Embattled shuttler Jwala Gutta said the national federation should not construe her "suggestions" as criticism since she had nothing against them and imposition of a life ban because of her blunt talking would be "silly".
The disciplinary committee of the Badminton Association of India (BAI) has recommended a life ban on her on disciplinary ground but the Delhi High Court has asked the federation to allow Gutta to play tournaments till a final decision is taken.
"What is wrong in that? Outspoken means life ban? It is really silly. I say how it is. I cannot mix words. I cannot lie," Gutta said when asked if her outspoken nature brings troubles for her.
"Badminton is my sport. I want to see it reach the top. I play eight hours a day. I only know how to play badminton. That's about it. What else could it be? I don't know how to play politics. I can never be diplomatic about certain things. If they think, I am trying to do something against them, they are being really foolish. I don't do anything except playing badminton the whole day," she said.
Gutta said she cannot understand why the BAI puts her in the bracket of enemies.
"I have no idea. I always feel if you have genuine people in the association who are there to promote sports and only sports, then whatever I say should not be taken as criticism. I am a national player, international player, who has won so many medals, accolades for the country, why do you want to take it as negative, criticism? Take it as suggestion.
"I have the right to suggest. This is my sport, I am a badminton player, whatever I am today, it is because of badminton. I am only suggesting. Why do you want to take it negatively."
Gutta said she would fight it out legally if the BAI imposed life ban on her.
"I will fight against that. I have no choice but to move to the court, because it is ridiculous. Everybody is laughing on them. I am happy to see so much support. It is really overwhelming," she said.
Asked about the status of her entries, she said she has learnt that her name has not been sent for China Open too.
"I have just learnt from Ashwini (Ponnappa) that they have not sent my China entries. I was supposed to play at my own cost. I am not even asking them to put me in the team. I am playing tournaments at my own cost. Even then, you are stopping me from playing, who are you to stop me from playing?
"Whose way I am coming. You send who you want to. I am playing at my own cost. Why do you see me as a threat? I hope they send my entries. They better send my entries. I will make sure they send my entries. I want to play badminton. That is my only aim in life. My aim is to play Olympics. It is really sad that a player of my stature has to go to court and take permission to play. I hope it does not happen to anybdoy," she said.
Gutta said she wants to set up a badminton academy where she aims to provide a 'politics-free' atmosphere to trainees.
"Now, I definitely want to, I have never answered this question to anybody. I definitely want to start an academy. I need government's help. I don't expect the association to help me. But, I want to make an example out of my academy that badminton or any sport can be played politics-free. I will make an example. I will show that it can be run this way," she said.
She said Hyderabad would be an ideal city for her academy.
"I want to start off in Hyderabad. It really has lovely infrastructure everywhere. Just give me one stadium, I will adopt it. I will get private investors," she said.
Image: Jwala Gutta
Photograph: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters