With the election mood set in the country, there is another biggest sports carnival, Indian Premier League Season 7, which the audience is waiting for. Amidst all the gaga over who is the IPL 7 highest and lowest bid cricketer, did we know that from May 18th 2014 – May 25th, 2014, Delhi is going to host the International Badminton Thomas & Uber Cup Tournament? Did we know that India is going to participate in the 13th Men’s Hockey World Cup, which will be held in The Hague, Netherlands?
Sadly, even I did not know until last evening when one of the RJs was discussing about the sad state of sports in India. Looks like, the Cricket is our national game and not Hockey. The present picture reveals the deteriorating status of sports and sportsmanship in India.
When will the citizens of our country realize that winning medals in the Olympics and world and international meets is more important to catapult the country on to the international arena and make it a dominant sporting power, rather than simply promoting cricket?
Apart from the rich culture and the diverse arts presence, India has tremendous experience and has thrived in different sporting activities. Such activities include athletics, cricket, shooting, hockey, chess and many more. In India, the sport is taken as part of the Indian entertainment, culture & traditions. Looks like all the other sports have undergone a natural death.
For instance, Hockey is our National sport, but the way it has lost importance in the past few years makes it difficult to digest. Not only hockey, but tennis, football, golf, badminton; all share the same pathetic condition.
Indian sportsmen hold important and unique positions in the world of sports. Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza in Tennis; Jyoti Randhawa in Golf; Pankaj Advani in snooker; Vishwanathan Anand and Humpy Koneru in chess; Saina Nehwal in badminton; Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok in F1; Baichung Bhutia in football; Anju Bobby George in long jump etc., are some of the names that deserve a standing ovation. These personalities are biggest significance of our talent in various other sports, and no just cricket. But WHO CARES?
It is not that we lack talent. It is the sad state of sports ministry and lack of infrastructural facilities. This is one of the major barriers in the process of development of sports in India. Besides this; lack of proper training and sponsorship to finance these players are the leading causes for the fading of sports in our country.
Sports infrastructure plays a crucial role in achieving excellence in the global arena of sports. It not only helps in producing sports persons of international repute, but also encourages the youth population of a country to participate in sporting activities to create a culture of sports. Indian sports are trapped in politics. New controversies arise almost every week. The financial status of the former sportsmen is very poor.
According to the Constitution of India, the sport is a state subject. The state governments in India allocate funds for developing sports and sports infrastructure as per their priority list. There is no unique approach in developing sports infrastructure throughout the country.
It is a pity that a majority of children going to school in India do not get the opportunity to take part in sports due to the lack of infrastructure or even open spaces. Who will solve this? A joint effort is needed. Corporate houses, financial institutions and others should encourage sports that are known internationally, namely football, hockey, basketball, volleyball, tennis, table tennis, athletics, aquatics, boxing, wrestling, karate, judo, billiards, snooker, gymnastics, etc.
It is high time the Sports Ministry, at the center and state level, ensures that all sporting bodies and associations are transparent and accountable in all their activities.
Sports in India requires a lot of development. Every sport has its own significance and earns equal reverence and management. It is time we, ought to analyse these issues before it takes some serious turns.