There was an interesting editorial in the Times of India recently. Titled “The Desi Fan”, it went on to reason out why India’s cricketing fraternity & fan base do not go hand in hand. The basic Indian cricket fan is a confused person, who expects the team to perform well at any cost. A good thought. But it shows the lack of sporting attitude in the country. It is an essential aspect of any nation to first and foremost understand the concept of a sporting team before going on to batter the side.
The one point that caught my eye was, quoted “India is a nation of losers. Its sports teams win at nothing but cricket”. This is an essential aspect of the new-age India. Despite a widespread presence of the brightest youth, there is no real standout Indian sportsperson (the only exception could be Khel Ratna winner Pankaj Advani, although his sport ain’t inspirational enough or masculinity-defining) who catches the imagination of a billion people.
The lack of “that winning feeling” in the common Indian is characteristic of the nation’s virtual ignorance of the word “sport” itself. Young Indians resort to watching Formula 1 races, tennis Grand Slams and of course, European and international football to burn their sporting needs from the inside. This is where they do find sporting grit and will. But the lack of one of our own is a major drawback in the entire process of sports education.
Only someone who expresses your own thought and attitude will ultimately go on to make an impact. The foreigners may be exceptional talents and even inspire many of us, but there is clearly a missing piece to the puzzle that we all must solve.
One of our own – the only solution to India’s sporting problems. The obvious and foreseen lack of a sporting hero, apart from cricket of course, will eventually peak and the country might not even consider playing in football’s World Cup or registering an Indian in the history books of Grand Slam winners. As it is, India’s football World Cup qualifiers are a formality and the rise of Sania Mirza is all hype so far.
On a final note, we can still look up to the Europeans, South Americans, Africans & the Aussies for our dose of sporting medicine. Trust me, it heals…..