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October 2017 Edition of Power Politics is updated.  Happy Diwali to all our subscribers and Distributors       October 2017 Edition of Power Politics is updated.   Happy Diwali to all our subscribers and Distributors       
Issue:Sep' 2017


Welcome choice


This writer, and many others like him will, remember the day when Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore won a silver medal at the Athens Olympics shooting range in 2004. Parliament was in session that memorable morning when the news broke out. Promptly, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, a keen sports fan himself, halted proceedings in the Lok Sabha, and asked members to rise in their seats to give the army officer a standing ovation. And they did, thumping theirs desks and roaring their approval in one voice. In a Cabinet reshuffle thirteen years later the Army shooter finds himself in charge of the sports ministry.

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore Even before he had settled into his seat the new man in charge was deluged with welcome messages from the country's sports fans. Rathore's one-line response was henceforth it will be sportsman who'll be the VIP in the new system he has in mind. One hopes he sees to it that the outlook changes fast.
He has himself stood at the reception desk of the ministry he now heads, the person manning it hardly taking any notice.
Rathore took over at a time when two women badminton players, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal, set a new standard by winning a silver and bronze medal in the Glasgow world championships. In a final which could have gone either way, Sindhu lost to Japan's Nozomi Okuhara. But not long after that defeat, Sindhu had her revenge when she defeated the Japanese opponent in the South Korean super series final, again after an exciting battle which could have gone either way. Rathore lost no time in congratulating Sindhu.
Rathore is aware that Indian sport has a long way to go before it can wipe out memories the fiasco of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Also, he must be worried by growing tendency of sportspersons resorting to dope. There was the recent case of a junior girl wrestler being slapped with a four-ban ban for testing positive for meldonium, the drug which the celebrated Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova was punished for taking.

Meldonium menace

Latvian drug manufacturers are ecstatic. Meldonium, which became famous a couple of years ago because of its indirect promotion by Maria Sharapova, has become so popular and available that junior Indian sportspersons in remote Indian villages are using it too! Under-18 wrestler from Adhiyana in Panipat district, Nisha, has been banned for four years for consuming meldonium, allegedly given to her by her brother to be used as a muscle relaxant.
While Nisha's case seems to be a first-time offence, Priyanka Panwar, part of the winning 2014 Asian Games 4x400 metre relay team, has been banned for eight years for a repeat offence.
Meanwhile, Asian Youth champion javelin thrower Rohit Yadav has been banned for a year for failing a drug test during April's youth championships.
Seems like a lot of youngsters are not at all hesitant in trying out various drugs, while some of those who have been caught once are still using them.

Still a badminton power

Saina Nehwal The 2017 World Badminton Championships at Glasgow saw Indian women deliver their best results so far, with two medals. While Saina Nehwal showed her determination, coming back from a serious knee injury to win a bronze medal, PV Sindhu displayed her best and just missed the gold after an exhilerating show against champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japanese that could have gone either way.

PV Sindhu However, not many of us paid attention to the men's final, where the 23-year-old Dane Viktor Axelsen reminded the world that Denmark is still a power to deal with, as he denied the legendary 33-year old Lin Dan his sixth world championship title.
The tall 6-feet-4-inch Axelsen got his childhood wish to beat the Chinese all-time great, 22-20, 21- 16. "Some people say I am too tall for singles," said the humble Dane, "but I know I can improve. Today I am just so happy." Axelsen's gold medal was the first in 20 years by a Danish player. Peter Rasmussen had last won it for Denmark in 1997.