The Indian Olympic Association has sought the permission of the Government of India, for boycott of the Commonwealth Games 2022, as Shooting has been removed as a Sport from the 2022 edition to be held at Birmingham, England.
The National Rifle Association of India has also supported the move of the Indian Olympic Association in this regard. The NRAI is the custodian of the sport of Shooting in India, and is also an associate of the Indian Olympic Association. They believe that the boycott threat will force the organizers to include Shooting in the Games.
Shooting as a Sport has been giving us the most haul of medals in Commonwealth Games for a number of years now. In the last edition India got 16 medals from shooting comprising of 7 golds, 4 silvers and 5 bronze medals. It was the effort of a 27 member strong Shooting Team that gave us those 16 medals.
India had participated in 15 sports in 2018, and Shooting was only one of the 15. There were 14 other sports, in which another 189 players from India participated at CWG 18 at Gold Coast. India got a total of 66 medals, out of which 50 medals came from other Sports. Out of those 50 medals, 19 were Gold Medals.
Other than Shooting, Table Tennis and WeightLifting are two other sports, in which we perform best in CWG only. Squash which is a non Olympic sport, has always been a part of Commonwealth Games.
Should the custodian of Olympic Sports in India sacrifice participation in an event of such magnitude for just one sport. What about the other 189 athletes who also won us 50 medals at Gold Coast. Are we not insulting them by deciding to boycott the Games just for Shooting. Are those performances not important to us.
The 17 member Commonwealth Games Executive Committee, which runs every Commonwealth Games, has no Indian representation. India has withdrawn their candidates for the forthcoming elections to the Committee in protest on Shooting. Is it not a better option, to fight the elections, get elected, and then get heard in the Committee. They can then push for putting Shooting in the list of permanent disciplines.
Archery was removed from the 2018 games at Gold Coast. There was no such protest then. Are our archers any ways less important than our Shooters. There was a move to remove Wrestling from Olympics, should we boycott Olympics next if that happens.
Making tweets and press statements that India is no longer a Brtish Colony by persons of authority does not reflect our protest intents. We are unhappy as Shooting will not be part of CWG22, buts that has no relation with our independent structure of 72 years.
Are we trying to scare off the organizers of television revenue loss, with the threat of boycott. Commonwealth Games does attract the level of viewership in India, that an IPL T20 match can attract. Its a multi world sporting event in which over 70 countries participate, and we are just one out of 70
What will Government do
The Government of India has to take a judicious decision keeping in mind, the interest of all. Be it players of other sports, or our citizens who live outside India, and in Birmingham and England. People at positions of Authority should be careful about public statements.
The decision of boycott, will have serious negative impact on any future bids by India for any multinational sporting events. For events like Olympics, Asian Games, age group FIFA tournments, our bids will be viewed with skepticism. Recently two Pakistan shooters were not given visa to participate in an ISSF tournament in India. It already had negative advertisement to our ability to host international events.
The detrimental effects should be given due diligence before taking any sentimental decisions on boycott of CWG 2022