India at the Rio Olympics

India’s performance at the Olympics so far hasn’t been that great, not a single medal nearly halfway into the event. Not that we were expecting any, mind you.

The Chinese media reported the ills that plague the sports arena in India. Funny that the Chinese wrote about it rather than the Indian media ! But this was expected right ? So it’s not surprising that none in India took it seriously.

The Indian contingent went to the Olympics just to be there, not to compete (except a few). It was just one of those all expenses paid vacations for the players and officials alike. Rio, Brazil, how many of them would get a chance to visit this country located on the other side of the planet ?

Apart from cricket, does anyone take sports seriously in India ? We all want our kids to be professionals in high paying jobs like medicine, engineering, etc so who cares a heck for sports ? It’s taught in schools just so that a few run for medals at the yearly sports day function. How many of those kids are encouraged to pursue sports ? Hardly anyone these days. It’s not a regular paying profession after all, so who wants to waste time waking up early, exercising, attending regional, state and national meets ? You may win a few medals in between but then what ?

Government projects to encourage sports are an eyewash, money just washed down the drain. Building world class facilities and hiring foreign coaches is not a solution to produce sportsmen and sportswomen from a country of 1 billion.

Two athletes who have impressed me personally are gymnast Dipa Karmakar and Atanu Das in archery.

dipa karmarkar
atanu das
These are kids with a passion. Coming from small towns, these are the talents for the future who need to be nurtured and provided all the support. Surely, there are more youngsters out there who are talented but don’t have the proper resources to come forward.

It’s heartwarming to see some support from the private sector in encouraging these budding athletes. Imagine, today we have only one professional gymnast in a country of a billion ! Something’s seriously wrong. We need to rethink if we need to perform on the world stage. We maybe be a cricket crazy country but it’s not a global sport. Need to also excel in other sports, need to rethink strategy long term else we will keep on going for those exotic Olympic vacations as always !

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#JusticeforJisha or Kangana Ranaut ?

justiceforjishaThe brutal rape and murder of Jisha, a law student in Kerala a couple of days ago has seen protests erupting all across Kerala. The killer/s are still at large and the authorities are still clueless on the gruesome murder. The media coverage has been quite substantial in Kerala as it is an issue which affects all of us in some way or the other. 

kangana ranaut
At the same time the national media has been rather muted on the incident and have been focussing all their energy on reporting a love/hate relationship in Bollywood going on between actors Kangana Ranaut and Hrithik Roshan !

Is this called news ? The news reporting standards in India have gone to the dumps. I’m sure if this rape/murder had happened in Delhi, this wouldn’t have  been the case. The Nirbhaya case a couple of years ago proves this point. Who cares a hoot for Kangana’s relationships or periods when they’re are people suffering in agony ?

I wish Barkha Dutt at NDTV and others at reputed news organizations devote more time to real women’s issues rather than to some actors love story gone wrong. People nowadays respect authentic reporting rather than cheap publicity stunts !