While India has come a long way from a lone athlete participation in 1900 to an 83-member contingent in 2012, our medal tally remains abysmally low.
India is the ninth largest economy, has the second largest population, is the biggest democracy and is amongst the oldest nations in history. Despite being a regular participant since 1900, the total medal tally is still in the 20’s.
While most say juxtaposing our 24 medals with the 2500 medals won by USA might be unfair given the economic consideration, but it is it is noteworthy that poorer countries like North Korea, Ethiopia and Kenya regularly outperform India.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics India had the lowest ratio of medals-won to population of any competing country: one medal per 383 million Indians.
Thus there is no consensus, no obvious explanation, no single unified theory explaining India’s continued underperformance in the Olympics.
We may blame the government for the lack of a China-like campaign galvanizing national talent; the federations for their lackadaisical approach; the larger Indian community for not giving its kids a shot at athletic glory; or even the athletes for lacking desire to achieve the intoxicating combination of nation pride and personal fulfillment, but the fact of the matter is that while being proud of Mary Kom and the others, 24 medals over 112 years is a shameful figure. We can’t have a handful of sportspersons shouldering the whole nations Olympic hopes and dreams.
It isn’t just the Shiv Sena fervently opposing the celebrations of Mother’s, Father’s, Friendship’s and Valentines day, they aren’t only the Islamic fanatics inundating the internet with Facebook posts and videos boycotting these “west-morphed traditions”, but astonishingly a whole new class of people around me declaring their necessity void.
While I’ve outgrown tying Friendship’s bands, or making cards on Grandparents day, I still can’t warp my head around the fact that what the very essence of what we looked forward to as kids is lost. Don’t pass them of by products of Archies and Hallmark-the Retailers of Emotions, as they are often called, but take it as an opportunity to message a friend you’ve been longing to text, but didn’t know how to begin; grandparents whom you know you don’t call as often as you ought to; or just celebrate love, not hate, in what ever way – like the Pakistan Youth Alliance, who rally to show their love for Pakistan on 14th February.
Blogging for most is a momentary respite from everyday drudgery, a virtual escape, a fleeting interlude. But in just my first week of blogging, I have come to realize that regularity isn’t easy, and making it an everyday affair- Well, possible but highly improbable.
Celebrity blogs and tweets albeit take us as close to them as can possibly be, yet are so distant from reality. While blogging for some last for the brief while conveniently coinciding with their promotional activities (read Salman Khan); others seem suspiciously regular (and well worded) despite their supposed hectic schedule.
While I may cynically hammer away my skepticism, I cannot deny being *mildly* intrigued and regularly *stumbling* upon a few: