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BTC is in dire need of leadership amidst critical times

  March 16 , 2024

Once graced by the titans of yore, the Bangalore Turf Club now finds itself in the clutches of one Aravind Raghavan, the self-proclaimed master of chaos. Picture this: Raghavan, the maestro of mayhem, orchestrating strikes like a maestro conducting a symphony, culminating in Derby`s cancellation – a feat never before seen in the annals of racing history.

It`s baffling that someone like Raghavan, whose avowed mission was the club`s demise, could ascend to the chairmanship. He denigrated club members until he joined the ranks and now, incredulously, holds a permanent invitation from the Turf Authorities of India. Moreover, he has no qualms about fostering illegal betting, and courting sponsorship from illicit platforms, thus jeopardizing legal betting operations.

The Bangalore Winter Season draws to a close, marred by poor stiping and rank bad decisions. Instead of upholding the integrity of the races, they have succumbed to the influence of certain syndicates, allowing them to dictate the proceedings. These once-respected stipendiary stewards became mere puppets, relinquishing their authority to individuals with scant knowledge of the sport. Biases tainted their judgments, evident in their dubious decisions regarding objections and racing infringements, tarnishing the image of the sport.

The Bangalore Turf Club languishes in a state of utter desolation, with progress nowhere in sight. Trainers flee its dilapidated grounds, retiring into obscurity, while the once vibrant institution now lies barren, devoid of fresh talent. For an entire decade, the club has turned a blind eye to the cries for new trainers` licenses and apprentice jockeys, leaving its halls echoing with the hollow sound of neglect. The few officials who remain are but shadows of their former selves, a part-time handicapper and a lone Stipendiary Steward struggling to keep the semblance of order amidst the chaos.

The once illustrious Bangalore Amateur Riders Institute, famed for producing giants of the turf like Y S Srinath and Suraj Narredu, now stands as a relic of the past, its halls silent and its legacy forgotten. Instead of nurturing the next generation of champions, the club flounders in a sea of mediocrity, clinging to a threadbare existence upheld only by the sheer will of its beleaguered staff.

And what of the promises of change? They ring hollow amidst the cacophony of excuses and bureaucratic inertia. The Supreme Court looms large over the club like a spectre, casting a long shadow over its day-to-day affairs. But why should the fate of the club be held hostage to the case that has been pending for over a decade? Is it not conducting its Derby, or filling up vacancies arising due to the death of existing members?

In the heart of Bangalore, where dreams were once made and fortunes won, now lies a shattered institution, its future uncertain and its spirit broken. And until the grip of politics is broken, until the club is freed from the shackles of its own making, it will remain nothing more than a tragic reminder of what could have been.

The truth is plain to see: the Bangalore Turf Club is mired in a cesspool of politics and self-interest, where progress is sacrificed at the altar of personal ambition. Two opposing factions, locked in a perpetual struggle for dominance, ensure that nothing ever changes. And in the midst of it all stands the Chairman, the very embodiment of disruption, presiding over the club`s descent into irrelevance with a callous disregard for its once-glorious past.

The Bangalore Turf Club`s oversight in scrutinizing the ownership profiles of racehorses is a glaring lapse in due diligence. Even more concerning is the laxity extended to bookmakers, with licenses granted to certain individuals whose income tax declarations hardly align with the financial requirements of their operations. This laissez-faire approach jeopardizes the integrity of the sport, opening the door to potential exploitation and malpractice. It`s high time for the club to tighten its regulatory reins and ensure that everyone meets stringent standards of transparency and accountability. Anything less undermines the credibility and fairness of the entire racing enterprise.

Amidst a myriad of challenges, the club finds itself entangled in legal battles, haemorrhaging funds in futile litigations. The Stewards` blatant disregard for principles of natural justice and fair play has led to a litany of court cases, with the club emerging victorious in none. Furthermore, the looming shadow of a Supreme Court decision threatens the very existence of the club, casting a pall of uncertainty over its future.

Unlike their counterparts at the Royal Western India Turf Club, who embrace media coverage as a boon to the sport, the Bangalore Turf Club shuns public relations efforts, perpetually mired in negative publicity. Even the belated attempt to honour the media with a race named the Press Reporters Stakes lacked sincerity, devoid of the dignity befitting such an occasion. The club did not have the courtesy to invite a member of the community of race reporters to present the trophy. The club appeared to be saving money by not buying a cup!

At the helm of this sinking ship stands Aravind Raghavan, a chairman devoid of grace, whose brash demeanour and lack of decorum epitomize the club`s descent into chaos. Under his leadership, the club`s relationships with other racing clubs have soured, with disputes over outstanding debts escalating to alarming levels. The club`s mounting debts to the government only exacerbate its woes, as legal battles loom large on the horizon.

The Royal Western India Turf Club`s recent amicable settlement with the government starkly contrasts the Bangalore Turf Club`s belligerent stance. While cooperation with governmental entities is imperative for survival, the club`s leadership, marked by hostility and obstinacy, remains a stumbling block to progress. The sorry state of affairs, epitomized by a bookmaker`s intervention to navigate licensing issues with the government, underscores the depths of dysfunction plaguing the club. The club badly needs a leader who can steer the ship amidst the crucial times.

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Total Comments : 4
Posted by Vijay Krishna 005 on ( March 16 , 2024 )
I have Two Men in my mind who can
rise to the occasion, one person has the
heft and influence to bring the change and
the Other the microscopic view of the
problems facing the club.
The first is Mr. Narahari, the bookmaker who
helped in getting the license in August 2023,
and the Other is the
Editor Mr Sharan. Yes.
If these Two Men come together,
they will attract, encourage energise others.
They know the problems, they know the solutions,
but to bring the change,
each Man needs the Other.
This will turn into the quintessential Krishna Arjuna combo.. some sort of Revolution or at least a Coup is required.
Request the Admin to publish my reply, please. Thank You
Posted by Murali srinivasan on ( March 16 , 2024 )
Brilliant article Sharan as always, par excellence
Posted by Chandulal on ( March 17 , 2024 )
An excellent hard hitting article as expected from a fearless journalist in Sharankumar. But one glaring omission is noted..: regarding dubious horse owners , benami elements, bookmakers at one center and horse owners at the rest of the turf clubs masquerading on the pretext of horse ownership into normally prohibited areas such as stables are also are hugely detrimental to the principles of propriety which is non negotiable in this sport. Else Indian horse racing isn’t by any semblance a game of skill.
Posted by Govinda on ( March 17 , 2024 )
What a expose by editor of the article on the jokers of BTC Management. Don`t they feel ashamed that they are enjoying the public money and showing off that they are the real bosses of BTC. The government has appointed a JOKER as a Steward, as per Katta`s recent complaint.

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