India’s ‘selfie’ sports minister can’t get Dipa Karmakar’s name right


Sports pundits will soon begin to indulge in the established ritual of analysis as to where Indian athletes went wrong to be able to draw a blank at Rio Olympics.

And, once again, there will bound to be spotlight on the attention that non-cricket sports receive in India. Some may once again blame politicians for simply not being passionate and sincere enough to promote Olympics sports in India.

The politicians’ scrutiny may perhaps be little harsher this time particularly in light of the shenanigans caused by India’s sports minister, Vijay Goel.

Goel’s recent craze for chasing athletes for selfies had caused considerable embarrassment to the Indian contingent.

His action had prompted the Olympics organising committee to issue threats to cancel his accreditation as Goel was accused of being rude and aggressive to staff in Rio.

Now, Goel has courted a fresh controversy, which will cause further agony to him as India begins to debate the athletes’ performance in Olympics.

That’s because the controversial sports minister has pulled off another feat to his credit. Like millions of Indians on Sunday, Goel too posted a congratulatory message for the gymnast Dipa Karmakar, who had narrowly missed out on a medal.

However, to everyone’s utter shock, the message posted by Goel had Karmakar’s name spelled as ‘Karmanakar.’

As it emerged, Goel had wrongly spelled Dipa’s surname in three different tweets making it abundantly clear that it wasn’t a typo.


Two tweets posted by Goel on 7 August had spelled Dipa’s surname as Karmanakar.

Goel’s gaffe has not gone unnoticed by social media users, who moved in with lightening speed to pounce on him.

And if this wasn’t enough, soon eagle-eyed social media users highlighted how Goel had even failed to recognise other Indian athletes when he tweeted about wished sprinter Dutee Chand calling her Srabani Nanda for her 200 meter race.

While wishing Nanda, Goel twitter message had Chand’s photo. Chand had taken part in 100 meter competition, which was well and truly over at the time of Goel’s tweet.


Here are some reactions:

User Komal Tiwari wrote: Sports minister of India can’t even spell name of the athlete properly
Apna photu chipkane bol do bas !

User Shuvro Ghoshal wrote, “Our Sports Minister Vijay Goel spells Karmakar as Karmanakar. On the same day, accepts his hero is Dipa.”

User WaterWars wrote, “May be 10 pegs down hone ke baad. Brazil yeveen gaye hain kya? Thodi masti-vasti karke tweet karte honge.”

User Sahil wrote on Twitter, “He bought more shame for India at Rio. Entire BJP govt. has made mockery of India. Ppl r laughing at India. Such a shame.”

User Luckyparinda tweeted, “Photo, photocopy aur photoshop bas yahi aata hai in nikamme netaon ko.”

User India Explained tweeted, “Vijay Goel continues to impress at Olympics”

User Anna MM Vetticad wrote, “Sports minister does not recognise our athletes. Our MEA pretends to read . What next?”