It’s time to save Bengal hockey

Saba Nayakan Kolkata | Updated on August 12, 2013


Bengal Hockey Association, one of the oldest in the country, has been given six months to set its house in order. It was first handed a suspension and then it was relegated to associate membership by Hockey India (HI) recently.

The main reason for this embarrassment is that the BHA did not comply with the statute of HI. When most of the State associations fell in line with HI after it came into being a few years ago , the BHA, it seems, was reluctant to accept the reality and continued to live in its own world.

As per the HI's constitution, the nomenclature of the association should have been either Hockey Bengal or Bengal Hockey. The HI was also very unhappy with the BHA on the lax implementation of the unification with the Women's Hockey Association of Bengal. At least 40 per cent of women representation is mandatory in executive council.

The BHA failed to intimate HI about the December 15, 2012 annual general meeting due to which HI could not send its observer to oversee the election process. The BHA reportedly did not submit accounts for a few lakhs which it received from HI for the development of the game in Bengal.

The decision to suspend and relegate the BHA was confirmed at the 16{+t}{+h} executive board meeting of the HI held on July 13 and 14 this year. A three-man BHA delegation comprising the president, newly elected secretary and one of the vice-presidents met HI officials at New Delhi on August 8 to retrieve the lost ground but was told to put the house in order.

According to the HI portal, the association’s official address is that of former secretary Gurbux Singh’s residence. This is shocking because the BHA has a full fledged office in the heart of the city. Insiders claimed that none of the HI communications reached the BHA office nor the executive council was kept informed of all the mails from HI. It is possible that the former secretary, for reasons best known to him, kept all the HI communication away from the EC but people on the know say the HI secretary general, Narinder Batra, did sent out verbal warning periodically through BHA representatives attending the National meets. Yet, none thought it prudent to act on them or enquire from the BHA secretary as to what was going on!

It is time for the past and present office-bearers of the BHA to act quickly to get things in order than indulge in the blame game. Bengal hockey has had enough. It is time to act decisively to regain the lost ground.

Published on August 12, 2013

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