By Hari Haran:
Hi Dipa Karmakar,
I am one among the millions of Indians who was expecting you to win a medal at the Olympics so that Doordarshan could repeatedly telecast pictures of you kissing your medal in slow motion with the National Anthem playing as the background score.
On another note, just like you, millions of other Indians are not going to read this post. Even among the few readers, I am hoping to attract more hate than love. That is because unlike a billion other Indians (including Sachin Tendulkar), I am not going to be proud of the fourth place you managed amidst stiff competition.
Unlike others, I am going to harshly reprimand and condemn you. I am going to condemn you for expecting recognition in a nation where a lot of the population wrongly thinks that cricket is the national game. I am going to condemn you for hoping to receive better infrastructure and training in a nation where the Sports Ministry is plagued with scams. I am going to condemn you for being born as a woman in a country where women either prepare the feast or prepare themselves to be feasted upon.
I am going to condemn you for having hopes about a better performance at the next event you contest in. It is only going to be a matter of days before you are forgotten and pushed back to the shadows. I am going to condemn you for putting your heart and soul for a performance that the nation doesn’t even consider to be worthy as a first-page news item.
Even a 100 inspirational biopics on sportspersons will not be able to break the obstinacy of the Indian father who would still be proud of an Indian son acting as a corporate slave in the Silicon Valley rather than sweating it out as a boxer at the local gymkhana. The most painful reality amidst all this is that had you been born in any other nation, you would have made it to the podium. To sum it up in short, I must say that, “We, as a nation, don’t deserve you.”