Sorry Trollers, I Maintain Salman Shouldn't be IOA Ambassador

I feel that most times, their witty take on serious subjects cuts better with people rather than the mundane gyaan.

Published: 28th April 2016 06:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th April 2016 10:47 AM   |  A+A-


Bollywood actor Salman Khan with boxer MC Mary Kom and hockey captain Sardar Singh during a function where the actor was announced as Goodwill Ambassador of Indian contingent for Rio Olympics 2016 in New Delhi on Saturday. | PTI

I’ve always been a huge fan of Amul ads appearing in print and on hoardings. I feel that most times, their witty take on serious subjects cuts better with people rather than the mundane gyaan. I remember one advertisement after the alleged Satyam fraud was reported. There was a cartoon of a bespectacled, moustached man holding on to a money bag. The ad was brilliantly headlined “Satyam, Sharam, Scandalam”. If I had it my way, I could have nominated the copy writer for an advertising award for this.

It isn’t surprising that the recent Salman Khan-IOA goodwill ambassador subject has caught the Amul’s copy writer’s attention. This time the copy isn’t too bad either. It reads, “Athletes want samman not Salman” to go with a cartoon of three befuddled looking athletes. In English it means that athletes need respect more than Salman as a goodwill ambassador. Well, yours truly too has been sucked into this whole episode. A journalist asked me what I thought about Salman’s appointment and I said something that I still maintain even after being trolled, abused and battered on social media. Nothing against Salman, I love the work that he has done with his philanthropic arm Being Human, but the whole idea of having a film star promoting Olympic sports doesn’t sit well with me.

Sorry.jpgThe inference that I take out from this is that IOA is meekly conceding that sports and sportspersons are not good enough to enhance their popularity in our country. They are saying that all the good work done by medal winners like Abhinav Bindra, Yogeshwar Dutt, Mary Kom etc is weak on inspiration for our youth therefore we need a ‘Khan’ from the film industry. I am sorry but IOA got it wrong this time. All sport needs is better governance, someone with a passion for sports, planning, honesty and as the Amul copy writer says, “Respect” for the athletes.   

Amidst the ridicules on social media I spent some quality time here in Mumbai. Two of the three ladies of my life are here and both love outdoors as much as I want to stay put in the room. We ventured out for a Japanese dinner and then went around near Haji Ali late in the night.

I briefly met Shah Rukh Khan bhai as well and congratulated him on the success of his latest movie Fan. The entire KKR team saw the film in Pune at a special screening. For me movies are always fun as it is time to forget everything and let the director and the movie’s characters take you on a joyride. So I just surrender myself but not without my tub of popcorn. Fan was no different.

The team news is good as well. Except Manish Pandey’s illness,  everyone else is good to go. The pitch looks the same — placid as a Mumbai-Pune highway. We had two good practice sessions in the lead-up to the game against Mumbai Indians. We don’t have a great head-to-head record against MI. Someone was telling us that they call us the maska team. Maska is Mumbai colloquial for butter and I am told that they call us so as they feel beating us has been akin to smearing butter on the bread. I wonder who coined Maska for us, a MI player or the Amul copywriter?

Dinesh Chopra Media

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