I have been repeatedly asked since yesterday to comment on the ' injustice ' to Sarita Devi in her boxing semi final against Jina Park of Korea, in which the latter was declared the winner.
Many people in India have become highly emotional on the issue, and have asked me to express my ' solidarity' with Sarita Devi.
For quite some time I have resisted the temptation to join the chorus to condemn the 'cheating' against Sarita Devi by the Judges. Almost all Indians are shouting and screaming against this ' rigging ' of the verdict in the match, and are expressing sympathy with Sarita Devi.
But long judicial training has made my mind impervious to such pressures, and I regret I cannot join in this emotionally high strung refrain. I, too, am a patriot, but that does not mean that I am entitled to become jingoistic and not rational. So let us consider the matter coolly.
Firstly, were any of the 3 ringside Judges who gave the verdict Koreans ? The answer is, no. The 3 Judges were (1) Ibrahim Mohammad of Tunisia, (2) Albino Foti of Italy, and (3) Mariusz Josef Gory of Poland. All 3 ruled in favour of Jina Park by identical 39-37 margins. So were all 3 Judges bribed ? I think it is absurd to say so.
Secondly, I saw the match carefully on Youtube. It was a well contested match, and though Sarita Devi certainly threw some good punches, I realize I am not a trained boxing Judge, and therefore cannot disagree with the Judges verdict with certainty.
Thirdly, even honest Judges can sometimes make mistakes. Lord Denning often said that the Judge has not been born who never made a mistake. So to attribute motives to the 3 Judges, who reached identical verdicts, is in my opinion not fair, and shows unsportsmanship spirit.
I totally disapprove of Sarita Devi's behaviour of putting her own medal on Jina Park's neck. This was most improper. Even if she felt that the verdict against her was not correct, she had no business to behave in this manner, or to throw tantrums.
I know I am in a minority of one on this issue, and may be condemned by many of my fellow Indians for being so ' unpatriotic', but that does not matter to me. As long as my conscience is clear, I have never bothered about what the hoi polloi says