Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Abhinav Bhindra Deserves a Big Hand

For the first time ever the Indian National Anthem was played at the Olympics, an event in which a resident Indian was given a gold medal. It was simply great to see the young Abhinav Bhindra receiving the medal without the nakra we have come to associate with the likes of Sania Mirza and of course, the cricketers. The outstanding performance of Abinav Bhindra was in spite of the Indian system and not because of it. It was due to his own effort and that of his family that was responsible for the outstanding performance. If we had the Indian Government involved in promoting shooting as a sport the fate would be disastrous. Just look at Hockey, a sport in which the like of Dyan Chand gave the country an enviable reputation. I think the time has come for the Indian Government at the Center and the State Governments to let go of sports and concentrate on just law and order.The demeanour of Abhinav Bhindra was quite a contrast with what we have come to expect from sporting icons. He comments were dignified and almost self deprecating. He did not hold himself as a model for the rest of the youth and honestly admitted that he "has been punching holes in paper bags for the last ten years" an obvious reference to target practice.Somehow NDTV was not happy with the victory of Abinav Bhindra--it was politically incorrect. A rich boy from a well-to-do family has won a gold medal. NDTV would prefer an OBC with a non English speaking background to have won a medal as that would promote the fractured political identity that is celebrated in elite circles in India today. So when Suhil Kumar won a bronze medal in yes a sport from the boon docks of the cow belt of North India,it was just the opportunity for NDTV to pull out all stops.

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