Showing posts with label India Shining. Show all posts
Showing posts with label India Shining. Show all posts

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Rio! [225/365]

As the quadrennial sporting extravaganza wraps up today, India is patting herself on her back.
She got 6 medals (none of them gold, mind you) from 83 'world-class' athletes.

Time for some stock-taking.
The great States of America stood first with whooping 104 medals. 46 of them gold.
Our northern neighbor stood second with a distant 88 medals. 38 of them gold.
And the hosts stood third with a 65 medals.
This is where the plot thickens.
If you're looking for India in the tally, you'll need to take a deep dive into the medal abyss. On the upside, we proudly stand at the top of the list of countries that have not won a gold. The downside- We are 55th of 79 countries who won any medals at all.

Goldman Sachs predicted India would win 5 medals. Nice guess.
If any consolation, we won more medals than countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Egypt and Finland. Lest you boast, we won less than countries like Uganda, Algeria, Uzbekistan, Ethiopia and Jamiaca. It is not the per-capita income or the size of our population that gave the geniuses at Goldman Sachs the hint, but the fact that we as a society have no sports in our genes at all. Chess and Snooker, maybe.

Children are seldom encouraged to pick and excel at a sport of their choice. It's the parent's choice or the highway.
Schools and colleges rarely spot and breed athletic talent.
A voluptuous B grade tennis star gets more spotlight than an athlete who actually performs consistently at the top.
And once an athlete wins at international sporting events, they are poached with promises of money and mid-ranking government jobs. That's the final nail on their coffins. This is what our society aims to achieve. A cushy government job. Secured retirement benefits and fame that will spill over to a few generations.

Money is flushed into athletes who are well established instead of nurturing talent at the grassroots. The Abhinav Bindras and Leander Paes of our country don't need millions of rupees for training and equipment. The Irfan Kolothum Thodis of our country does. The national cricket team does not need billions of dollars in endorsements and training, our Hockey team does.

What this Games achieved was monumental.
We could pretend to believe that we deserved more than we won, but the truth is we surprised ourselves.
If we won, it is not because of the millions of tax payer rupees that the government squandered on choosing, training and feasting our athletes over the past year. But because how some of our top athletes were groomed by corporate trust funds that demanded results.
The fact that we won any medals is proof that we can achieve sporting excellence just as easily as we achieve academic excellence if we put our mind to it.

Rio 2016, here we come.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Why not?!

The Corrupt and his Protege`
Looks like the bad news just keeps coming.

Back home in Bangalore, Yeddy did a Sonia.
Logic took a hike and he managed to install a Chief Minister that he preferred.
Now, say it slowly with me, folks: Yes Of Course.

What began as a earnest measure to uproot the corrupt just ended up as an exercise in futility.
While the new chief insists that he is not a puppet and will act with integrity and honesty, his elevation to the top job is only the beginning of the end.

While there is a growing dissatisfaction of the way the government works, what ties the hands of anti corruption crusaders is the lack of political will to allow themselves to be held accountable. Over the years, I've oscillated between the opinion that India should be ruled by a firm fisted dictator and by a President.

A biparty political system that invites and involves its citizens to participate in governing and also allows a moderate amount of freedom while still encouraging growth and creativity.
A nation where its constitution is framed with the needs of today's society. Not one that shortsighted forefathers created, but one where we are given a chance to create and inspired to follow.
A nation where you know what your politicians stand for. A nation that is ruled by the people and not by megalomaniac politicians.
We need a nation where politicians are held accountable for their performance, and corrupt officials been disqualified. For ever.
While all this is difficult for us as a nation to accomplish, I believe it is possible. Progressive Asian countries have proved that politicians can be what they were meant to be. Govern with integrity.

Even though there is enough incentive to live in a society that is free of corruption, the lure of easy money and a weak judiciary is what frustrates ordinary citizens.
The social costs of having to bribe officials for anything you need and everything you deserve is huge.
The number of politicians that get away with weak laws and laws that tend to serve their purpose is astounding.

How can so many of us keep quiet when visibly corrupt minister(s) demand one of their own in a position of authority?
How can we pretend to believe that the newly crowned minister will govern with integrity?
How can we believe the justifications of the guilty? 
Can we ever hope to see the guilty and corrupt tried by a impartial judiciary, a la Egyptians?

The last I hear the ruling house is split wide at the middle, with the rival faction demanding plum positions (which in most chances they will get). Now, what was that phrase about a house that is divided among themselves will not survive?

Like a dog that goes back to its vomit, the people of Karnataka are doomed to a yet another government that will systematically plunder, loot and deceive.
It's not 'India Shining', it's 'India Stealing'.

Now, Mr Chief Minister, while you are fighting among yourselves, who the hell is running the state?

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