Time to grant Indian sports independence from 70 years of government enslavement….writes Bikram Vohra
It was tough getting into the school team, and to make it into the college first string was even harder. Then came the state XI, and finally the glory of wearing the national colours. Looking back at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, the next generation will one day see it as the beginning of India’s resurgence as a sporting nation. They will say, okay, that’s when we woke up.
Dattu Baban Bhokanal, an army jawan from a drought hit village, set the lake on fire in Rio by becoming the only Indian ever to reach the Olympics in the sculls rowing event. Most Indians would not even know what sculls is; they may even mistake it for the phonetically similar word ‘skull’ (which means the bone structure of the head).But against all odds, Karmakar and Bhokanal epitomise tomorrow. They opened doors that were not even considered as options.They are India’s heroes and we should give them laurel wreaths.
Our coaches do not inspire. They do not get stuck in. I am watching the basketball game between Argentina and Brazil and the score is 95-95 in extra time and the coaches might as well be on the court, they are desperately scribbling ‘plays’ in the timeouts and are so into the team. They are all Mourinhos on speed.
Our coaches wear track suits, suck in their bellies and look glum.
But these heroes will come home to a non-welcome. Nobody will give a damn. Not a hoot.
Time to grant Indian sport its independence.