Tuesday, August 12, 2008

One Abhinav Among A Billion In 80 Years: Is This What We Deserve As A Proud Emerging Power?

Abhinav Bindra you made me and entire honest Indian population around the world proud. Is it just a coincidence that we have "Singh is King " movie ruling chart of the box offices and Bindra a Sikh ruling hearts of a billion plus population. I have often wondered about why the nation of a billion plus population doesn't even have a single gold in individual events with participation history in Olympic Games which goes to 80 years.

Although modern Olympic Games were officially started in 1896, India started her journey to become best in sports in1928, Amsterdam Olympics. We played our best in field hockey and won eight Olympic gold medals, the last one around 28 years ago in Moscow Olympics. Now see the absolute disgusting turn of events where we have even failed to qualify for the present Olympics. Hockey being the so called national sport should have been given the priority over everything, but when we have our failed Cricket Superstars ruling ad campaigns who cares about anything else.

I cant say all but majority of Indian kids have played cricket once in their lifetime. I used to play too. Cricket became hugely popular after our win in 1983 world cup. Another factor which comes to my mind behind the popularity of sports like cricket is because its really cheap as far as initial investment goes and you don't need any big ground to play it out. You can play it any where. Majority of the Indians being not so well financially looked cricket as their national pass time sport. When you have your stomach to worry about than I guess you won't think about any sports as you career option because you know that in the end, the big burocratic and corrupt setup will kill your ambition and you will be left with nothing in the end.

Because of the employment reasons majority of Indian middle class parents pushed their children to study more and more so that they can have a meaning of livelihood with them. I guess most of us have the same story. Even if someone did well in sports they knew that their parents wont agree with their idea of becoming sportsperson as sports except cricket isn't known to many as means of earning some money. I guess our parents were right in this regard as there was really less money and there were a lot of things to do with that limited fund.

The successive Indian governments which have shown their callous attitude towards even providing basic amenities like education, health, drinking water and electricity to their general population then no one can expect them to provide some best athletic facilities so that India can win some medals in international competitions. You can check any particular sports federation in India and you will find some stupid corrupt political thug ruling that federation and treating it as his personal property for granting favors. The sports complexes around India have become Goonda producing complexes and no one gives a damn about that. Well when you have your livelihood to worry about than who cares about what is happening in some sport complex. The officials and politicians have become so corrupt that they denied one promising woman weight lifter "Monica Devi" to participate in 2008 Olympics. They charged her for taking banned drugs but recent tests again shown that she wasn't taking any drugs and it was some stupid personal rivalry and vested interests which denied India a chance for another medal along with Bindra.

There is no hue and cry in media over this open assault on the nation's soul where a honest promising woman athlete and subsequently the nation gets denied a chance for a medal in Olympic by some corrupt officials. If this thing can happen with a athlete of such a high repute then you can imagine what can happen to a ordinary citizen and that's why sometimes I thank my parents to keep me on the track of education and nothing else. In India everything has become a politics and like they did in recent trust votes politicians can go to any length to earn some more money. They don't have shame and their skin has become so thick that we can make them live along rhinos in Kaziranga National Park.

Abhinav Bindra's success is his personal success where no Indian or Indian government can take claim of even doing anything for him except giving him an Indian passport. He could manage to achieve what he has because of determination and resources provided by his father. His father saw his unique talent as early as he was some 7 years old and harnessed his potential in that direction. Since his father was resourceful, he could arrange Abhinav's coaching in Germany and for that training government of India paid nothing. It was a personal effort of a proud and resourceful father and his determined kid. And you can see the result with this Gold Medal.

My question is, when some Abhinav, after getting training in Germany can shoot for Gold than why you or I or our future generations can't do it here in India if we have facilities. I guess if it was there than we wouldn't have waited for this Gold for past 80 years. The government which should have provided athlete like him world class facilities in India, some times back went on blocking the bullet supplies for shooting championships all over India. As these bullets are not made in India they had to be imported and government said its against national security. How silly these arguments are when we have Dowd and ISI smuggling all RDX and Kalashnikovs and their bullets all over India under the nose of the government. Well better sense prevailed and the supplies were restored.

An interesting fact is China was nothing in Olympic Games until 1984. I am not a big fan of China but I admire their strong will as a Nation. They have got a national character and when they decide they have to go behind something they will just declare an open war sort of thing for that. That's another story with Human Rights and data manipulation but keeping discussion relevant to this topic I just liked their strategy for winning the ultimate crown in Olympics. They first focused on some specific sports like gymnastics, diving, badminton, table tennis and shooting. You can see their record that they have become one of the best teams in these sports. They were second behind US in Olympic medals in last 2004 Athens Olympics and they are trying to become number one in this one. In such a short span they have achieved a great feat and that's because of dedicated, mostly non corrupt officials in sport field and a national desire to become best. I guess mostly the sports officials in India are there to eat and suck player's flesh and blood. Indian sport officials don't know anything about that sport but they corrupt these places by playing dirty politics and indulging in corruption which amounts to crores of rupees.

We have achieved tremendous success in information technology because government wasn't aware of what is going on. India's problems are its politicians and corrupt officials. First we have to kick out all politicians ruling the different sport federation and replace them with former athletes of respective fields, as they will understand the need of the players better than anyone else. There is no need of separate sports ministry in India. This ministry is of no use. Its another layer of eating into funds for different sports federations. Instead finance minister should directly give amount to these federations every year in annual budget. We should initially concentrate more on few sports which involves less physical strength like shooting and archery, than gradually move on to others like badminton, table tennis and kayaking. If we start preparing now we have chance of winning atleast 10 gold medals in these fields in next 2012 Olympics.

I hope general public will start finding more heroes in other sports than in drastically inconsistent Cricket team. We should support Hockey, Football and other teams where we have chance of winning. All sport teams in India except cricket are self made. All they need is our support. Cricket has become like a rich spoilt child with no responsibility at all. This is the time when we should shift our attention to other neglected children in family and provide them with all necessary things so that they can come first in their class and make us all proud. I want many more Abhinavs in all sports in India.. I don't want to wait for another 80 years for another gold medal in Olympic. Now is the time for us .. Now is the time for youth of India to show what we are capable of to the whole world. Arise and Awake Indians .. Take Destiny of this great nation in your own hand..

Hemant Dubey

Vande Mataram

Jai Hind

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