Justice for Rajini Krishnan. Stop Discrimination in National Sports.
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Rajini Krishnan has been racing for over 16 years and his achievements are second to none. Coming from extremely humble backgrounds in Chennai his entire professional career has been a struggle. Keeping with the high expenses of the profession is one thing, while finding sponsors, or financing his team and technicians and getting the right gear have been a challenge. Despite all odds, his achievements are innumerable and inspirational.
Ø Nine-time consecutive national road racing Champion in multiple categories.
Ø First Indian to win an overseas motorcycle racing championship.
Ø Overseas appearances and podiums include.
Ø Champion -2015 Malaysia Super bike championship (1000 cc open class).
Ø Champion - Losail Asian Championship - Qatar: 600cc (2012 - 2013).
Ø Losail Asian Championship – Qatar.
Ø First Indian to take part in FIM World Endurance 24 Hours Championship - 2010.
Ø First Indian to win podium - 3rd place in ARRC (FIM Asian Championship)-600cc -2009.
Ø Currently riding in the prestigious "Malaysian Super Series" in the 1000cc category.
One has to laud this lad for keeping the passion alive despite all odds for over 16 years and still going strong. While challenges are many, one of the most disgraceful of all and the most difficult to deal with has always been racial and regional discrimination. His crime? He is a South Indian. Oh yes, a ‘Tamilian’ in particular. Another ‘Madrasi’ whose talents are un-welcome in the so-called land that boasts of unity in diversity. And yesterday’s events were an all time low.
Rajini was racing in the JK championship being held in the national capital at the Buddh International Circuit. Delhi was to witness a professional Super Bike racer in action. And as expected Rajini set a lap record with absolute ease and qualified for a pole position and was all set for a stroll in the park victory. None on the track would match his times. Nowhere close literally. He clocked an amazing 01:58 lap time to cement the pole position.
Then began the drama. The race officials objected to Rajini and team using the ‘Pirelli’ stickers on their bike. Pirelli is the official tire supplier and there are no rules international or national that the tire supplier stickers cannot be used. Well, Rajini was special and hence an arbitrary rule was made up quite immediately. And things were just getting started.
Post qualifying, late evening on Saturday the bike was checked into the pits and closed down under the supervision of the organisers of the JK Championship in Delhi. Rajini and team were all smiles hoping for a cake-walk victory on Sunday. That was not to be.
In an act of absolute cowardice, and in violation of every possible sporting code, the pits were opened, and the bike tampered with overnight. The Battery Terminal was damaged, water was poured into the fuel tank and the worst was that the suspensions were tampered. It was the handiwork of an expert technician who knew what he was doing to ensure Rajini wouldn’t race. The organisers’ reply was an epic one in itself. They said they will install CCTV in the future. Problem solved Rajini can now return home as happy as larry. They will install CCTV for the future? Really??
In a cricket frenzy nation where new hope has shone on other sports, Indian motorsport still seems to lack any sort of professional exposure. It was a show of political high handedness. A scripted race whose winners were decided before the event or at least one loser's fate was sealed and ensured compliance to the script at all costs. A race well executed to the dismay and disgrace of sporting codes and humanity itself. A national shame. And what about Rajini. He continues to look for the next challenge. He will live to fight another day. But, how long will it be before this vicious system and corrupt mentality can break him and thousands of other Rajini’s who dare to dream. Is it their fault if they are south Indian? Or is it their fault that they dare to chase an impossible dream? Is this sport reserved for the rich and regionally qualified? Life goes on. When will someone say enough is enough?....
We hope the Honorable Sports Minister Mr. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore whos is an ex-army man and an olympian himself and Shri Narendra Modiji, the honaorable Prime Minister of India will take note of this and take stringent action against the culprits and the organisers. The governing body FMSCI has to be answerable as well. This disgrace has to end.
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