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Kalmadi Releases 'Olympics:The India Story (7/22/2008)
--K.Arumugam
Suresh Kalmadi and Randhir Singh released the ‘Olympics: the India Story’, jointly written by Boria Majumdar and Nalin Mehta on Monday, the 21st July 2008 in New Delhi.

The release was followed by a lively panel discussion with former Olympians and media persons moderated by the author Boria Majumdar himself.

In his remark, Boria Majumdar said that Indian Olympic Movement is not a foot note in the global Olympic history. "In fact, India was an important strategic outpost in the Olympic family, which started as a global phenomenon at the turn of the 20th century", he asserted.

According to the press release by the authors, the book ‘explores why the Indian elite became obsessed with the Olympic ideal at the turn of 20th century, and how this relates to India’s quest for a meaningful role on the international stage. It also conclusively validates the contention that the essence of Olympism does not reside on in medals won, records broken, television right sold. Particularly for India, the Olympic movement is important because it provides a unique prism to understand the complex evolution of regional and national identities’.

Boria Majumdar is Senior Research Fellow at La Trobe University, Melbourne. He has taught aspects of the Olympic Movement at the University of Chicago and University of Toronto.

Co-author Nalin Mehta is an Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Sciences, La Trobe University, Melbourne and recently was a Deputy News Editor with Times Now television in India.

Hockey Olympians RS Bhola, Aslam Sher Khan and MK Kaushik were present on the occasion; Aslam spoke on how he was imspired by his father Ahmed Sher Khan’s Olympic story to take up hockey in a big way.

The authors dwelt on Jaipal Singh, India’s 1928 Olympic hockey team Captain, in detail. Former Law Minister Arun Jaitley brought the subject in his speech and quoted from the book how the former captain raised the issue of formation of separate state of Jharkhand.

Gulu Ezekiel, co-author ‘Great Indian Olympians’, interacted with the gathering on his findings on Norman Pritchard, while his co-author author K. Arumugam had a brief chat with Boria on why Jaipal Singh left the Olympics midway through. This still remains a mystery.

The authors (Boria and Nalin) referred the 'Great Indian Olympians’ book in their speech and also said many references from the book have been used in their work.

Many youngsters and educationists also interacted with the authors

Suresh Kalamadi praised the book, while his IOA Secretary Randhir Singh informed that the IOA in conjunction with the IOC will launch Olympic Movement Education Programme in August this year.

Randhir further said that the IOA will buy and present the book to all IOA members. This is a good gesture.

Despite Delhi being on the political hot spot following the start of the special two-day parliament session where Prime Minister sought confidence motion, all the dignitaries turned up and the programme went off well.

A good treat for the book lovers.

The book was published by Harper Collins Publishers India Limited.

Boria also authored a book on cricket and football.

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