India in Beijing and Beyond…

08/08/08 08:08pm: a grand spectacle unveils at the Bird’s Nest, Beijing, China.

Never have seen a ceremony of such scale and proportion. It left the world awestruck with its brilliant display, innumerable performers and mesmerising fireworks. It compelled the world to sit up and take note that China has come of age. This Olympian revision was simultaneous with a growing concern in India, which is pushing people to take note.

 

Indian performance at the Olympics has never been even worth a mention. The dismal display of sporting prowess never elicited a response. However, this time around the story is a little different. And the difference is that this time, a few players gave it their all to come out triumphant. Players like Abhinav Bindra, Sushil Kumar, Vijender Kumar have shown extraordinary skill, technique, focus, perseverance and drive. The winning attitude, conventionally thought missing in the Indian genetic makeup, distinguished them from their predecessors. However, they are lone warriors who are dependant primarily on themselves. What of those sports that require people to work together as a team? They remain conspicuous by their absence in the medals tally.

It has started the debate all over again- are we a country obsessed with Cricket and oblivious to all else?

Why are our hockey, football and other teams being meted out the stepmotherly treatment?

When will this change?

The solution is not to ignore Cricket but is to develop respect and infrastructure for sports as a whole and other games specifically. It should not be just the individual stretching himself to bring national glory, but the state realising that it is encumbent on it to provide the right platform for the immense talent going waste in India.

And, we should also realise that it is not enough to embrace and applaud our players when they bring laurels to the country but it is extremely important to encourage them to perform their best when they go through rigorous preparation and support them in their periods of trial as well.

 

 

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