Thursday, July 22, 2010


Our sports are yet to come out of the Lisence Raj syndrome

Staying in Faridabad, when I go for work at Delhi, I cross the shooting range, almost everyday. Like every passerby I have been observing that the Karni Singh shooting range has been going through a complete overhaul and a facelift for past few months. No wonder there would be this last minute hurried patchwork which would last the Commonwealth games and post that it would crumble down!

Sports, in India, have still not come out from the era of scarce economy. Just like license raj days, the availability of sports infrastructure is so scarce that it is available to a limited few. For the rest, it remains a dream at best. And just like during the raj days, it was in the hands of few to decide the fate of millions, the same holds true for sports even today. It is only a few faces at the top that I have myself been seeing since I gained senses! And so needless to state that in such an environment, every kind of efficiencies breed in the system – starting from politics to nepotism, to corruption to every possible inadequacies one can imagine of! And that’s why our sports as a whole remains elitist, discriminatory, and out and out individualistic in nature. Had it been not discriminatory then how else can one justify that on one hand a certain player of a certain sport rakes in Rs 200 crores for 3 years, on the other hand certain other player in some other sport keeps languishing as a non-descript! If not for elitist then how else can one justify one winning the only gold in Olympics in a sport, all by his own efforts, as there is negligible infrastructure in the country. If it is not individualistic then how can we have a Sachin or a Dhoni, Sanya or a Paes or for that matter a Bhaichung, but not a single sporting squad or a team!!

And that’s the sole reason as to why India's record in the most of the mega sporting events (like Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth et al) has been quite shameful. Not only we come empty handed from most of international sports competition but also are deficient in participation. When India participated for the first time in Olympics in 1900, it had just 1 player which grew to a figure of 57 in 2008 Olympics. For comparison, countries like Finland, Sweden, Hungary, Denmark had 58, 134, 171, 84 players respectively representing in Olympics– and mind you all these countries have one tenth of youth population (under the age of 25) when compared to India. And similar trend can be observed in all major sporting events. What more, our Olympic medal tally 0.148 per 10 million, in spite of billions of people ready to plunge in the world of sports. Contrast this with countries like Finland, Sweden, Hungary and Denmark who tops the tally with 566.72, 520.99, 442.69 and 296.39 Olympic medals per 10 million people, respectively. And likewise is our preparation for the forthcoming Commonwealth games. Lack of organisation and coordinated team effort is resulting in inordinate delays. And delays in the completion of the Commonwealth Games’ infrastructures are not just robbing the opportunities of ‘home advantage’ from Indian athletes as they are losing on hands-on practice on the ground, but pushing into a crisis like situation. Most of host nations (eg China in 2008 Olympics) provided their sportsmen with ample of time (more than a year) for preparation and practice but in our case no such scene seems to emerge.

Well, it is too late in the day to reiterate that sports is all about great teams with equally great vision, irrespective of whether it is the organizer, the apex body or the sporting teams! In the absence of this, no doubt we have failed miserably as a sporting nation, I hope we do not fail while hosting the same!



  1. 河水永遠是相同的,可是每一剎那又都是新的。. . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  2. 愛,拆開來是心和受兩個字。用心去接受對方的一切,用心去愛對方的所有。......................................................................