Saturday, August 23, 2008


As the unpredictable weather leads us to an unpredictable future, my thoughts too wander in search of some predictability, so that I can give my coming days a better shape. (too philosophical? Dont worry, it wont continue for too long!).

Speaking of uncertainties, the most bizarre thing that happened was the winning of 3 olympic medals by the Indians in the Beijing olympics. Congratulations to them!

But if we look a bit deeper into this matter, some other implications rise up (as always!). On one hand we find Abhinav winning a gold, who is a boy from an affluent family; and on the other we have 2boys winning bronze, whose background were far from affluence.

In Bindra's case, no governmental or any outer helps were needed as ha had a true passion for his game, and was backed by his father's thick pay-packets. So from all angles, its totally his individual approach, guided by one very well reputed European coach, which helped him in achieving the ultimate success. His spending of over 1crore of rupees (!!) anually for his training & having 4 shooting range in his backyard (the whole of west bengal has only 3!!) confirms his story of attaining glory in his own way. Thus, taking away of pride & glory from him by any state or our country will be unfair & incorrect. In his case, the country's infrastructural conditions matter very little. So his interest in doing something for the country's sport in the future is really commendable.

On the other hand, both vijender & sushil came from poor families (their fathers are driver & conductor!) and inevitably required their country's aid for hem to succeed in any international tournaments. However, the way that they were brought up & the kind of facilities they got were far from adequate, to say the least. From this angle also it is due to their own indomitable courage, tremendous skill & interest for learning that saw them through in winning their medals. Its not at all a surprise or a matter of disappointment that they cannot win silver or gold, but a fact to be remembered & celebrated that they went so far & compete with the best in the business, & even bring home titles & make India proud.

The fact that all the 3 medals were in individual categories & not in any team games also makes it clear that no systematic institutions exist in one of the oldest countries of the world, & that no attention is given in nurturing a bunch of sportsmen who can shine if given even very little privileges. Theres no pride in starting as underdogs & winning some unexpected medals. The term 'UNEXPECTED' is used because it is a matter of concern if these medalists could continue to perform consistently- not due to their lack of talent, but because of lack of attention by money & powerholders in their country,

However, this situation is also not very unnatural. Although it has become a kind of cliche to say that the top echelons in India is full of corrupt people, but it is the truth. Add to that totally improper appointments of spots executives, their lack of interest & professionalism, passive attitude towards everything backward (as if it was nowhere close to thier responsibility to solve them!) & thinking of monetary gains for 25 hours (no calculation mistake!), and it remains no surprise why a country boasting of 2nd highest population in the world (dont worry, in this department we will soon surpass China & get a gold- oh! if only there was one!!) could not even make into the top 50 of Olympic rankings.

Another cliched but true fact is the over-over hype that Cricket gets. Yes, it is very natural that a certain majority of the population may be cricket-addicts (& for the right reasons) but that does not justify the attention they get even after loosing a match & the lack of it when any athlete succeeds in his/her category.

Actually, it is like a cycle- lack of interest by officials-lack of performance-lack of media attention-more lack of awareness & interest leading to more backwardness of those sports.

But, this cycle HAS TO BE BROKEN. And as it cannot be done just-like-that, so it is very important to grab the present glory of winning 3medals & use it as a platform to turn this temporary attention these other games are getting for a more meaningful cause. Not only those games which have attained success, but also the other games which are in dire need of every kind of aids. No country gets such privilege as ours in having a permanent pool of talented youths from which to pick, choose & train. We must not let them lurk in such wilderness.

So in the face of it, the bronze-holders might seem more talented than the lone gold medallist, but it is not the time to look at these petty issues, but to take in notice the larger picture of despire & doomed conditions surrounding those sports whose names we cannnot even spell properly! Its not a question of helping any individual sport or giving priority to group games, whether to support women-oriented games more than those of men, but a comprehensive plan AND ITS EXECUTION is needed for gaining future excellence. The extra finance can easily be obtained by checking misuse of funds or reducing the funds alloted for military purposes.

If the condition does not improve, then there will be no actual 'competition' as competition can only take place on EQUAL FOOTING with equal facilities for all competitors. If the current situation remains, then- HOLY GOODNESS! SOMEBODY SAVE INDIAN SPORTS! We can well leave our hopes for becoming a force to reckon with in world sports in future, and hope against hope that Dhoni turns out an able captain & win some (inconsequential) series......& again become the couch potatoes that we already are.




Oromis said...

Just goes to prove my point that individuals succeed better than collective effort. Eat my dust Marx! long live individualism! Thank you Abhinav Bindra!

yasho said...

really well written...a lot of potential has been put into the writing itself i must say.
Very interesting...
However, i think in a country where even today education is given with a distinction in caste and where ppl block highways to stop industrialisation...we do NOT deserve to do well...
individual thinking process has to be changed... even today it is "good" for a boy to smoke but "bad" for a girl to smoke...Why can't it be bad for both boys and girls!!??
there is too much of division among the ranks of the people in our country.
More than financial conditions, i think it is very important for an individual to think and live freely...and by that i mean to have a sane, open and logical mind.