Ref: JHRM/PI/2013/04 Date: 29/08/2013
Sri Pranab Mukherjee,
President of India,
New Delhi – 110004
Sub: Requesting for suspension of prestigious “Dronachaya Award” under the purview of the Supreme Court’s judgment, which is given for excellence in sports coaching in India.
With due respect, we would like to bring your kind attention on the matter of prestigious “Dronacharya Award”, which is presented by the Government of India to the excellent coaches for their excellence in sports coaching. The award comprises a bronze statuette of Dronacharya, a scroll of honour and a cash component of Rs.500,000. The award was instituted in 1985. However, it should have been suspended from 5th of January, 2011 under the purview of the judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in the special leave petition (Cr) No. 10367 of 2010 Kailas & others Vs State of Maharashtra).
In the above said judgement the Apex Court has stated that the injustice done to the tribal people of India is a shameful chapter in our country’s history. The tribals were called ‘rakshas’ (demons), ‘asuras’, and what not. They were slaughtered in large numbers, and the survivors and their descendants were degraded, humiliated, and all kinds of atrocities inflicted on them for centuries. They were deprived of their lands, and pushed into forests and hills where they eke out a miserable existence of poverty, illiteracy, disease, etc. And now efforts are being made by some people to deprive them even of their forest and hill land where they are living, and the forest produce on which they survive.
The Court has said that the well known example of the injustice to the tribals is the story of Eklavya in the Adiparva of the Mahabharat. Eklavya wanted to learn archery, but Dronacharya refused to teach him, regarding him as low born. Eklavya then built a statue of Dronacharya and practiced archery before the statue. He would have perhaps become a better archer than Arjun, but since Arjun was Dronacharya’s favourite pupil Dronacharya told Eklavya to cut off his right thumb and give it to him as ‘guru dakshina’ (gift to the teacher given traditionally by the student after his study is complete). In his simplicity Eklavya did what he was told.
The Apex Court has further stated that it was a shameful act on the part of Dronacharya. He had not even taught Eklavya, so what right had he to demand ‘guru dakshina’, and that too of the right thumb of Eklavya so that the latter Eklavya may not become a better archer than his favourite pupil Arjun?
The Apex Court’s observations make it very clear that Dronachaya was an assassinator of excellence rather than protector of it therefore; giving the excellence award for sports coaching in the name of Dronacharya means insulting the excellence coaching in sports and also humiliating the Scheduled Tribe/Adivasis (the Indigenous People) of India.
However, despite the Supreme Court’s strong observations and comments the Indian Government has been giving awards to the sports coaches in the name of Dronacharya. Therefore, we humbly request you to suspend the Dronacharya Award immediately to uphold the dignity of the Scheduled Tribe/Adivasis (the Indigenous People) of India and in respect of the sports coaching.
We hope to hear your positive response. We shall be highly obliged to you for the same.
Gladson Dungdung, Sunil Minj,
General Secretary, Chairperson,
JHRM, Ranchi. JHRM, Ranchi.