Nagpur: As the heat over the MIA vs. MIDC Industries Association Sports and Recreation Club heats up leading to five members being suspended from MIA, a lot of questions come to mind regarding the running of city clubs in general and this club in particular.
The most important one is – Who does a club belong to? To the members who all pay a good sum to join? To the “Founder Members” – whose definition can become subjective depending on who is running/ controlling the club at the moment or , to a select group who get to ‘nominate their sons/ daughters’ to a post when they retire or before they die?
Specially, when the club has been formed on land that is part of an industrial area and was handed over to the concerned Industries Association at the nominal price of Rs. 1/ per square meter?
Finally, the wrangle and tussle over the MIACSR club is hanging over such issues.
To give the story in a nut shell – this is the sequence of events.
1. 2006 – Land for club allotted to MIDC Officers Association for building club for members.
2. 2008 – Construction of club house begins
3. 2008 – MIA office bearers depute 3 members from among their body to look after club construction. They are – Khosla, Gupta and Mayank Shukla. It is understood by all that the club will remain a subsidiary affiliation of MIA. That is why despite MIDC officials’ disapproval , land given to ‘club body’ again for Re 1/ by MIA. There is a letter from Mr. Khosla, then President of the club emphasizing that the Sports and Recreation club will always remain a subsidiary of MIA. (exact words used were – ‘ ‘We have decided to establish an altogether new body for Sports and Recreation which will control members but “which ultimately will remain a subsidiary of MIA only”)
4. These three members bring in ‘outsiders’ like Bang and Bajaj. Soon they also start bringing their friends into club.
5. 2009 onwards membership drive starts. About 700 members made now of whom around 200 are from MIDC, Hingna. Others outsiders.
6. Gradually, all decisions taken by MIA regarding club begin getting flouted. MIA current President and Secretary were to be ex-officio members of club. The entire committees of two terms – about 21 members in all – were to be given status of ‘founder members’. Both these provisions rejected by new body of club.
7. Membership which was first offered for Rs. 50,000/ per head now stands at Rs. 2 lakhs. This has brought in good cash into club kitty.
8. As matters stand now, even Founder President Mr. Khosla and Mr. Gupta not in Governing body. Instead it has names like Builder Mahesh Kapse, Mr. Chaturvedi, Railway Reservations Suptd and Mr. Baheti, CA. These are all friends of Mr. Bang.
9. In the last meeting which ratified a new constituion of the club provisions made which prima facie seem undemocratic. Among them are these points:
There will be four permanent members on Executive body to represent ” Founder members” who will be elected only by other founder members.
The other 3 will be elected by general body of 700 members.
Founder members can nominate their sons/ daughters before they retire or die to take their place. (MIA members allege that now club is being treated as private property that you can leave for your kids).
This, in effect means that 4 out of 7 executive members will always remain from limited family members of the handful ‘Founder Members’ – definition of which was also changed by new body.
As of today, this MIDC S&R club has only two Executive members from among MIDC industrialists. It is a completely commercial club which only happens to be located in MIDC premises!
To be fair to both sides concerned, Nagpur Today tried taking versions from the five who have been suspended by MIA.
Mr. Bagaria’s phone was diverted and calls not being taken. Mr. Khosla refused to answer questions saying only ” this is a case of ulta chor kotwal ko dante”…or did he mean ” chor machaye shor?”
Today a representative of his met with undersigned but did not want to be named and quoted.
The gist of his arguments was that, Mr. Khosla, assisted with Mr. Tapadia has worked hard not only for the club formation but also for MIA itself.
“When MIA premises were just a ‘jhopdi’ these two spent their entire time and efforts, also money, building up the Association and bringing it to this level.” (It is true that now MIA has a nice building and also has a fully air conditioned convention centre attached to it, which can be rented out too.)
Their contention is that after land for club was acquired, not many were coming forward to become members of the club, even those from the governing bodies who could be given “Founder Member” status only when they paid membership fees of Rs. 51,000/.
Money was needed to build the club so outsiders were made members.It is they who have worked hard to build it so it is justified to now call them “Founder members”.
MIA is not ready to accept this status quo and claim foul has been committed and original decisions all flouted.
Whatever the interpretation , the matter is now ‘sub judice’ and decision of the Charity Commissioner awaited.
We hope for the sake of good will and unity, even now matters can be sorted out and both MIA and its club run for the benefit of all.
… Sunita Mudliyar – Associate Editor