I had earlier in the day written a blog entry about allowing PIO's (Persons of Indian Origin) and OCI's (Overseas Citizen of India) to represent India again on the international sports stage. And then in the evening I read the shocking reports about the Government of India questioning Viswanathan Anand's nationality. Are those bureaucrats really serious???
This is an insult to someone like Viswanathan Anand, who has put India on the world map in chess, happens to be one of India's few real sporting heroes and now this treatment. This is unacceptable and even a personal 'sorry' over the phone by Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal is just not enough. In my opinion a sorry and clarification how this embarrassment due to 'procedural delays' could happen just won't do. Lets see how our politicians now correct this gross injustice.
But I have a more general question. This whole situation came about due to the fact that the University of Hyderabad wanted to confer an honorary doctorate degree to Anand during the ongoing International Congress of Mathematicians. Something positive and deserving for Anand, but as standard procedure the University has to ask the HRD Ministry if a person is eligible and what nationality that person holds, which led to this embarrassing situation. And in the end it means that the HRD Ministry controls who is handed such honorary degrees. Shouldn't the educational system be independent from ministries and politicians?
Anand was graceful in his reaction. He is said to be disappointed with what happened, but wanted to move on and has also accepted minister Kapil Sibal's apology. Anand is a quite man, who doesn't need the limelight, so he will not create a media stir about what happened, but maybe the media should stand-up for someone like Anand, who has done great service to the country.
In the end I have a last question? If this can happen to someone like Viswanathan Anand, what can then happen to a normal citizen...