Gwalior, Oct 26 (UNI) Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari today highlighted the need for a revolutionary change in physical education and the country's sports scenario.
''In the history of the rise and decline of nations, the importance of physical education has been underrated,'' he said while addressing the Fifth Convocation Ceremony of the Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education (LNIPE) in this citadel town.
The Vice-President was conferred a honorary Doctorate of Literature by LNIPE Vice-Chancellor Major-General (Retd) S N Mukherji.
''Even Plato and Aristotle admitted that proper personality development was possible only through public education that stressed on exercise for the body and music for the soul. Only those ancient civilisations, which arranged for overall physical education at institutional level, survived and prospered,'' Mr Ansari added.
The Constitution's Seventh Schedule lists sports as a state subject that has been linked with theatre and cinema. It is ironical that sports could not be developed to the extent of -- and attain as much prosperity as -- theatre and cinema, he felt.
''It is also an irony of statistics that a population exceeding a billion could win just a single medal in the past three Olympics.
Excessive commercialisation of sports is a matter of concern.
Electoral politics leads to the political class chiefly focussing on sports that interest the public and market alike. The politics of cricket had caused losses to other sports,'' the Vice-President said.
Madhya Pradesh Governor Balram Jakhar also spoke on the occasion.
Mr Ansari later left for Delhi by a special plane of the Indian Air Force.