Finally, Abhinav Bindra won us the first individual Gold Medal. He was all over the media so much so that most of us did not feel the pain of loosing the India-SL series. Bindra deserves all the accolades showered on him. And only he (his family, coaches included) deserves it. Not the Kalmadis, not the Gills, not the Singhs, Not the Sinhas and not Indian Olympic Association for sure who sends trucks of sumo fighters look alike officials to the tour and was sending mother of a tennis star as a coach but disallowed much needed coach to a boxer who obviously, doesn’t have a sellable face even if he wins. Sponsors don’t care. IOC has always been famous for its “carefree”
Taking no credits away from Abhinav Bindra, but when his achievement is compared to 1983 WC win or T20 win and new channels doing a comparative analysis of series defeat in SL with his feat in form of “Hero & Zero”, I seriously doubt if his face will be visible at all after a couple of months once Olympics are over. Cricket, with Champions Trophy and IPL round two expected soon, will soon take precedence and Bindra’s name will appear in the news reels only when we will need some heroic face to lift ourselves from the sorrow of defeat in the game or show how we give undue respect to the game, whenever Team India loses. For most of us, the difference between cricket and other games will always be the difference between a Kingfisher Airlines’ airhostess and an Air India airhostess.
Bindra’s medal is truly a result of an individual brilliance not because it’s not a team game but its one man toiling hard to make his dream come true in a game which hardly few can dream to participate – not many of us can afford the guns used, forget taking rifle shooting as a career option. It’s not the result of a well devised system to produce talent. India has been lucky enough to have the individual of his caliber and personal support system. In addition, it is not a spectator’s game. Hence, we will always need luck to have individuals with amazing determination, grit talent, affluent and supporting background to be lucky again. Although we have had some good names in shooting in recent past.
Now once we have opened our account, I would sincerely pray for our participants to win some medals or at least make good name in areas like Badminton, Boxing, Archery and Tennis. I am not sure if we have any more chances in any other games this time. And once we achieve something, I hope media really creates all the hypes and hooplas around the players and it continues long enough to generate some fan following which must eat up from cricket’s pie. Our players deserve great amount of respect even if they lose. After all, only one wins gold while thousands aspire. But if we do not care about those thousands, we may not get that “one” which has been the case till now.
While I am sure we would be seeing the stories like these in next few days
Kya saina bharat ke sapno ko poora karegi?
Kya bharat ko doosra padak milega?
Kya saina swarna jeet kar jawan dilon ki dhadhkan banegi?
Kya saina ki chidiya (shuttle cock) bharat ko fir se sone ki chidiya(gold medal) bana payegi? (IndiaTV)
Bharat Mata ki Pukaar Saina se
Saina meri pyari Saina, Taras Gaye mere Naina,
Bindra ke baad, Tu Swarna Padak de mujhe Pehna (Aaj Tak)
And if, God forbid, she crashes out in quarter finals– the same head lines would read like
Saina ke tote ude!!!
Korean/Chinese/To hell with Chidya chug gayi Saina ke khet!!!
if Akil Kumar loses out in boxing –
Akil ko Mukka, Bharat ko Dhakka!!! (Could be any one)
I hope we still support these players who - in spite of playing sports which are followed by a miniscule proportion in the country, survive on almost a non existent system, derive motivation from the stories full of how Indian athletes have taken part in international events without the equipments as basic as shoes (Remember Bahadur Prasad), know that even a success guarantees stardom of just few weeks because a cricketer’s bedroom antics would be followed more keenly than their performance in commonwealth games next time – are fighting hard, they deserve our support. I hope there are no traditional – once in four years – post Olympics scrutiny, blame game, career murdering of players this time. Because we know we are not good enough, just do not want to accept it.
Other games badly need publicity, heroes, sponsors and better management if we want to do well. They can. They surely can. After all, lot of our national cricketers in 60s-70s used to sleep in second class hotels during international matches as BCCI could either pay them for their food or shelter. Better management, better timing TV penetration in Indian bedrooms coinciding with some big wins and a bit of luck has made BCCI the richest cricket board and we not only know where our cricket stars sleep during tours or otherwise these days, in most cases we also know who they sleep with.