The Olympics is a time once in every four years where the entire world gets together to insult India. India is cut down to size despite enjoying significant amounts glory in tournaments of lesser significance. However, there is no point in playing a blame game as it is a collective failure of the society and the administration. With no proper infrastructure, it is hard to expect athletes to outclass competition at the grandest stage.
In spite of mediocre infrastructure, we can see some athletes, springing up surprises.
We saw Athena when Sindhu triumphed time and time again with the belligerence of the female Olympian goddess herself. Sakshi malik budged all the way to gain her first of the kind medal. Dipa kamarkar, proved that even India can do the Wonder woman stuff if provided with the proper infrastructure.But once all the rants subside these athletes once again revert to their daily chores,as do we. India is a place where everyone has an opinion to share about sports. These opinions are articulated at small gatherings as in tea shops where socially unrelated people make a fuss about the way sports is conducted. These chit chats gather strength,form debates and culminate as.……chit chats only. Let me deal on some chit chat too.
When was the last time an Indian sporting body was led by a person who was a part of all the action
that takes place in the playing arena ? Every sporting body is headed by an apparent sports enthusiast. Even cricket is at the mercy of the reigning political party . If an Indian captain can bear the hopes of billions on his shoulders and was ad mist all the action of the game I wonder why none became the leader of the BCCI!
We find people whose presence in the field is limited to the VIP box in the playground occupy the hot seat. If a sporting body should have a leader who can empathize with the athletes. Sports should have been a part and parcel of the person’s career so that he can understand the nitty grittiness of the game. Our coat suit administration only brings the dismal state of the Indian democracy to sports. Politicians have frequented the Presidential chair of the sports admins that the concept of installing an eminent sportsperson for the top place has somehow slipped away from our minds.
The act of a pen is more effective than a sword. This is the reason that media is still a deciding factor in every crucial decision made. Sigh! If only the same applies to sports. Dipa kamarkar became a household name only after her shocking entry into the finals of gymnastics. When a country like India watches a gymnast on TV instead of Virat Kohli, it’s newsworthy.
Gymnastics is an art confined to the circus troupe in India. The Prodonova vault,the wow factor that Kamarkar performed is the helicopter shot of Dipa. Such a feat has been performed only by 5 gymnasts is something unaware and would have remained to be,so if she hadn’t reached the finals.Well as I stated above it is a collective failure where media also lends a hand towards this unawareness.The media can play an important role to promote the neglected sports. Wrestling and gymnastics have stood like a rock among ruins for India. However, India has been iterative in its habit to forget these athletes as soon as the Olympics is dusted. The media will now prefer to take a nap and it’ll take another million dollar sports event to revive their interest.
Insecurity thrives among the middle class in India. The thirst for a better life lingers constantly in the minds of our nuclear middle class. The economic constraints of the nation provide them no alternative than to pursue a degree and follow a job that can be most related to their education. The chances of taking up sports as a career are too much to ask of the middle class. Well, established families confer to Indian sports by allowing their children to take a career. Powerful recommendations to complement their child’s talent to beat the competition. Realization of such reasons has instilled substantial amounts of fear to turn their children away from sports.
In a nation where there is a female goddess of equal power and followers to her male counterpart , feminism still trolls the nation. Dipa kamarkar,Sakshi malik,P.V Sindhu have become household names thanks to their volley of medals for the nation. Each of these athletes has their fair share of insurmountable odds they would have surmounted in their childhood that they cannot enjoy a sense of nostalgia. These athletes have to be lauded not only for putting their body to the task but also for staying immune towards the criticisms they endured to reach the epitome of success. Girls in India are imagined as dutiful,virtuous and are confined to family and motherly duties. Their sporting instruments are supposed to be restricted to the kitchenware where they have to brandish the silverware and not their shuttle racquets. When such ideas are prevalent, rising up to defy all the criticisms ,touches of sarcasm,behind the back talks seems to be a great load. Unlike the western athletes,who only have to push their physical boundaries for sports, Indian athletes have to push the boundaries of social prejudices, financial insecurities,marriage insecurities,parental responsibilities etc. India is yet to have a deliberate and rewarding scholarship and pension program that can remove existing fears and tap the talent pool available.