The 18th Asian games concluded recently in Jakarta Palembang (Indonesia) and ended with India getting it’s highest ever medal haul of 69 medals. India beat the medal tally of 65 from the 2010 Guangzhou Asian games and equaled the 15 gold medals won in 1952 New Delhi Asian games. In all respects, it was a successful games for India especially in fields like athletics and to some extent in shooting. This tally was achieved even though India lost the gold medals in the disciplines it was favorite to win viz. men’s and women’s kabaddi and men’s hockey (and to an extent women’s hockey). Also many athletics gold medals were lost to Bahrain and Qatar’s ‘African’ athletes, but that’s part of the game. Even Japan has fielded imports in athletics, in an effort to bolster their performance before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
As the whole country was celebrating the good performance of the Indian athletes, the liberals (actually communist socialist in mindset) displayed their “mental poverty” by saying that India is wrongly obsessed with the medal tally and number of golds won, rather than the condition of the players. While the condition of players (economic background and the training standards) is a concern, but crowing about that continuously instead of celebrating international success is typical of the commie-liberal intelligentsia of India. This is the typical “poor India spending money on space technology” narrative we are used to hearing.
The economic and social condition of the players and international laurels earned by a sport are interlinked like the chicken and egg story. Till 1990’s cricket which was a popular sport was also a low paying sport. The liberalization of the economy in 1991 and emergence of able administrators like Dalmiya and Bindra, combined with sporting laurels of Indian cricket (1983 World cup and 1985 World championship) ensured the sport started generating huge moolah through broadcast rights. The earnings of players through salary and commercial endorsements went through the roof. The Indian Premier League (IPL) took cricketer’s pay checks to another level.
Similar experiments have been done for hockey, kabaddi, football, table tennis, wrestling and badminton with success. The bidding of few kabaddi players has breached the crore mark in this year’s auction. The point being that the laurels brought by a sport has direct correlation with economic benefits to the players of that sport. Thus the lament by these faux libbies is empty rhetoric and not based on genuine concern for the sports-persons. If they had the concern, they would have cheered the medals won by Indian athletes.
For cricket, the turnaround was done by the private sector (BCCI is hardly a sarkari association though it has politicians) including pioneers like Mark Mascharenhas and administrators like Dalmiya / Bindra. My belief is that success in Olympic sports will be achieved through the efforts of private individuals and organisations. We already see this happening with Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ), Mittal Champions Trust, Guns for Glory and Reliance Foundation Youth Sports etc. who are helping many promising and established sports-persons to achieve international glory. This phenomenon will increase with big corporates coming forward. I don’t want to belittle the contribution of the Sports ministry (currently led by Olympic silver medalist Col. Rathore) that is putting the systems in place for durable performance over the next few years.
Major credit should go to ex-sports-persons like P T Usha, Pullela Gopichand, Gagun Narang, Viren Rasquinha, Geet Sethi and many others, who are giving back to the sport that gave them glory and are helping shape up new champions.Their experience of how the Indian sports system works helps them to manouvre through bureaucratic barriers.
Nothing breeds success like success itself. The 2008 Beijing Olympic 10 m air rifle gold medal won by Abhinav Bindra has given wings to countless dreams. Circa 2018, we see half a dozen known teenagers like 16 year old Manu Bhaker and 15 yr old Anish Bhanwala and many others emerge in just 10 years. These fearless sport-stars who have already won shooting world cup medals have participated and won medals in the recent Asian games, at such a young age. That is the power of a medal that can spawn countless new champions. We have cities like Thane having three shooting ranges and states like Haryana having shooting ranges even in rural hinterlands.
The libbie mindset is still stuck in the 1990’s with an excessive lament on the lacunae of the Indian sport system, rather than on celebrating the success of Indian sports. The positive focus always helps to create conducive conditions for any sport. Though this is the least of the damage that this commie libbie community has done. The commie mentality has also helped to hurt sports and athletes in the past by keeping investments in sports to a minimum. The excuse was to spend scarce resources on poverty alleviation. Whose poverty it alleviated is well known.
Recent example was Mani Shankar Aiyar, the moron who was the sports minister in the UPA I regime. He played a big part in scuttling the Indian bid for 2014 Asian Games in the year 2007 and delayed release of funds for preparation of 2010 Commonwealth Games. This resulted in a mad scramble in the last few months to be ready for those games and India nearly losing it’s prestige. Read this article for reference,