We let them down

# London Olympics 2012
**India Medal Tally (G:0, S:2, B:4)
***Part 3

And when the Olympics come around, we are saddened, angry and aghast that we are not able to revel in reflected glory. We are ashamed that countries with one millionth of our population pick up gold medals. These guys have done us in, we say. We believed so much in them and they have let us down.

But the truth is, it is we who let them down. For, we don’t care about them for three years and eleven-and-a-half months. We don’t care about their impecunious circumstances, their heroic struggles, their fight against-the-odds and battles with cynical, self-serving sports administrators heading often corrupt sports bodies.

Instead, we spend sleepless nights over whether Chennai Super Kings would make it to the final of the IPL or whether a mediocre also-ran cricketer really did take recreational drugs at some rave party in Mumbai; or whether Yuvraj Singh is dating the latest Miss India or some other starlet whose only claim to fame is that she was seen with a cricketing superstar on a night out.

My dear readers, let us get real. We have failed the Koms and the Yogeshwars and the rest as much as we seem to believe that many Indian athletes have failed us. They don’t owe us as much as we owe them.

We need to follow their careers, cheer them from grassroots up, care about how they are treated by the administrators, worry about how they are ignored by the big corporate giants who would readily part with $10m for a 15-second TV ad campaign featuring a Sachin Tendulkar or a Gautam Gambhir. But we don’t.

We simply don’t give a damn most of the time and then bemoan their lack of success at the Olympics once every four years.

Believe me, it is not easy being an Indian and trying to achieve world-class feats in most sports, barring cricket, with its superb infrastructure public and corporate support and unmatched financial clout.

This is not to belittle what the Gavaskars, Kapils and the Tendulkars have achieved. But, tell me this: why is nobody canvassing for a seat in the upper house for Anand, why isn’t anyone talking about a Bharat Ratna for the genius of the 64-square game?

The world chess champion is an Indian — chess, my friend, chess, where the grey matter matters more than in any other game — and that should make us prouder than any other achievement by any Indian sportsman or team.

But forget it. By the way, when is India’s first match in the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka? I bet Harbhajan will be back with a bang. What a fighter the man is!

Nothing reflects our unity in diversity — and is a greater tribute to it — than our national obsession with cricket.

Sorry Mary, we forgot about your gas cylinder and the constant problems with power failures in your little house. But that is who we are.

– Nirmal Shekhar
Source: The Hindu

10 responses to “We let them down

  1. You’re right. We have no right to expect medals if we can’t even provide our athletes with basic training facilities.

    • Thanks Arindam!
      But I didn’t write that one, just the thoughts were similar as mine 🙂
      And, congratulations for your first book. Looking forward to read it. All the best!

  2. I am sooo happy to know that are writers who think just like me…!!! SOOO HAPPY….! Good to know you shared those views too..! Most often we just sit back and watch what happens with things that are not important, but when it comes to supporting our team, we lose interest, or we ignore..!!

    • Oh, that’s nice to know from your side.
      Yes, it’s indeed a huge problem. They don’t understand what is right and just need the results without any input from their side.

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