Harish Jharia

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07 August 2012

Prospective World Super Power India... The Super-Flop Celebrity in London 2012 Olympics

© Harish Jharia  

Why have China fielded multiple players for each event in the London 2012 Olympics? 
The simple straight answer to this question is that they are all set to prove their supremacy in the world via sports and games. 

I have watched the women’s singles badminton event, with utter disbelief, that gold and silver both the medals were won by Chinese. Moreover, the bronze won by Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal would also have gone to China, had the Indian sensation not won it. 

The Olympic Medal tally (on 7 August 2012) shows China as the leading country with 67 medals followed by USA- 64, Great Britain- 43, Korea- 22, and France- 27 with India standing at 44th position with negligible number of medals- 3, without any gold. I feel ashamed with the position of my country in the Olympic medal tally. 

I wonder what the dozens of sports organizations including the Ministry of Youth Affaires and Sports are doing in India, that India appears nonexistent on global platform of sports and games. Why these organizations are not overhauled in order to make them do their jobs for which they are kept existing at the cost of the taxpayers money.  

Following are some of the sports organizations that have failed to prove their worth in the London 2012 Olympics: 
  1. Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (Govt of India): 
  2. Sports Authority of India: 
  3. Indian Olympic Association: 
  4. Hockey India (Indian Hockey Federation): 
  5. Athletics Federation of India:  
  6. Sports Authority of India:
We have been told that Hockey is the national game of India. But, the performance of Indian hockey team in London 2012 has been extremely poor. 

I found the following deficiencies in hockey played at London 2012 Olympics: 
  1. The players failed in all the departments and positions. 
  2. They could not convert penalty corners into goals. 
  3. They failed in giving short passes.
  4. They failed in carrying the ball.
  5. They failed in playing with appropriate technique on the artificial ground and hitting the balls as if playing on a clay ground. 
  6. They did not have quick reflexes.
  7. They did not have adequate stamina suitable for a global arena. 
The sports authorities on the other hand are behaving in irresponsible ways by saying that Hockey is not the national game of India. It is not written anywhere in the records. For collecting the information about the national game I browsed on the internet. I found the official site of Hockey India (this is the new name given to the Indian Hockey Federation), where it is clearly written that Hockey is the National game of India. Here is the extract of the text written on their page ‘About us’ and reproduced as under:

The text published under ‘about us’ page on Hockey India site: 

“ … The sport of Hockey is referred to as the 'National Game of India' 
HOCKEY INDIA (HI) is the new apex body of the country which has the sole mandate to govern and conduct all activities for both men and women hockey in India. 
Formed on 20th May 2009, it is the recognized National Association affiliated to the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Asian Hockey Federation (AHF). 
HI with the assistance of Sports Authority of India and Department of Sports, Government of India, has drawn out a long term development programme to train players and to provide overseas exposure besides regular international competition. It is committed to getting our teams into the top six in the world… "

On extensive browsing I found that the above information is an amended version of the original one... probably “The sport of Hockey is the 'National Game of India”.  This statement has been changed to “The sport of Hockey is referred to as the National Game of India” after a 10 year old girl asked the Indian government, through an RTI (right to information) as to which is the national game of India?

The overall condition of sports and games in India is pathetic and needs immediate attention and revolutionary changes. 

I have the following suggestion to offer:
  1. There should be an independent Ministry of Sports exclusively dealing with Sports and Games only and be designated as ‘Minister of Sports’. 
  2. The Minister of Sports should also be picked up from the field of sports and games. 
  3. All the current heads of sports organizations should be replaced forthwith with suitable professionals like players, coaches, umpires / referees etc from the respective sports. 
  4. No non-sports person should be considered eligible for heading the sports bodies
  5. Celebrities like politicians, businessmen, entrepreneurs, retired officers like IAS / IPS / Defense personnel and Ex Rajas should not be considered as eligible for heading any sports organization.
  6. The performance of all the sports bodies for the last 3 to 4 Olympics should be reviewed and the faults, errors and lapses committed by them should be established.  
  7. Sports bodies should chalk out ‘short term’ and ‘long term’ plans for preparing sports personnel, capable of winning medals in global competitions like ‘Asian Games’, ‘Commonwealth Games’ and ‘Olympics’.
  8. Individual records (of faster, higher, and stronger) of sportsmen should be maintained alongside the world records all through their training. 
  9. The trainees should always be reminded at the time of training, about the world record existing in that event.
  10. In the state sports meets and national sports competitions also, the world records should also me mentioned alongside the performance mark (time / distance / weight mark) of the individuals. 
  11. Cases like 'no mark' show of Triple jumper Renjith Maheshwary should be taken seriously and should be treated sternly with ‘zero tolerance’ policy in selecting athletes for international events.
  12. Cases like Santhi Soundarajan, an Asian Games silver medalist, found working as a daily wager at a brick kiln in Tamil Nadu, should also be taken seriously. Indian government and the sponsors should make it sure that all international athletes and medal winners get respectable honorarium / royalty / pension throughout their lives. 

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