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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2829

Behind Indian Olympic Glamour

By Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal

India, a nation of contradictions not only in words and deeds, but in reality and propaganda, could be proud of the fact, notwithstanding its tall claims of economic recovery and nuclear missile capability that it accounts for about 40 per cent of the world poor. That is, this democratic and secular nation has kept the wedge not only between Hindus and Muslims for Mosque and vote reasons, but also maintained clear distance between the rich and the poor.

The most astounding phenomenon about Indian capacity to hide hard facts with publicity gimmicks is really tremendous. Indian media should take the prime claps for helping the state and government to advance the “legitimate” national interests of telling lies and hiding truth fairly ably.

As a result of this composite cooperation between legislature, executive, judiciary and media, India is on the threshold of starvation due to a lack of vision in the developmental policy. Instead of focusing on basic needs, almost all nations opt to invest interest in specific elements of society and India is competing with the rest. Indians and the media worry only about who would be the next beauty queen is and how to make her world beauty or who bought which cricket team and what Pakistan and Bangladesh do or do not do. They are happy to discuss the Indo-US nuclearism as a matter of enormous pride.

Seldom, does one hear Indian government and people talk about the plight of hapless Muslims in the country, about fulfilling pledge given to nation on Babri Mosque and about reconstruction efforts of Babri Mosque, about policies to helping poor, about farmers or decreasing farmlands. People also fail to realize that the food they consume is sourced from them and government does not think that they have a duty to address the legitimate concerns of Muslims in the country and take them together.

Issues like Babri Mosque, Fundamentalism, Islamic Terrorism, Pakistan, Kashmiri terrorism, cross-border-terrorism, etc., to mention a few, have kept the Indian boat swimming with some traditional music and goody folk tales to let the Indian boast themselves of their great identity. But such fabricated stories don’t stay for ever, as fact s have revealed now.

Sport is one major thrust that gives Indians to forget abut the real sickness of reality of inequality, horror and starvation. Now the Olympics have another opportunity to hide the crude Indian reality. The media are filled with emotional stories about how New Delhi, the capital, is being fenced to promote Olympics. The national capital was turned virtually into a security fortress on April 17 for the Olympic torch relay with thousands of policemen keeping a hawk-eye vigil to prevent any attempts by Tibetans to disrupt the event. A large number of security personnel, including Rapid Action Force men armed with assault rifles, were deployed near Le Meridien hotel, where the torch is reportedly kept, even as Tibetans held a protest during wee hours.

The security arrangements have been enhanced for Chinese embassy, which has witnessed a number of protests in the last few days, and hundreds of policemen were also keeping a tight vigil at many other areas in the city. The relay will witness 70 celebrities including 47 sportspersons, who will run along the Rajpath amid Republic Day-type multi-layered security. A total of about 15,000 paramilitary along with police personnel have been deployed across the city. Apart from that, India also needs Chinese guards/commandos to protect the Olympic torch.

Olympics: India out of Hockey

Even before the start India has been kicked out of race in hockey. Two goals within the first 10 minutes put them firmly in front while pushing India on the back-foot and the current scenario in the capital looks ridiculous. Scoring twice in the first-half, Britain ended India’s Olympic dreams with a 2-0 win in the final of the World Hockey qualifying tournament at the Prince of Wales Country Club. Barry Middleton (4th minute) and Richard Mantell (10th) struck for Britain who then showed the discipline and character to withstand intense pressure in the match to emerge deserving winners while qualifying for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

On the day, it was Britain which showed a lot of steel in dealing with the massive pressure they were subjected to by the Indian forwards. The difference was that Britain, who had beaten India 3-2 in the league, capitalized on the two early chances that came their way, while the Indians did not. In contrast, India could never really settle down and the two yellow cards to their key players filled their cup of woe. It brought the number of yellow cards to five in three matches.

Britain s first-half tactics were fairly obvious and that was to seize early initiative. While Britain’s performance slick and sure, the Indians struggled to get going. The two teams were a study in contrast with Britain sticking to basics of close marking, quick release and positional play. In contrast, India seemed to run out of ideas and there was predictability in their attacks with the long balls to the wings in much use. With the time ticking by, India made desperate attempts force a penalty corner and finally succeeded in the 31st minute. On resumption, even as Indians grew in desperation, Britain kept their composure to survive the vital final moments of a match that barely rose to expectations in terms of quality though did not lack intensity and passion.

Eight-time gold medalists India thus have failed to make it to the Olympics for the first time since their debut in 1928. While the Britain players celebrated to the accompaniment of the song "We are the Champions", the Indian, heads bowed, shoulders slumped, could only watch the jubilant scenes of a team that played smarter if not better hockey. This is not only hockey, but this story could even be a prelude to many backlashes in the ensuing Olympics.

Politics Of Sports

It is a known fact that India over years has taken cricket and other sports more as trade products, rather than sources of entertainment and skills. One fails to understand why so much ado about nothing in the name of Olympics and causing problems and concerns to citizens not only of New Delhi but the entire nation. And many ask why India deliberately has used Chinese security services also when it claims to have the one of the best security networks. Is it only to threaten the Tibetans who are accommodated in India? Perhaps India tries to gain access to some more international positions with Chinese help.

Entire New Delhi drama looks like a desperate attempt to boost the “morale” not of Indian players, but the people who are sick of government’s resistance for change; to change the policies to redeem the poor from the lower deck of the society. The whole burden of all this funfair and confusion falls on the common people in the capital. Billions of dollars are being pumped into sports in the name of excellence, but number of poor people keeps rising incredibly. And yet, Indian government is bent on dong what it has been dong for decades.

India seems to try to use such events to cover-up its failures in all fonts. Kashmiris have been demanding their sovereignty back and Muslims in India have been praying for the reconstruction efforts of Babri Mosque by Indian government, but India coolly plays dirty games in this manner. NO, India should change its attitudes. Earlier the better!

- Asian Tribune -

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