Golden lining to the India Inc.

Update: This is an old post saved in draft mode for almost a year. For some reason, which I don't remember, I didn't post it and found it today while screening through the list.

Amidst the much hyped Indian economy's struggle to keep up the pace, some good news has arrived. Abhinav Bindra has won a gold medal at Beijing Olympics 2008. This comes as a welcome surprise considering usual dismal performance of Indian sportsmen at this world stage.

In India, there is only one game and that is Cricket. However bad performance the Indian team may display, almost every Indian will still hope that India will win next match. At the same time, we show complete lack of interest in any other sport. Sania Mirza tried to steal the show many times, but lacks consistency. Same is the case with Paes and Bhupati. We know both of them more for their bickering than their game. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathor, who bagged a silver medal in Athens Olympics 2004, seems to be nowhere in picture in 2008. And we are not even qualified to play at Beijing for our "national game" - Hockey!!

I think all this is a chicken and egg problem. Since there's not much interest in other sports, there are no sponsors for those games, resulting in less money for those players. At the same time, since there are no star performers in other sports, sponsors are not interested in those games. (This was evidently shown in the movie - Chak De India - where Indian Women Hockey Team receives the sponsors only when they reach the semi/finals).

At the same time, the picture doesn't look so grim. Many corporates are coming up with plans to sponsor sports other than cricket, which is really a good sign.

Keeping up with the India 2020 vision, we can't be a real super power without stellar performances in the sports field. And I think it's really doable provided we erradicate the politics and corruption from the sports field and incentivise the real genius in this field.


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