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Obituary to Mohammad Shahid, India’s Hockey legend

The 56-year-old, who was battling kidney and liver problems, breathed his last on Wednesday at a Gurgaon hospital.

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Mohammad Shahid. Image Source: Twitter
  • The 56-year-old, who was battling kidney and liver problems, breathed his last on Wednesday at a Gurgaon hospital.
  • He was part of the Vasudevan Baskaran-led Indian team that clinched the gold medal at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
  • Paying tributes to one of the best known hockey stars of the country, PM Narendra Modi said the government tried its best to save Shahid.

India’s hockey legend Mohammad Shahid was one of the greatest players of all time, was known for his excellent dribbling skills.

The 56-year-old, who was battling kidney and liver problems, breathed his last on Wednesday at a Gurgaon hospital.

Mohammad Shahid in his bed at Medanta Medicity Hospital. Image Source: www.mid-day.com
Mohammad Shahid in his bed at Medanta Medicity Hospital. Image Source: www.mid-day.com

He was part of the Vasudevan Baskaran-led Indian team that clinched the gold medal at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

The legend was battling for life after a bout of jaundice, after that dengue made his condition worse.

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Shahid, who was born in Varanasi, made his first appearance for India in 1979 at the Junior World Cup in France.

Hockey historian K Arumugam quoted The Indian Express, “India won all but one match to Pakistan during 1984 and 1985. The only time they lost was the Asia Cup final in Dhaka where five Indian players were suspended”.

Shahid made his first senior team appearance the same year in a four-nation tournament in Kuala Lumpur under Baskaran, after his inclusion in the team following his impressive performance in the Aga Khan Cup. His skills and love for the game was noticed by his seniors and coaches.

It was said that on the hockey field, if he was one of the most feared one, off it he was the most humble and down to earth person.

Zafar Iqbal. Image Source: Getty Images
Zafar Iqbal. Image Source: Getty Images

During his playing days, besides his dribbling skills, Shahid was also known for his running ability and push which was as fast as a hard hit.

His attacking partnership on the field with Zafar Iqbal was known to one and all.

He was awarded the ‘Best Forward player’ at the 1980 Champions Trophy in Karachi.

Hockey India tweet on Mohammad Shahid's Death. Image Source: Twitter
Hockey India tweet on Mohammad Shahid’s Death. Image Source: Twitter

He was a member of the team that won the gold at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, silver at the 1982 Asian Games and bronze at the 1986 Asian Games. He was able to make place in the Asian All-Star team in 1986 through his practice and skills. He also captained the Indian national team during the 1985-86 season.

He was also awarded the Arjuna Award in 1980-1981 and Padma Shri in 1986.

Later on, he became a sports officer with the Indian Railways in Varanasi.

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He had been admitted to SSL Hospital at Banaras Hindu University with severe stomach pain on June 29. As his condition did not improve, he was airlifted from Varanasi and admitted to the Medanta Medicity hospital in Gurgaon earlier this month.

He is survived by his wife Parveen Shahid and twins Mohammad Saif and Heena Shahid.

Paying tributes to one of the best known hockey stars of the country, PM Narendra Modi said the government tried its best to save Shahid.

PM Modi on demise of Mohammad Shahid. Image Source: www.tagthebird.com
PM Modi on demise of Mohammad Shahid. Image Source: www.tagthebird.com

“In the untimely and unfortunate demise of Mohammed Shahid, India has lost a talented sportsman who played with immense passion & vigour,” Modi tweeted.

“We tried our level best to save Mohammed Shahid but sadly, neither our help nor prayers were enough to save him. Tributes to him. RIP,” the Prime Minister added.

Hockey India also tweeted saying, “Hockey India grieves the untimely loss of India Hockey Legend Mohammed Shahid, who passed away today, 20 July 2016.” (IANS)

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Only A Strong Leader Can Control The Mobocracy

Today we need a strong leader and strong nation. But this doesn't mean that it has to be against the culture of political pluralism. Such a leader need not be against federalism, need not run an unitary government.

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EC bans online streaming of web series on Modi. Pixabay

BY: JAYANTA GHOSAL

I am a human being – Homo sapiens. But does that mean I am poor, brutish, nasty and small? That is what Thomas Hobbes had thought. Machiavelli’s prince had also said that if you want to control people, the masses, the electorate – then you’ve to keep a whip in your hand like the ringmaster in a circus. Only a strong leader can control the mobocracy.

The great Indian political circus has also had several Prime Ministers. From Jawaharlal Nehru to Narendra Modi. Each Prime Minister is unique The modus operandi is different. In 2014 when Modi entered Lutyen’s Delhi, the popular perception was that a strong man has arrived. Like the arrival of James Bond, after the World War II to dispel the darkness of the depressed British masses. Plato had preached that for a philosopher king who would also be the representative of God – that he will bring justice to mankind.

India
The Vajpayee era could easily be said as the beginning of the ‘swarna yug’ of Indian economy. It was under his leadership that India went for Pokhran 2, but was he a strong leader? The Indian mythology of strong leadership would dictate that he wasn’t. Pixabay

Today in a democracy, we chose our leader through the process of election. There is no monarch. Nor do we have a philosopher leader like S. Radhakrishnan. We have Modi and the popular perception persists that he is a ‘strong leader’. At the eve of another election, the discourse on strong leadership has started again. But we need to understand that strong leader doesn’t mean an undemocratic leader. I think that even in a coalition government one needs a strong leadership to run the coalition. A strong leader does not mean that he will be blunt to the ideas of others – that he or she will not listen to the voice of the people. Rather, if you want to frame policies, you’ve to talk to experts, bureaucrats and even other people.

After getting 282 seats, was Modi reluctant to listen any other opinion?

I think this belief is absolutely wrong. I know his style of functioning and I can say, bluntly, that each and every day he spoke to several people on different subjects. In Lutyen’s Delhi, there is a wrong perception that he takes his own decision – this isn’t correct. In Delhi, he begins his daily routine with briefing meetings. Principal Secretary Nripendra Mishra meets him first. Then P.K. Mishra and other PMO officials. He talks to his PS and APSs daily. Then, the PM conducts video conferences with his department secretaries. He would also hold such conferences with state government officials.

He also has his own unique way of taking inputs from the feedback from the ground; a team, a set-up that isn’t just restricted to social media like Twitter or Facebook. He seeks opinion from the chaupals of different villages. Before the declaration of the election, he conducted a review meeting. The PMO wanted to know the status of implementation of different Government of India schemes in the country’s 29 states and 7 union territories.

It is true that Modi didn’t encourage the Dalal Raj of the political system. In Maharashtra, what is the reason for the deteriorating relationship between Uddhav and Modi took in the past 5 years? Was it ideological? Was it the just the BJP’s single party mindset? An arrogance of big brotherhood? The informed political circle know that the actual reason is because Shiv Sena couldn’t get the malai of Delhi’s power. It started with the Mumbai corporation and ended in a cabinet birth for Shiv Sena.

When Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister, Balasaheb quarrelled on several issues. But the supply line for Shiv Sena was never disturbed. Vajpayee was the first NDA PM in 1998. The Vajpayee era could easily be said as the beginning of the ‘swarna yug’ of Indian economy. It was under his leadership that India went for Pokhran 2, but was he a strong leader? The Indian mythology of strong leadership would dictate that he wasn’t.

Vajpayee was, after all, a man of political consensus. How can such a leader be characterised as strong? Here lies the fallacy. Once the late Pramod Mahajan of the BJP told me: “Do you know what is our major problem in this party and government? And what is the advantage the Gandhi family of the Congress have?” He explained: “In our party it is a tyranny of democracy. Vajpayee may be the leader but there is an oligarchy. Advani, M.M. Joshi, Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha. And beyond these leaders there is Nagpur. Humhara yaha fayasla lenese jada chintan manthan hota haye!”

In congress there is a working committee but only one Gandhi will take the final call. Nobody can object. Sharad Pawar and Purno Sangma raised issues and they had to leave the party. Only once Vajpayee did not disclose the decision to Advani also — and that was the Pokhran blast and that event made Indian leadership strong! See, Advani pressurised Vajpayee to hold general election six months early. And Vajpayee accepted. He lost the election.

democracy
Our Constitution suggests a quasi-federal structure, and such a leader can be a symbol of that political entropy. But creating a hate campaign against Modi, projecting him as an autocrat – is that democracy? Pixabay

Can anybody dictate Modi like this today?

In the party national executive meeting held at Palampur (Himachal Pradesh), the BJP leadership led by Advani took the resolution in 1989 to start Ramjanmabhomi movement. Vajpayee objected but he was a loner and a minority voice. Now this model of Vajpayee leadership is desirable? When a General cannot issue order to his soldiers forcefully? Second, when you are a victim of political blackmail. P.V. Narasimha Rao had to manage JMM MPs to win the no confidence motion in the Lok Sabha. How can he be the strong man? Manmohan Singh did not like it, but chargesheeted Lalu Prasad was in his cabinet. I recall that once, while accompanying him during a trip, he said on record that keeping Lalu in cabinet is coalition compulsion. Manmohan Singh wanted to go to Pakistan to talk. The party said no. How can he be a strong leader?

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Today we need a strong leader and strong nation. But this doesn’t mean that it has to be against the culture of political pluralism. Such a leader need not be against federalism, need not run an unitary government. Our Constitution suggests a quasi-federal structure, and such a leader can be a symbol of that political entropy. But creating a hate campaign against Modi, projecting him as an autocrat – is that democracy? Actually, till today, I have not seen one Devkant Baruah statement in the BJP saying ‘Modi is India’. (IANS)