Sunday, August 05, 2012

Reply to "Why India will remain a nation of losers"

When I first read the title , I assumed automatically it must be by a Pakistani. Surely no one else had that much against a nation of 1.2billion people, many of whom we can agree are not losers.
I have to admit reading such self loathing drivel, made we want to start writing, in response  without actually reading the whole thing.
Further reading made me realize, the author had suffered the embarrassment of watching Indian television that made a big deal about India winning a silver, along with some expat friends.
I don't know Shoban Saxena or anything about him, but since he took the liberty of labeling all people who call themselves Indian losers, I will take some liberties as well.
Shoban is likely one of those idiots who turned up for candle lit marches post 26/11, but then did not bother to vote, to actually change the government responsible.
Shoban, my easily embarrassed friend, your embarrassment was really no different from having to explain to an expat friend, why the hero and heroine in a hindi movie break into song and dance with a horde of extras at every given opportunity.
You have one thing right , that sporting glory does not make a nation great. But you have so many other things wrong.
Instead of providing any kind of cogent analysis on why India lags behind in sports, you just went off on a tangential rant , that encompassed some pop psychology with a liberal dose of socialism.
Dismissing Saina Nehwal's achievement as no achievement at all, is not just wrong , but entirely mean spirited.
Saina Nehwal, went into the games as world number 5. Which meant , she had a realistic shot at a medal, but to do that she would have to play above her current ranking. She lost in the semis to Wang Yihan, world number 1, someone she has not beaten in 6 previous meetings. I see no shame in that. Medal or no medal, Saina is a winner, for what she has achieved thus far. I suggest you peruse her wikipedia page.
As far as the rest of your rant related to Vijay Kumar. It seems you are pissed of at the media. Thats ok, the media like any other commercial venture, markets what sells. So if Sania Mirza, sells more than a Vijay Kumar, what can realistically be done about that?
Now to do what you should have been doing. Offering some boring but honest analysis of why India lags in sports.
To win in sport at the olympic level, you need
1. Money
2. Organization
4.In the absence of all these a totalitarian regimes , that can pull out all stops in pursuits of medals will do just fine.

Does India remotely have a sporting culture? Cricket is a national embarrassment. Imagine being world champs in a sport contested by 12 other nations.
Michael Phelps did not happen in isolation, there was a Mark Spitz before him, and there will be many after him. Who are our sporting heroes?
Our Olympic level athletes likely have world class facilities. But what of the 5-10 year olds just taking up sport across the country(or not for the lack of equipment and facilities).
Comparing India to China in sport is plain stupid. I doubt any of us would approve of the State telling us what to do with our kids lives, which is what happens with kids identified for future sporting glory in China.