Outswinger: Barriers that separate us from competing with the world in Sports

Through Outswinger, I deliver my opinion on a wide range of issues

Indian Women Hockey Team playing a match. Wikimedia Commons

The Good thing is: From Atlanta (USA) Olympics in 1996 onwards, India has been winning at least a medal in every Olympic game. In just concluded Rio de Janeiro Olympics of 2016, India won 2 medals- both by Indian daughters PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik.

PV Sindhu won Silver medal in Badminton at Rio2016. Credit: http://www.badmintonindia.org/
PV Sindhu won Silver medal in Badminton at Rio2016. Credit: http://www.badmintonindia.org/

Bad news: In a country with a huge mass of the population, we are miserably failing in the fields of sports.

The USA topped the medal tally at Rio2016: 46 Gold, 37 Silver, 38 Bronze =121 Medals

Now, let us not assume The US has not its quota of problems. When Simone Manuel became the First ever African American to win a Gold medal in an individual event in swimming at Rio2016, it brought a glaring fact to public discussion again: Why blacks in the USA do not excel in swimming? One reason which is often pointed out: Black kids do not have access to the classy swimming pools and similar resources.

Coming back to the question of India,

  1. India has an immense potential to excel in sports, but sports are ignored at the expense of one sport who we call Cricket.
  2. More funding and sponsorship is needed. Again, Cricket is clouding other sports here.
  3. More autonomy and less bureaucracy: Sports bodies are headed by corrupt, fat politicians. Chnage the law to debar politicians from there.
  4. Bolstering sports from youngs days; schools and colleges must become the centers to groom the talent.

Indulgence in sports is far better than youth spending energy on riots and political hoodlum. Think Kashmir!

Baloch and AHRC report

With Indian Prime Minister Modi devoting 72 seconds to Balochistan in his Independence Day speech (August 15), the issue of Balochistan has become a discussion point in Indian media.

Credit: Balochistan National Party
Credit: Balochistan National Party

And now ex-President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai has also supported Modi’s statement. This is again a good development.

India has done well to rake up the issue of Balochistan. Not only, Balochistan’s demand for a separate country is just, the province is suffering from neglect and persecution at the hands of Pakistani authorities.

In a report released last week by Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), a few glaring facts stand out:

  • Approximately 1,000 dead bodies (corpses) have been recovered in Balochistan in last 6 years. Many of them are bullet ridden, disfigured and mutilated.
  • More than 9,000 Balochis were arrested in the year 2015 in the name of suspected militants and criminals under National Action Plan by police, Frontier Corps ( a wing of Pakistani Military) and other agencies. The report says that “The Baloch nationalists have been targeted in all of the operations, while the extremists and religious zealots have been allowed to operate with impunity to divert attention from the Baloch freedom movement.
  • Balochistan province is rich in minerals, the land is fertile and it supplies the bulk of gas to Pakistan, yet the people are poor and the area under-developed. Balochi people say that Pakistan is only interested in developing China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (C-PEC), while the people are being alienated. Quetta attack on lawyers is the latest example.

It is clear that Baloch separatists and nationalists are looking up to India as a big brother who will enact a Dhaka (1971) for them.