Indian tennis stars have shamed the nation. They have threatened to pull out of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) simply because authorities refuse to pay them their dues. Up till now they continued to train without a paisa being paid to them. Why should they start complaining now? Don’t these world famous stars that have won grand slam titles and even reached number one ranking in world tennis have any idea about the situation that our rulers are facing? One is sorry to say that not only have Paes and Bhupathy committed a fault – they have committed a double fault!
Their first fault is that they are expecting at all to be paid. Surely they should appreciate the hard financial times through which the CWG Organizing Committee (OC) is passing? Mr Kalmadi is valiantly attempting to make both ends meet by stopping wasteful expenditure of a single paisa. In these circumstances surely he cannot be expected to pay tennis players! After all, what are these tennis players doing? They are simply playing a game for God’s sake! Must they be paid for enjoying themselves in this manner? Can they not spare a moment’s thought for the tedious, heart breaking exertions of the OC members as they work nights settling accounts, paying commissions, signing contracts and traveling to and fro between Delhi and London?
The double fault committed by our tennis stars is even more distressing. They seem to be totally oblivious of the sacrifices that our politicians are making to keep the nation afloat. Why cannot Paes and Bhupathy take a leaf from our honourable members of parliament? Our poor MPs while languishing in poverty as they serve the nation asked for a mere 500 per cent increase in their emoluments. The heartless government conceded only a 300 per cent increase. The gross payment received by an MP today is a mere Rs 5 lakhs a month. How on earth can one expect an MP to survive on such a paltry income? Visitors have to be fed, family members of MPs have to travel, muscle men have to be paid to protect the constituency, lawyers have to be paid to defend scams in court – the expenses of our poor MPs seem endless. And to top everything our MPs must labour hard running up and down the well of the House!
Come on, guys! Love all, love Kalmadi, start serving…
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Dr. Rajinder Puri
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