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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Rules are rules - HRD Min Kapil Sibal bats for Unmukt

Many a times, people reach the dead-end as we are rule-bound – not that all of us respect and abide by rules but in Bureaucracy one is often constrained by archaic rules. 

Ajmal Kasab the terror killer has been occupying the centrestage of all news as Supreme Court has confirmed his death sentence.  To keep him safe, the Nation  has already spent more than Rs 50 crore. In his execution, the budget permitted by an archaic law is only Rs 50.  One wonders why Kasab is given such a long rope as there are reports that he can make a mercy plea, which then will have to disposed by Maharashtra Governor and then the President – should somebody who harmed the Nation and maimed its subject deserves all such legal extras !   TOI mentions of prison laws stating that the  jail "superintendent may incur a reasonable expenditure up to Rs 50 for the transport and disposal of the body".

Elsewhere Newzealand plays India at Chinnaswamy Stadium at Bangalore – but the cricket news that has captured the front page of dailies today is not about the match [not that it deserves] but of a cricketer denied attendance by his college – that has become a National issue with the Union HRD Minister talking to the Delhi VC to treat that on top priority. What great priorities – Parliament is stalled by the biggest of the scams ‘coal-gate’ in which the Prime Minister himself is being alleged as having role; NE has exodus of people; Assam burned; a mob taking out a rally in Mumbai went out of control and damaged National respect and insulted police cops including women; one Ministry spoke of foreign hand of Pakistan in inciting violence in Southern States by malafide SMS – but the other Ministry finds no evidence to present in the bi-lateral meet !!

A cricketer was denied an admit card for not having the requisite attendance to sit in his exams. He moved the Delhi high court, but by the time the court directed the college to allow him to appear for the tests, he had already missed two tests and coupled with no internal assessment marks, he failed the exam.  Delhi University rules mandate a student to have at least 33.3 per cent attendance in an academic session after all exemptions, but the 19-year-old cricketer, a first year BA student of St Stephen's College, could not attend required number of classes owing to his cricketing engagements.   The Principal of the College  said that there is very little the college can do as they are to abide by the university rules and have no discretionary power on the matter. 

Rules are rules.  Can a Cricket crazy Nation digest it.  The matter rebounded at  the highest echelons - Union human resource development minister Kapil Sibal reportedly called up St Stephens principal Valson Thampu. When things did not move, he took up with the Delhi University Vice Chancellor as well.   The VC said that the cricketer would not be failed for lack of attendance and that he had called for the file to take immediate action.  Kasab’s case never moved this fast !  A sportsperson who has achieved so much should not be made to suffer,and the university will do everything to help him, said the VC which sure would have made the HRD Minister also happier……………

Yes, Sports are important and sportspersons who bring laurels to the Nation are to be honoured – but there has to be rules, which will permit participation at certain levels and that has to be status specific and cannot be a particular sport or person-centric.  

If you are still wondering ‘who’ the person is – it is Unmukt Chand, hailing of Uttarakhand.  He was the youngest player to play in IPL – he played 2 matches for Delhi Daredevils in IPL 5.  Chand made his Ranji Trophy debut last season, and scored a century against Railways in his fourth match. At Kualalumpur, in U19 tourney, he led from the front, his great knock of 121 still could ensure only a tie in the thrilling finals against Pakistan.

More importantly he was the captain of the Indian U19 team in the U19 tournament held at Townsville, Australia.  Unmukt Chand led  from the front and his unbeaten 111 was instrumental in the winning chase in the finals against Australia.  

He is no doubt an exciting prospect to watch – but, even for an avid cricket fan, the hoopla on his attendance and the involvement of HRD Minister does not appeal….

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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