JODHPUR: Legendary athlete Milkha Singh today held "politics and bureaucracy" responsible for the deplorable state of sports in the country and voiced his support for incorporating sportsmen in policy decisions.
"Our system is such that politicians and bureaucrats dominate sports scenario of the country and until this would change, nobody can expect an improvement," he said at a function here.
The Padma Shri recipient recommended that those associated with sports and have led the country internationally should be incorporated at the policy and implementation level.
"Though I am opposed to sports persons entering into politics but for the good of the sports, the sportsmen should be at the helm of the affairs, if the country seriously wants to scale up its dominance in the industry," he said.
Singh had once mentioned that Sachin Tendulkar should be the sports minister.
He also talked about his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the falling standard of athletics in the country.
Modi expressed his concern about the issue and sought suggestions from me for producing more Milkha Singh in the country, he said.
"I have given him some suggestion. Let us see what happens, but I am hopeful," Singh said.
The Flying Sikh suggested that "robust plans" are required for 4 years to revive sports in India with roping in of "dedicated local sports coaches every 2 years" to ensure better results.
"Even the government grants to sports associations should be followed by fool-proof plans," he said.
The athlete who brought many laurels to India however held cricket responsible for the negligence of other sports in the country.
Cricket has finished other sports in the country as it dominates the nation's sports horizon, he said.
Singh attributed swanky promotional initiatives, the huge money in the game of cricket and media attention for the dominance of the sport.
Doubting the transparency in the game, he said that cricket is a game where mostly the results are decided in advance through match fixing.
The former track and field sprinter who was portrayed in the 2013 biopic 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' noted that biopics play an important role in taking sports men to a wider section of the society.
"I am now treated as a celebrity after the release of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, otherwise I was known by people over 50 years of age. Such films make you a youth icon," he said.
Singh added that he was awaiting a biopic on Dhyan Chand, 'magician of hockey'.