Friday, August 19, 2016

Go for Gold !! Probably some other time ......

P.V. Sindhu has come in the limelight by creating history and becoming the first Indian woman to win a silver medal in the greatest of all global sporting competitions ... the Olympics itself. For the next week and onwards, Indian media will be pouring rich tributes to India's golden (or rather 'Silver' :) ) girl . Her photo will appear on all newspapers and magazines while TV channels will be screaming her name. Various companies will approach her and vie to make her their product brand ambassador. This spectacle will continue for some months before the euphoria dies down.

In a country which idolizes cricket at the expense of other games, including national games like Kabaddi, Hockey and Polo; Sindhu's medal comes as a breath of fresh air. Parents will take a leaf out of her book and will hopefully encourage their children to pursue their passion rather than force the mundane and soul killing world of studies, endless cramming and the beaten-to-death choices of Engineering, Medicine and Commerce upon them.

With only a few days remaining before the Olympics wraps up, India's has opened her medal account, but her dream of obtaining the coveted Gold medal might just remain a dream ... with only a few left to compete. After the players return home, it's going to be the usual game. The media is going to have a field day criticizing our players efforts. The same old tagline of "A hundred and twenty million people, but not a single gold medal." is going to make the rounds. Many will once again compare India with China and point out how woefully imbalanced both sides are. Some will criticize the training and the facilities. But then again, all this will be forgotten in a few months. Till the next Olympics at least. Then the whole cycle starts again.

This is not an analysis blog. I am not analyzing India's performance in Rio. God knows, there are enough and better qualified people than me to do that.  

For all those who plan to indulge in this banter, either as a past-time or seriously, I would advise them to lay off. There is no point in flogging a dead horse. Please leave the athletes alone. Especially, please don't spray the tagline of "A billion people and no gold medal." It's not as if all the billion people of India train rigorously for four years to qualify for the Olympics. A majority of the billion idolize cricket and train long and hard for it, but despite their effort, only a few qualify. And for all the fanfare associated with the game and the players, India has only managed to win the World Cup twice in forty years. Whereas a country like Australia which does not put Cricket in top priority has managed to walk away with the world championship five times!

Random and negative tweets such as Shobha De's do not help either. Actually, her tweets do open up and interesting line of thought. I would definitely agree that her tweets were ill advised. But I believe her ire should have been redirected towards the officials and the so called political well wishers of the Indian contingent. Just read this article and you will know what I am talking about.

There's a saying which goes:

"If you keep doing what you're doing, you will get what you have always been getting."

There's also another one which says:

"To get something which you never had, you must do something you have never done."

Enough said.

Till 2020!

Jai Hind! 

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