning accomplishments, grit, pragmatism and noble intentions is phenomenal. The last time we saw such an uprising in support of any Minister was when Arvind Kejriwal was appointed as the CM of Delhi. Although it is too early to comment on how much justice Padamshri Col. Rathore will do to his new role, nonetheless it is a news worth celebrating. Numbers, reports and countless (pointless, if I may add!) trials by media will keep us updated about how is the knight in shining armor of our Sports Industry performing, but as of now, at least for me, the impact certainly seems to be full of optimism and something that should have been experimented earlier!
Insidesport guest columnist Jitendra Joshi is the founder, director of India’s premier sports management company SportzConsult.