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Indian Olympian teaches Salman Khan the real meaning of goodwill ambassador in an open letter

New Delhi: Bollywood superstar Salman Khan is the controversy’s favourite child. The actor is currently stuck in the middle of a new debate. Yes! We are talking about the much hyped Rio Olympics hullabaloo. Recently,
India TV Entertainment Desk April 27, 2016 16:21 IST
India TV Entertainment Desk

New Delhi: Bollywood superstar Salman Khan is the controversy’s favourite child. The actor is currently stuck in the middle of a new debate.

Yes! We are talking about the much hyped Rio Olympics hullabaloo.

Recently, Salman Khan was appointed as the Indian Contingent's Goodwill Ambassador for 2016 Rio Olympic. While Salman’s appointment got much support from people and Bollywood fraternity, it also sparked on a new debate, with several sportsperson criticising this decision.

However, an Indian Olympian has come forward to express her views over Salman’s selection as Goodwill Ambassador and has slammed the ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ actor for having a ‘wrong’ perspective of the post he has received.

This Olympian is Neha Aggarwal, who is a former Olympic Table Tennis athlete. In her open letter, Neha has explained the real meaning of being a goodwill ambassador to Salman and has also stated how important it is for the sports personalities to get recognised.

Here’s the text of open letter:  

“Dear Mr.Khan,

The Oxford dictionary defines a goodwill ambassador as “A person serving (usually unofficially) to promote goodwill between countries, institutions, etc.; now chiefly a well-known person (especially a celebrity) appointed by a charity or other organization to publicize its activities or promote a specified cause."

The Indian Olympic Association recently appointed you as the goodwill ambassador of the Indian contingent for the Rio Olympic Games this summer.

You were chosen above equally (or higher) renowned actors like Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan.

Moreover, you were chosen above the REAL heroes- Milkha Singh, PT Usha, Sachin Tendulkar, and many more..

Congratulations!

In your interview you expressed “ek hota hai na aadmi peeche se dhakka marne wala, support karne wala, woh respect ki ek baat hoti hai, ke yaar he is supporting us, we need to give our best”

I guess you meant that the athletes respect you, and if you support them, chances of them being motivated to win a medal at Rio will go high.

I am sorry, Mr.Khan. But here is the truth:

Athletes train day and night their entire lives for this one moment to represent our motherland at this one event that comes once in 4 years, with the aim to win a medal and see the tricolor go high. It takes years and years of hard work and perseverance to produce an Olympic athlete. Sacrifices are made every single day. Strict & disciplined regime, financial inadequacy, lack of infrastructure, uncertainty of a win, and a short lived athletic career: these athletes have made tons of sacrifices in their journey to the Olympic Games. They are motivated enough Mr.Khan. They have their skills that they have been nurturing all this while to support themselves. They have their coach’s support. They have their family's support.They have the IOA and their federation’s support. What they truly need, and what this country needs, is- the COLLECTIVE SUPPORT of the 1.2 billion people that we all are.

Something you get when a big blockbuster is released on screen.

The athletes want to be recognized on the streets like you are, Mr.Khan. They want the media to publish their stories and achievements more often than it is done now.

The IOA has appointed you as the goodwill ambassador to promote Olympic Sports and our jeweled athletes to the people of this nation who are still unaware of these "unsung heroes". Its their moment Mr.Khan. Please don’t steal it away from them. We will all watch Sultan, because we all love you anyway. The IOA chose you because you are influential and your words mean a lot to the Indians. They all follow you and are inspired by you. Your Being Human campaign has changed the lives of so many Indians. If you ask them to go play badminton, athletics, wrestling, boxing, table tennis, or any other Olympic Sport, they will listen you. If you ask them to watch the Olympic games, they will do so. If you post a selfie with an unsung hero, they will share the post.

The jersey you are wearing, Mr.Khan, kindly respect it. For many Olympians, including myself, it is hard EARNED. It’s our reward for the long hours spent on the court trying to get better in our respective sports. CRICKET, Mr.Khan, is NOT an Olympic Sport.

“Heroine hai Sania Mirza (sarcasm), Vijender hai, Sushil Kumar hai, CRICKET MEIN TOH HAI HI” those were your words.

And, Vijender Singh turned pro last year, Mr.Khan, whether he can compete at the Olympic Games this summer or not, will be clear this June.

Your 100 days to Rio message: “Kuch na Kuch leke aao yaar” (Please bring something atleast friends)

I fail to understand, what does this even mean?

Would have been great if you had said “My friends (yaar), do your best, results will follow, the entire nation is with you, including myself. Jai Hind.”

The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.

THIS IS WHAT the people of INDIA need to learn.

Yours Lovingly,

A former Olympian & a proud Indian.”

With so much being written about him, we wonder how Salman will react to this open letter.

Currently, Salman Khan is busy shooting for his forthcoming movie ‘Sultan’, also starring Anushka Sharma, which is slated to release on Eid this year.