I have seen our national hockey players bathing in a railway yard and being stashed in a second-class railway compartment when they were traveling for a hockey tournament. The sportspersons participating in Olympics and Common wealth games are paid peanuts and the sport facilities are pathetic. Even the medal winners at the Commonwealth games will not receive even one percent of what Bollywood stars like Priyanka Chopra and Lara Dutt got (one crore each) for simply waving to the crowds. And the so-called face of Indian cinema Aishwarya Rai’s fake patriotism was exposed when she boasted of performing at the ceremony just for patriotic reasons. And what was the cost of this patriotism – a cool Rs.3 Crore. Bollywood actors do not even represent India but the sportspersons do and they are the ones who are more eligible for receiving large amount and not some dumb actresses like Aishwarya Rai, whose only qualification is her good face. Now there is every reason to believe that Aishwarya Rai might also be charging hefty fees for indulging in other social causes.
Can’t our Bollywood stars perform free of charge for India even for eleven minutes? The government would have definitely spent on their stay and travel expenses and it was not even the case where the Bollywood stars had to incur a loss by rejecting a movie offer for performing at the event. The Government should get their priorities right and instead of wasting money on Bollywood stars they should spend money on improving the sports infrastructure, the training facilities for sportspersons and increasing their fees.
The organizer of the event, Mr. Viraf Sarkar of Wizcraft says that Bollywood stars were showcasing our country. He should know that Bollywood is not India. And if he wanted to showcase our country then he should have had people from different fields and not just from Bollywood. And if the government is thinking that they can attract spectators by displaying Bollywood actors in the ceremony then they are seriously undermining the sports lovers in India. A sport lover would always go for Commonwealth games whether Bollywood endorses it or not. There is nothing wrong if Bollywood actors are used for publicity but there could be no justification for spending 40 crores on them when the sportspersons are being poorly paid and leading a pathetic life.
Such poor sports administration has been the bane for our sports culture for decades. I hope that the Indian government and the sports minister look into the matter and ensure that this kind of money wastage does not recur. It is high time that the politicians and officials are thrown out from sports bodies and are replaced by retired, outstanding sportspersons and able administrators who know something about sports. Why have politicians like Suresh Kalmadi at the helm when he has done nothing good for the sports all these years?
Finally, Bollywood stars like Aishwarya Rai, Rani Mukherjee, Saif Ali Khan, etc should stop talking about patriotism and their love for India when all they do is sell their soul and patriotism for money. They are nothing but mercenaries and the sports administrators are nothing but idiots.