Tuesday, August 14, 2012

More Than A Billion Without Gold

Vasu Reddy From Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

The Olympic Games in London concluded yesterday (12th August2012) and they were a fantastic spectacle from beginning to the end. 204 nations and almost 11,000 athletes competed for sixteen days, and competed for 4,700 medals (gold, silver and bronze).  For almost all through the games the city of London, in USA NBC coverage and overall organization and competition was as expected, Olympic in nature and competitive in spirit.  Barring a very few instances the athletes were competing in good faith and did their best to win a medal.  The very fact they made it to London to compete and gave their best to the competition is itself a great reward for the individual and the country they represent.

Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps and Gabby Douglas, along with everyone competitor who won a medal in the 2012 Olympics made me very happy.  Whatever color the medal was the great thing is the spirit of competition and the work that went into the sport.  Whenever I got a chance to watch the games I did, and enjoyed them.  Once the games were over is when it sunk into me that not a single gold medal was won by an Indian. We have probably more than 1/6 of the global population but we could not get one gold. Man that has been bothering me since the games ended, and I keep thinking what in the name of god are we capable of?

We should not take away the medals won by Indian athletes no matter what color the medal is, and each one of them deserve the compliments of the competition and spirit of the games.  It is the country that really should introspect on what it does on the global stage.  We keep calling India emerging nation or developing nation, and for how long shall we be developing or emerging.  What are we developing and what are we emerging from?  Decades of using the same words must be tiring for the politicians, bureaucrats and people who think of the country in such terms.

It is not just the Olympics but in every aspect of the global stage we continue to show poor attitude and performance.  The only thing India is well known for is the scams and suitcases, and none of the politicians are willing to tackle the real issues head on.  The majority of the country’s resources and wealth goes to funding political coffers, and a few businesses.  There is no proper planning for the country’s needs except occasional flash of planning to show that we are doing something.  There are individuals who display brilliance politically, but it is limited to their state and tenure, and once they are out of power the development plans go back to normal, which is simply do the minimum to keep people happy and get elected one more time.

The Olympic results made me think about our country and its abilities.  Absolute mediocrity with everything we do, or we don’t do is displayed on the global stage every day.  The big news on India’s Olympic team was some woman gate crashing and walking with the team in casual clothes at the opening ceremony, and no one noticed her, and even after the most disrespectful behavior by an Indian, no action taken to prevent such disregard for the nation.

With the next independence day coming in a couple of days, I am sure we will hear a lot of rhetoric and language to address the nation, but we should really look for actions that make the nation proud within the country and on a global stage.  Hopefully in the next Olympics we will win a gold medal and get started with the attitude of winning globally.

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