Haryana Sports Ministry Controversy explained; who’s at fault?

Haryana sports ministry-ashok khemka-haryana
Ab Dangal hoga!

What is the Haryana Sports Ministry controversy all about?

On 30th April 2018, the Haryana State Government issued a notification, pertaining to all sportspersons who are employed with the state government or with any associated body of the state.

What does it say?

It is said to have two conditions for a sportsperson participating in professional sports events or doing a commercial endorsement: a) if they are treated as on ‘leave without pay’ during this time, they have to give 33% of the income earned from these professional events or endorsements, to the government, b) if they are treated as ‘on duty’ during this time, they will have to surrender 100% of the whole amount earned to the government.

The whole amount? That’s ridiculous! How can the government-

It is important to look at the details. If a sportsperson is employed as an employee of the government, she/he has certain duties too, towards their respective department. The notification covers only endorsements (e.g. shooting a Patanjali ad) or professional sports events (e.g. playing in the IPL or the Pro Kabaddi League). So, if the government is paying their employee, while she/he is doing activities to earn from other souirces as well, it obviously makes for bad optics.

It still feels unfair…

You should probably look at the man who is mostly responsible for this notification: the Principal Secretary of the Sports & Youth Affairs Department, Haryana, IAS officer Ashok Khemka. This is a certain news article about him..

Whoa! 45 transfer in 23 years! And that too in 2015! Must be an amazing guy!

Yup. So you can assume that some thought must have gone into his department’s notification.

He is the best! This is the best notification ever then!

Not exactly. While it is a good rule, it probably can do with some tweaking. Maybe an exception can be given for sportspersons who have just started their careers. Maybe a tiered-system can be done, so that atheletes who earn more from their endorsements, have to surrender more of their income and vice-versa. But it should not be completely thrown out.


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