By Raina Bhowal:
Before a stand on India’s performance in Olympics can be taken, it is quite shockingly vital to note, how Indian sport has been in a dormant state for years till now. Naturally, the country smeared with the grime of poverty, illiteracy, corruption, exploding population and social crimes (to name a few), India didn’t have the chance to ‘look’ at sports as a thriving prospect and thus never thought of having training programmes to send competitors competing at least at the international level, apart from cricket of course.
Beginning on a negative note, India’s achievement at the Olympics has been a very recent evolution in the entire history of Indian sports. Given the media exposure and the popularity that the fifth religion, “Cricket”, Â faces here in the country; other sports are eventually getting the much awaited significance.Â Probably, it was Abhinav Bindra who caught the entire nation’s attention by becoming the gold medallist at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games since India’s last gold medal at 1980 for the Men’s Field Hockey Team. It is a noticeable fact that after this grand win at Beijing Olympics, the country’s ignorance towards other games was beginning to disappear. If not able to provide with high class international training, at least there was an urge and the pressure to make an effort to promote the other existing sports and work on the mighty warriors excelling in this field.
As a result of which four years later, today at the current 2012 London Olympic Games, amateur India after spending 250 crores, managed to win 2 silvers and 4 bronze, getting the international acknowledgment in 6 games, from the cluster of 83 athletes sent to compete in 13 games.
Hockey, having high hopes attached to it, did miserably at the Olympics this year with a disappointing scorecard of having lost 5 games. Other Indian athletes participating in their games, devoid of any win, can only be consoled with the hope of a bright future ahead.Â Regrettably, gold hasn’t been won, still India’s achievement is quite remarkable keeping in mind the unavailability of upgraded coaching, exposure and more over the unfortunate mind-set that people have towards sport as a career option in India.
In spite of this, one thought that continuously poked me all the way is that till 2008, India has managed to bag just one gold medal at the Olympics in spite of becoming the second largest human resource in the world and also having adopted various technological and social advancements since 1980. So where did it go wrong and who is to be blamed for not reaching out to those deserving hands?
There’s surely a long way to go with loads of blanks to be filled with reasonable answers, when we can expect to have the Indian Anthem played during the Olympic award ceremony without any mocking tone underlining it.
So what’s the national game of our country?
Cricket. That’s the answer many of us will hear and say!