Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Why Mary Kom and Saina's Defeat is Greater than any Indian Victory Yet?

In any country that worships the sedentary sport of cricket, every other sport that actually requires grit and effort gets sidelined. India is just a prime example of it. Yes, our men can stand around in the sun and wait for a ball to come their way, sit on their ass and move chess pieces and play carrom or stand in line and fire guns (after all india is the largest importer of firearms IN THE WORLD!). No doubt about it. But what about every other sport that requires hours of grueling effort, stamina, strength, skill and determination?

If you notice, the countries that have the highest medal tallies in the olympics every year - USA, Russia, Japan and China, do not even have a cricket team. And god damn it, japan is even tinier than an average indian state!

Despite having the largest population in the world, the highest amount of manpower per se, India as a country has a belittled stand in the world of sports. The country is blinded by its victories in cricket, and since everyone just loves 'winning', they just keep repeating and supporting the same 'sport'. Politicians and commercial brands and industries more than anyone else. India is infested by the need for spectator sport - and cricket has become the prime resourse. Just the way the politicians of falling rome used the GLADIATOR GAMES to keep the masses entertained and to blind them to their own miseries. Cricket has become India's anodyne. And this vicious cycle has only corrupted the very status of sports in the country beyond measure.

Given this bleak scenario of sports in India when two women reach olympic glory in two of the most tedious sports possible, it speaks volumes. Add to that the fact that India is the very country that still has the highest rates of female infanticide in the world, and the achievement of these women seems even greater. In a country where taking up any sport besides cricket is laughed upon, in a country where having a girl child is looked down upon, in a country where women are primarily looked upon as 'marriage' materials and dowry cows, their achievement certainly is.
Add to that the fact that Saina Nehwal is the FIRST INDIAN to ever win a medal in Badminton at the olympics, and she's led the way for the sport itself! Yes, badminton is looked upon as a girly sport in india, but the very fact that you are so good at it that only two other people in the world are better than you - puts you way ahead than any other cricketer in this country. apart from Sachin Tendulkar.

The most stunning victory though, is that of MARY KOM. even in her defeat at this olympics as she settled for broze, she's been more victorious than any indian has ever been in the world of sport. Despite being a five-time world boxing champion and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships till this olmpics, she was hardly even KNOWN by anyone. By keeping up her dedication and persistence to the sport, her bronze medal at this olympics has led the way for women in sports in this country. And her success comes along with the fact that she's achieved it whilst fulfilling every other role that chauvinistic indian culture belives an 'indian woman' is supposed to fulfill. ie: she is married, has two children and plays an active role in her family.

All said and done, Saina and Mary have shown the country that our women are willing to put in more effort in their sports than almost any man in the country is willing to put in. They have shown India that women are more than just "marriage materials" or 'Dowry carriages'. They have, even if for just a brief moment, shown the potential that lies in india, for both men and women - only if we could now act on it.

Most of all, Saina and Mary, more than any one else in this olympics, have given hope... Hope to those struggling athletes who have dared to choose a sport besides cricket in this lethargy forsaken country.
I really hope we wake up and start supporting REAL sports in this country. I really hope this brief moment of clarity that Mary and Saina have brought to India lights up the way to the future. I really, truly hope that in the next ten years atleast, India has a definitive contendor in every sport in the olympics - men and women alike. And I don't just hope, I'm entirely guilty of believing that we can.
Saina and Mary, you have my respect.
Even in your defeats, India, even if only for a moment, has found its greatest victory yet.

-Pushkaraj Shirke

4 comments:

  1. With the facilities provided in India to sports persons (except cricket individuals), Every one who even passes a single round is a winner. We are proud of Mary Kom....

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  2. amen. we train the WORST facilities possible. injuries are aplenty. and support none. so yeah, clearing even one round at the olympics is a great deal!

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  3. Good one! Remember our school days? We had that pathetic audi in a secluded corner where we used to "run" and play Badminton and what not?! dunno the situation now, but I hope that the coverage given to this edition of Olympics really makes tru on their slogan: "Inspire a generation"

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