Yup its a new word, but the rhetoric is old.
Each year, athletes suffer, pay a price , often from their own pockets, overcome difficulties, hardships, social pressures, physical pressures, push themselves to compete. They win sometimes, and they lose sometimes.
The social commentary also goSoes through a similar pattern. After Sachin Tendulkar, it almost seems like the entire sports fraternity is itching to find another Sachin be it in any sport. While it sounds nice to aim high, but it is also important to remember there is only one superman.
What Sachin is to cricket, Cricket is to other sports in the country. There is Cricket and there are other sports. There is Sachin and there are these other players who form the team.
So till such time we don’t find the Ganguly’s and the Dravid’s in other sports, India will never be a great sporting country. It almost seems like only when a player emerges and breaks through, that’s when we latch on and become their ambassadors , admirers, defenders and or critics. But the story starts much before that.
How will you find other sports and other sports persons when half of the country can’t even name 5 players in the National Hockey team, Kabaddi or even name top 3 athletes in 100 mts ? Until yesterday, Dipa Karmakar was oblivious to national media,not many understood the complexity of the Produnova vault, no one saw her struggles, no one came to pat her back, no one thanked her for most part of her life ( well that’s an assumption, but I guess you get the drift) but now everyone is talking about her.Yes including me.
That’s the power of success. and that is who we are or have become as a society. The praises are with the have’s and ignorance settles with the have not’s, also often rudely classed as wannabe’s or wannashines.
Admit it,we are a dysfunctional society, with contradicting morality, emotional fragility and short circuited ego fuses. Had to bring Shobha De into this. While what she said provoked an unprecedented social trolling and I am happy that it served as a dual purpose for those dormant soles to wake up and speak up for the scores of sports persons in the country.
It also underscores those athletes and officials who actually get in on sports quota whether they deserve it or not. They sometimes get in on recommendation, sometimes just because its their turn and sometimes just to make someone else happy.
The real person to thank is perhaps the coach or the parent or perhaps even the circumstance that led an athlete to push for more.Those are the people we need to cherish, cheer advise or chastise. We need to start balancing our parenting to better understand what our child needs , wants or lacks. Where does she/he need a push and where they need to be left alone to figure it out.
We need to be proud of what Sachin has contributed for the development for Cricket in India, we do need find another Sachin for Hockey, one for Athletics, one for Football, for sure, but we should not forget or ignore those who are already trying hard and other who are trying to break into the big league.
In the end, whether India wins Gold or not, at the Olympics, we should support the teams and players and the athletes, but also let them know that our love comes for those who push hard and do it the right way. We will standby them even if they fail as long as they keep pushing, because no one else is going to do it for them.
So whether it is Dutee Chand or Dipa Karmakar, celebrate failure, learn quickly and keep on running.