Is the Kodava family hockey festival going the ‘IPL’ way?
Is the Kodava family hockey festival turning out to be another ‘IPL’ in the making? The just concluded Maneyapanda Twenty 10 Cup played at Ponnampet was a case of commercial interests taking over the game of hockey. This may spell disaster for the game in India’s hockey nursery.
Though the Maneyapanda family put up a grand show, the over-commercialisation of the event, led to a situation where the crowds expressed their disappointment by booing when the chief guest Maneyapanda A. Ganapathy, IPS, was addressing the gathering.
In a way, Mr Ganapathy, IG of Police, Uttarakhand, should partly take the blame for coming over 20 minutes late for the function. The packed crowds numbering around 25,000, sitting in the sultry afternoon sun, were growing restive for the match to start.
There were too many ‘commercial breaks’ in between the speeches. The whispers in the galleries was that the Maneyapanda show was hijacked by an industrialist, who is also a member of the Maneyapanda clan. The dais was packed with the ‘friends’ of the industrialist, which included a Kannada actor.
Though the real credit for the mega show should have gone to the core committee, including members like Brig. Viju and Maj. Bopanna, the impression was given that the show was the sole effort of the Bangalore-based industrialist belonging to the clan.
Those compeering the programme spent more time in praising the ‘achievements’ of the ‘friends of the industrialist’. The person compeering the programme in Kodava Tak, did not bring glory to his mother-tongue!
There were repeated announcements of how one of the chief guests had offered to build an indoor stadium for the Ashwini Sports Academy. Though Ashwini needs all the support in her sports ventures, this was not the occasion to make such announcements by the master of ceremonies. Any such announcement of donation could have been made by the chief guest himself.
Without doubt, the chief guest, Maneypanda Ganapathy, IPS, made the best speech. Being a local lad from Ponnampet, the hosts had made a good gesture by making him the chief guest. The IPS officer had turned up in a simple attire, as is common in Ponnampet, and spoke from his heart about his childhood days in Ponnampet. However, the spectators were not prepared to listen to the speeches and wanted the game to start.
Though the game needs sponsors, one has to be careful in selecting the sponsors. One of the major sponsors of the Maneyapanda Cup was a notorious land shark from Bangalore. If red-carpet is extended to such elements, they would use the opportunity to start their land-grabbing operations in Kodagu.
The finals of the Maneyapanda Cup was won by the Palanganda clan (in picture above) who beat Mukkatira (Bonda) by 4-2 goals. Though it was a thrilling match (some said the Mukkatiras’ played a better game), Amar Aiyamma’s hat-trick helped the Palangandas’ to clinch the trophy. The umpiring was shoddy at times.
EDITOR’S VIEW: The Kodava Hockey Academy should take corrective actions to ensure that the Kodava family hockey does not become totally a commercial proposition.
In the event of the function not starting on time due to the non-arrival of the chief guest, the Pattedara of the tournament hosting family, should be authorised to start the function without waiting for the chief guest.
There is need for ensuring that those compeering the programme in Kodava Tak should be well-versed in the language.
The family hockey tournaments should showcase the Kodava culture and not turn the event into some tamasha.