India is a country where sports is watched and talked of, more than it is played. In last few decades cricket has been the only sports one can see people dying for. Yes few decades ago, during the era of Major Dhyanchand hockey was the most popular sports, back then in India. India also got a chance to play in FIFA, the most popular event of football all over the world, in 1950s, but they withdrew because all their Asian opponents withdrew at that time. But in the present time frame, except cricket Indian sports system has been seeing a major downfall. We are a population of 1.23 billion, but still we are failing in producing good sportsperson for the nation. Where is the problem? Why such situation?
The situations and outcomes of a country in any field primarily and mostly depends on its society and the mentality of the society.
In Indian society since childhood a child is taught that, “Padhoge likhoge toh banoge nawab, kheloge kudoge toh banoge kharab”, meaning if you read and write you will be a prince one day and if you will play you will become bad. Yes education is very important thing in a person’s life but it is not true that only a literate can achieve success, success can also be achieved in other field with passion. Children in our country are made to compete among themselves for good marks since childhood. Most of the Indian parents want their child to be a successful doctor or engineer and have a luxurious life. But somewhere between that the dreams and passion of the children are being killed. Cricket despite being the most popular sports in India, as a teenager you will have to struggle a lot to convince your parents to permit you and support you to follow cricket as your profession. So, you can imagine the situation of other “unpopular” sports in India.
Now, the second thing that is degrading the Indian sports system is the politics, politicians and the relatives of politician indulging in it. Be it sports and games or any other field, you must have passion for it, a dream to achieve great in that field and you must burn from inside to produce results. But when you get some position for granted through politics or corruption you are never going to achieve anything in that field. The increasing politics and corruption in Indian sports is really consuming it. Participants are increasing but results are decreasing. Money has been speaking more than talent, and when you are short of talent you cannot get success. Increasing hierarchical system, that is son/daughter of a great person in a particular field easily gets opportunity to enter that field of profession irrespective of the fact that what amount of talent and passion he has got for that. Also, when someone controlling/ heading a professional field does know very little or has no knowledge about that profession than how will the people in that profession develop. Let’s take an example of a school, suppose the principle of a school is illiterate or has very poor education then how will the students get a proper education in that school. Similarly, if the people in the governing body of sports system are politicians and don’t have knowledge about sports then how will they help in development of the sports system. Many times we have seen politicians and businessmen heading BCCI(Board of Cricket Control of India) or IOA(Indian Olympics Association) and other governing bodies of different sports. When they know nothing about the sports how can they select best players among all to perform at the big stages. The recent incident of sending a radiologist having no idea about sports medicine being sent to Rio Olympics as Indian contingents’ Chief Medical Officer only because he is the son of vice president of IOA, shows the way in which politics is entering in our sports system.
Now, for example, if you want your child to perform well in a national level competition, you will provide him with best tuition teachers, best food, best books and all kind of facilities he needs in order to prepare himself to compete. But if you don’t provide him even with the basic requirements, how can you expect results from him. The poor economical support and poor facilitation of the sports person of our country(except cricketers) is similar to the situation of the child in the above example. They are not getting good physicians, facilities, equipments, trainers and all other requirements they need to prepare themselves to compete. Now, if you give all facilities to the child he has been asking for the whole year, just before on night of the exam then how will he perform. Similarly, by providing facilities to the players just few months before big events like the Olympics, how can the government expect good results for them. Unless and untill these things will not change, many more Dipa Karmakars will have to stake their life to try win medals and save their country’s pride. And also, all the participants who are playing and giving their best efforts to bring their country pride must be honoured and given some gifts and prizes. Winners deserve great medals, money and other special treatments but the participants do deserve some of it too.
Think, what would have happened if Abhinav Bindra, Sachin Tendukar, Vijendar Singh would have opted for competing for marks , or what would have happened if Mary Kom had come under the pressure of the society and what if the parents of PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and Dipa Karmakar would have forced them to focus on studies rather than supporting them in their passion. Every parents and children must understand that literary education is important, but only for knowledge. To achieve success you must follow your passion. If child is not good at academics but he is really good at any other thing, then parents should help him to progress in his field of interest instead of burdening him/her with books and pressurising them by comparing with others. The mentality of the society must change then only the situation of the sports will change. Along with that the government should support the players economically, they must be given the required facilities and all sportsperson must be treated similar to our cricketers. If facilities and opportunities will be there many hidden talents will be encouraged to come out. Politics and corruption should be checked and money should remain silent in these field, only talent should speak then only there will be rise in the Indian sports.