The Sportsman Spirit of India

By The Editor

Another world sporting event, football fever rising and Indians as it happens most of the time, chose to watch it from a distance. We didn’t qualify but that’s not to blame the players, the fault lies in our mindset, in our system and society for ignoring the value of sports in our lives. We ourselves has chosen to witness the world sporting events like Olympics, winter Olympics, football world cup and countless other competitions from the stands.

Fate has a strange sense of humor, we Indians right from the childhood are told again and again to study hard, that academics is the only way ahead for a fulfilling and rewarding career. No doubt we greatly excel in studies. Take technology industry for instance, there is hardly a technology corporation where Indians don’t work. Google, Oracle, Yahoo are sprawling with Indian tech geniuses. Even the regular engineering graduates go on to fill the ranks of the companies like Wipro, Infosys, TCS in huge numbers but despite all the talent India doesn’t have a single company that’s at the forefront of technological innovation and development. Despite being able to produce brilliant scientists in almost every field of science, we can count our Nobel laureates on fingers. Same irony plays out in sports, out of one billion people we never had shortage of players but we always seem to lack infrastructure and encouragement to go ahead.

Years ago, a leading magazine published the plight of the veterans of the Indian Hockey’s golden age. Some even had to resort to work as low wage labor to make the ends meet. Several others who have represented or played for India on an international or domestic level find themselves in offices, desks, cubicles in government offices or private sector instead of a stadium or an arena. Besides cricket, rest other games are considered for a lack of proper word, useless. Jamaica is a small island country that doesn’t even have half of infrastructure or resources like we do. They don’t have broadband high speed internet or metro rails, nuclear weapons or a huge army or navy. They don’t have satellites in space that they can claim their own but they have far more medals in Olympics than we do. We don’t even represent all the sports that are played in Olympics.

We have to open our eyes to the value of sports, all work and no play had already made us a dull nation. No amount of money, growth, development, GDP or profit can equal the thrill, emotion, excitement and pride of seeing national anthem and tricolor at the medal ceremony. All we need is the will to win.

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