TODAY -

India's poor show at Olympics China has the answer

Samarjit Kambam *



While the Indian media is beating behind the bush or deliberately remaining numb, the Chinese state media had already listed out the reasons it believes are behind the poor show of India in every Olympics and most particularly the recently concluded one at Rio. These are: lack of infrastructure, poor health, poverty, girls not being allowed to participate in sports, boys being coaxed into becoming doctors and engineers, the popularity of cricket over other sports, India's fading hockey glory and lack of information about the Olympics in rural areas.

With a population of one plus billion, India's show at the recently concluded Rio Olympics can be termed as 'pathetic'. The sportsmen from India tried their best but experienced a free fall when the going gets tough except the sterling performance by PV Sindhu by plucking a silver in Badminton, the first in the history of India wherein a woman player catches a silver in Olympics.

While we are basking in glory with silver and bronze, other nations have already started intense preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with their respective governments working to the best of their capability to nurture and inspire their sportsmen by carrying out innovative ideas, hunting new talents, moulding freshers, infusing funds for state of the art infrastructure and other intrinsics such as diet, medical fitness, new techniques, excellent training and exposure to sportspersons or teams of other nations.

It is really sad to learn that the national media houses hardly give any sincere effort to bring to the limelight the poor show of India in every Olympics and other world championships. Seems like India has regressed from London 2012 to Rio 2016. Discussions and deliberations among experts in the field is not prevalent. Switch the sports channel and we can witness cricketers popping out on the screen.

Out of the billion plus population, the sport of cricket has whisked away 80% and eyeing Pakistan as the only sparring nation in the world. To the Indians obsessed with cricket, the game of cricket has become too overwhelming that they are oblivious of the existence of other sports. No doubt, the cricketers are the biggest sports celebrities in India with BCCI being one of the largest cricketing body in the world.

Football is almost non-existent in the national psyche and the media. Indian hockey is still unable to revive its past glory. And the Indian mindset prevails viz, soccer is meant for Latin American countries, basketball is for the blacks, Gymnastics are meant for Russia and european countries, swimming is not in the blood of the Aryan and Dravidan race, allergic to cycling, fear of boxing, shy of athletics, not confident with archery and the likes. The irony is that the mindset itself has become the stumbling block in the growth of sports in India.

Over and above the factors cited by the Chinese media, there are factors galore for India's poor show in Olympics. One of the main factor is the mindset Indians possess. Another pivotal factor is structured corruption. The relevant sports authorities in India breaths and breed corruption from the grassroots to the upper echelons of the hierarchy. Compared to other countries the funds allocated for sports is miniscule.

Indians think that games and sports are secondary in the making of a powerful nation. There is no sincere attempt on the part of the government to infuse games and sports in the national psyche, taking it only for granted. The number of sports schools, sports colleges and sports universities are too few. Of all nations, India has for so long been able to accrue tolerance to a high degree the shame, humiliation, dishonor and disgrace associated with its poor show in sports in the international arena.

Kosovo, one of the smallest nations in the world, physically the size of a district of Uttar Pradesh or Madhya Pradesh came up with a gold in the Rio 2016 Olympics while India has to be contented sans gold. The whole population of India cannot live upto the achievements of a single individual by the name of Michael Phelps of Unites States who have won 23 gold medals in Olympics.

Healthy discussions, deliberations and debates on the prevailing scenario of Indian sports should be encouraged and transcended from local level to the top level of the system. Budding and talented players should be handpicked from a very young age. Sincerity on the part of the Indian government and thrust from the people should be symbiotic. Sports should be taken more seriously at the school level, thus enabling the development of young talents.

There is a world of untapped potential in schools, we just need to tap into it. Inclusion of sports in syllabus of schools should not be limited to just general awareness on sports but as a means to inculcate to the kids the beauty of sports itself by allocating sports as a separate subject as well as a goal to pursue like pursuing MBBS, IAS, Engineering, Management etc. Increased coverage of sports other than cricket in the national media should be made a necessity. Initiative to be taken by the Indian government to make way for companies to invest in advertisement slots which promotes the market for the sport.

Once prospective investors see that a sport enjoys high visibility, they will see it as a viable venture to invest in it. Increased coverage of sports on TV also creates fans of the sport who then take up the game for real. India has some of the richest people in the world. Instead of having them splurge on rich toys, they ought to direct their spendings to sports.

The Hockey India League's franchises have said up front that they don't expect a profit until a few years time and that this investment is more of a marketing initiative than something they plan to get returns on. Our sports federations are registered under the societies act; profit is not their driving motive.

As private sector is all about monetising things, they can take sports to the next level because their focus is long term, not just what they can make today. The government of India should construe inventiveness to lionize Indian sportspersons by imparting the best facilities to train and push their sports to the next level.

People generally prefer to watch the EPL or NBA over Indian football and basketball. The reason being given is that the quality of the game is better in those foreign leagues. Well if you had a choice to watch a game between Manchester United and Arsenal over watching your kid play in a game, which one would you watch? Which one would you be cheering your socks off? According to me, we just need to make our sportspersons as familiar to us as the stars of the foreign leagues and we need to relate to them. Sports need to be marketed better.

Maybe design profile cards of players, share videos of them in action, make them larger than life, and mainly, spread their stories and make them easier to relate to the common fan. The NBA has tied up with Mahindra, IMG Reliance and Basketball Federation of India to develop basketball in India. They provide technical expertise and other support to conduct various activities at the grassroot level and above to improve the standard of the game here and to spread the love of the sport.

There are a lot of other foreign bodies whose product sells on the back of the popularity of the sport they invest in. We ought to explore as many associations and tie-ups as we can with them. Better put qualified professionals in federation posts instead of honorary members. A simple one-shot tournament is not completely ineffective, but having well organised competitions over a long period of time will allow for better development and talent sporting. It will also give sportspersons an opportunity to compete and improve.

Corporate initiatives such as The Tata Trusts UDream Football programme is really a booster shot in the legs of those budding football lovers. The fragrance of sports will spread further if the mammoth corporates take up such measures and schemes as corporate social responsibility. Besides, the Indian government should learn from other nations of the world. Mention may be made of the state of Florida, United States where various major and minor leagues starting from school level and college level abound in various areas of sports with umpteen sports colleges and universities.

Heartwarming to say that we have a team of football players at Florida consisting of many talented budding footballers from North East region and is consistently faring well by engaging in numerous minor league championships in tandem with exposure to other teams of different nations which can be considered as giant stride in the arena of Indian future football.

India has tremendous potential in games and sports. What matters most is harnessing the potential. Time to realise that games and sports should not be taken for granted for they play a big role in the growth of a nation.


* Samarjit Kambam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on September 11 , 2016.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • MU: Teachers/students released : Gallery
  • Death Anniv - Bhagyachandra #3 : Gallery
  • Ithai Barrage Impact on Environment
  • Rural development as career option
  • Put the kibosh on ochlocracy
  • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in women
  • India International Cherry Blossom Festival
  • Marketing Assistant @ PiCiDi, Canchipur
  • 'Ram Madhav is wrongly briefed' : NPF
  • Uniforms for school teacher: What purpose?
  • Marangwon at @Mt Khorung #3 : Gallery
  • Police Day Marathon #1: Gallery
  • I call it life :: Poem
  • International day for Disaster reduction
  • Contested territorial demands in Manipur
  • WhatsApp & mobile usage study results
  • Physics Programme in Nowgong College
  • Rejoinder to NDPP [15 October]
  • Stop bluffing Nagas
  • The state of the states
  • Gearing up for Oct 31 rally
  • Historical Evaluation of Puya Meithaba #4
  • MU: Student/police clash -10 Oct #2: Gallery
  • X-Jam -Extreme Sports & Music festival
  • Urban Local Govt in Mizoram :: Book
  • 3 perspectives in context of present Manipur
  • Figures in the Shadows :: Poem
  • To UNC, Zomi Council, Hmar Inpui on ST
  • HC acted in good faith for MU
  • Jarnail Singh @ MU : Gallery
  • Chawailokpa, Chaong, Charaibi :: eMing
  • Heikru Hidongba #3 : Gallery
  • The undeniable subtlety of Atingkok
  • Kuki Black Day: desperation to Nagas #1
  • Let me shower moonlight :: Poem
  • On allegations issued by NPF : NDPP
  • Challenges to the digital dreams
  • Eyes now on K Yugindro
  • Lamyanba Irabot- March Past #3: Gallery
  • Death Anniv - Bhagyachandra #2 : Gallery
  • Meetei Tribe wont grab land of Hill Tribes
  • Making a tangible difference
  • Contradicted journey of IPC Section 377
  • Free open defecation & open pee
  • Act East & Importance of Myanmar & NE
  • Vacancies at Multimind Software
  • Waiting for "Sorry"
  • Out Yugindro in Jarnail Singh
  • Mera Chaorel Houba #1 : Gallery
  • AMAND Pune: Cultural evening : Gallery
  • Management Convergence at Mizoram Univ
  • Observation of World Mental Health Day
  • Cry of a Dying River - 49 :: Poem
  • Buddhism is free from compulsion...
  • 7th AGM / Cultural evening of AMAND, Pune
  • Forsaken farmers - food for thought
  • Second police raid at MU
  • NESO opposes Indo-Nepal Treaty in NE
  • British Council, NEC sign MoU
  • MU: Student/police clash -10 Oct #1: Gallery
  • Death Anniv - Bhagyachandra #1 : Gallery
  • Anglo-Kuki War 1917-1919
  • University :: Poem
  • Remembering class boycott 2009-2010
  • Hair stylist as career option #2
  • Training of Trainers on Gender Justice
  • Manipur University fresh violence by police
  • MU Crisis- admissions and omissions
  • Issues besetting State before LS polls
  • Langban Heitha Leithaba #2 : Gallery
  • Sizo Festival @Saikot : Gallery
  • Opening of Moreh-Tamu Border Gate
  • Forest Cover of Nagaland :: Book Review
  • Ingocha Chingtham: Cycling from Mumbai ..
  • Blood Transfusion service- future in Manipur
  • IT Enabled Employment Generating Course
  • NDPP condemns statement of NPF
  • Beyond the reality
  • Need for MUTA to approach Court
  • Kang Tournament @Kongba #2: Gallery
  • Elangbam Sonamani : Sahityaratna 2017
  • Celebrating the rights of wildlife- Are we
  • The sky's gone wonderful :: Poem
  • Communal Harmony and Integration
  • Opportunity for India in Indo-Pacific Region
  • To be a good man
  • Education : Why no private players here ?
  • Tarpon Sonba : Gallery
  • mtM :: Seireng
  • MN Singh promoted as IG of CBI felicitated
  • Loktak from different perspectives #2
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • The Journey of Happiness :: Poem
  • A personal discourse of Manipuri people
  • Improper use of loud speakers in Manipur
  • Art Exhibition @Art College #3: Gallery
  • Sudip Kongbrailatpam -recording engineer
  • Dismantled 9th times & safer in 10th times
  • Remembering Irawat: Are we following ..
  • State Level Archery Championship 2018
  • Stop religious encroachment at Kangla
  • Navratri (festival) make up
  • khongjang changsinnaba sem sarey : ST
  • MU crisis: Emerging questions
  • Lining up five days blockade
  • Dhol Chollom @Sangai Fest: Gallery
  • A Road Trip to Myanmar #2
  • Maroi napakpi in Manipuri dishes
  • National Integration Tour Team
  • Cry of a Dying River - 48 :: Poem
  • Ending antimicobial resistance to #endTB
  • Condoles death of Pu Kaikhokam Kipgen
  • Rejoinder to NDPP (5th Oct) : NPF
  • Responsibility required - not restriction
  • After Thuingaleng Muivah who ?
  • Paddy dry up due to deficit rainfall
  • Lamyanba Irabot- March Past #2: Gallery
  • Binalakshmi Nepram : RAW in WAR Award
  • Agribusiness & Carbon Management : Book
  • Is Gandhi (ian) relevant today ?
  • Guidelines for Hostels for Children
  • ATM based frauds : Router compromise
  • 'Rio's announcement as just mockery'
  • Training Program on Mushroom Cultivation
  • 'Chadong' - the victim of development
  • Poles apart : Pandey and Singh
  • Manipuri Diaspora in Myanmar #2
  • Why has Egg become Danger for Manipur?
  • Speech by Atif Anik on Irabot Day 2018
  • Wounded tree :: Poem
  • Hair stylist as career option
  • Synopsis of Sizo Festival 2018
  • Traffic regulation still a Flop show
  • In the evening of his life : Th Muivah
  • Langban Heitha Leithaba : Gallery
  • World Bamboo Day #2: Gallery
  • Where have all the lights gone ?
  • Mahatma and non-violence
  • Detention of students/professors of MU
  • Gandhi Jayenti at Itanagar
  • IBSD cleans Imphal City
  • MU: Abide by wisdom of Sr citizens
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Power of humility
  • Ghost of Pandey : Four teachers suspended
  • Lamyanba Irabot- March Past #1: Gallery
  • October Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • Looking at Loktak from perspectives #1
  • Morning - a Haiku :: Poem
  • R&V Art House curates 'Land of Polo'
  • Show for football fans at NEUFC Fan Park
  • Indigenous People: Stand against Fascist
  • Clarification on Tamei Residential School
  • Organic Farming Tour to Sikkim
  • System error- or is this real democracy
  • Autonomy for Naga- Stakeholders on board
  • Th. Muivah hospitalized
  • Lamyanba Irabot- Floral Tribute #1: Gallery
  • Choidev Chongba @Kang Fest : Gallery
  • A Road Trip to Myanmar #1
  • The day after Sahnit-Ni
  • Cry of a Dying River - 47 :: Poem
  • Observation of World Alzheimer's Day
  • Benefits of almond oil for the hair
  • NEUFC Fan to host musical performances
  • ..but Irabot may still shed tears in heaven
  • Heikru Hidongba #2 : Gallery
  • Lamyanba Hijam Irabot :: Read all about
  • Tingmila Doungel : Manipuri Boxer
  • Tarpon: Annual offerings to dead by living
  • Manipur: Past & Present (Vol.2) :: Book
  • Genesis of Naga-Kuki clash in early nineties
  • 9th Children's Cultural Meet 2018
  • Parakram Diwas : 2nd Anniversary
  • International Visitors Leadership Program
  • He calls state Govt as unrecognized..
  • Tough stand of Govt noted
  • Historical Evaluation of Puya Meithaba #3
  • MU: General Srtike [27 Sep] #2 :: Gallery
  • Tribute to Oja Nandiram with 'In Memoriam'
  • The resurgence of Hijam Irabot
  • Love for post of MU vice-chancellor
  • Condemns arrests of MU student/teachers
  • Spot Enquiry by MCPCR Team
  • Seriousness with sincerity matters
  • 48 hours bandh on, then what ?
  • MU: General Srtike [27 Sep] #1 :: Gallery
  • Hijam Irabot - Our 'Icon of Revolution'
  • Food preparation among Zeliangrong
  • Is it the final countdown to #endTB?
  • Let's give time a chance :: Poem
  • If Buddhism Is Not A Religion Or Philosophy
  • Using false identity to mislead
  • In response to CM's appeal
  • CM's call against bandh
  • MU: Hunger Strike[25 Sep] :: Gallery
  • Irabot's letter to Assembly :: 18 Oct 1948
  • SC Case on Killings Must be Complied
  • How we lost internal autonomy: Mountbatten
  • The flute player :: Poem
  • Biodiversity for Everyone's Life : Video
  • DU protest against attack on MU Community
  • Unfolding dirtiest of the dirty game
  • Net down since September 21
  • MU: Students protest[25 Sep] :: Gallery
  • Art Exhibition by R & V Art House
  • My name is Kom, Mary Kom - II
  • Electrology as career option
  • When Autumn Came :: Poem
  • Against 48 hrs bandh: Thadou Students
  • Leadership / Media seminar at Dimapur
  • Demise of a dream
  • Traffic menace: Ring road, flyover promise
  • Ringui Village, Ukhrul :: Gallery: Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #4: Gallery
  • Autonomy on a leash
  • Manipur: Past & Present (Vol.1) :: Book
  • World Bamboo Day #1: Gallery
  • 45th AMWJU Foundation day : Gallery
  • Lai Lik Lei & their debut "Esei"
  • Tuilha Kol waterfall #2: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Rally against Mob Lynching #2: Gallery
  • Krishna Janma @Mahabali #2 : Gallery
  • Felicitation of Sportsperson: Gallery
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #3: Gallery
  • Kuki Black Day @CCpur : Gallery
  • Sit-In: Naga Peace Talk #2 : Gallery
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Jangou Rah : eRang Classic
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS