India has been building up to the 2016 Olympics knowing it will be having the largest-ever contingent participating in the Rio de Janerio event. However, this historic feat wasn't a big part of the build-up which was dominated by controversies.
The biggest one of these controversies though was laid to rest on Monday when Delhi High Court dismissed Sushil Kumar's plea for a trial with Narsingh Yadav to decide who will represent India in the 74 kgs category at Olympics.
But just as the Sushil-Narsingh tussle was over, Salman Khan refurbished an earlier controversy that arose out of his own appointment as goodwill ambassador for the Rio Olympics by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). Salman who was among the first popular faces to be appointed in the role, attracted massive furore among various sportsmen like Milkha Singh and Yogeshwar Dutt and was soon induced into the masses who raised questions over Salman Khan's appointment.
Later, the IOA roped in the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, A.R. Rahman and Abhinav Bindra as goodwill ambassador's in addition to Salman Khan, to justify his appointment and the anger surrounding it seemed to cool down.
But on Monday, Salman Khan re-ignited the row, by questioning the contrast in the kind of media coverage which the likes of Tendulkar and Rahman received as compared to him.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Salman cried foul. He complained about the gulf between the treatment that was met to him as compared to those who followed him as goodwill ambassadors. "Does Rahman need a state-level certificate or a national-level medal to be called a sportsperson? Aren’t all the kids or other persons, who like and follow a particular sports sportspersons? If they are, then why just pick on me?" Salman told the newspaper.
"The media should have done the same thing (criticised the other goodwill ambassadors) when Sachin and Rahman were roped in. Why didn’t that happen? Why did the media not give them the same kind of coverage they gave me?" questioned Salman.
The Bollywood superstar was also quick to brush off suggestions that the court case against him makes him ineligible for holding a position of this honour. "So, you have issues with one person, who has court cases, becoming the Olympics goodwill ambassador. There are so many big politicians who have court cases. I am ready to leave it (the ambassadorship), if you (the politicians) also leave [your posts]," Salman told Hindustan Times.
These comments made by Salman Khan is set to grab the headlines and once again will dominate the Olympics news in the country. So whether these comments from Salman are coming straight from his heart or a well-thought out PR exercise doesn't matters little, as challenges and problems facing the athletes preparing for the Rio games will continue to take the back seat.
First Published On : Jun 6, 2016 19:33 IST