Monday, December 05, 2005

Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani !!

For an Indian sports fan, one of the most painful aspects of the country’s sporting history is the fact that India, in spite of being the 2nd most populous country in the world, is no more than a minnow in the world sporting arena. One humiliating Olympic after another, we see countries less than 1/100th of our size win more medals than we do. OK, we all know the most oft-quoted reasons for this, namely lack of infrastructure and sporting culture in the country (A classic example is that pathetic old cliché which gets drilled into most young heads here, “Padhoge likhoge to banoge nawab, kheloge kudoge to banoge kharab”)
But I refuse to believe that these excuses are sufficient to explain all of India’s sporting woes. There has to be a more deep-rooted reason, something to do with our psyche, something to do with our self-belief and attitude towards competition.

We Indians are inherently non-aggressive by nature. Throughout our history, we have never attacked an external entity. On the contrary, we have borne the brunt of scores of invasions over the ages. Perhaps it is this continued repression and foreign rule, which has slowly modified our minds as well. We Indians have slowly become used to being underdogs, used to being lead by someone else, used to being shown the way instead of finding our own. Even after half a century of Independence, this inferiority complex refuses to leave us. Even today, most of us still accord an Indian working or studying abroad a higher social status than an Indian working/studying in India.

With the advent of the 21st century, as India takes rapid strides towards it’s rightful place in the world, there is reason to believe that our internal attitudes would change for the better as well. As Indian corporates become global heavyweights, the Indian customer becomes globally recognizable, and India begins to drive the global knowledge economy, there is hope that we Indians would finally begin to believe that we can be the best in the world, in which ever sphere we aim for. Perhaps in 15-20 years time, we would start winning more Olympic golds as well....

3 comments:

chaos said...

sometimes i wonder, if it is this defensive stance (since history)... that has led to our meakness, our fall (or rather we never rose to fall)... and most importantly having to face the discrimination (from the giants)... and never being taken seriously...

Nikhil Kulkarni said...

I totally agree. We have become "used to being lead by someone else, used to being shown the way instead of finding our own". That is also the reason why we have little innovation potential in spite of large numbers of educated and highly qualified people.
To be frank I am a bit skeptical (as I always am :P) about India getting its "rightful place in the world". I wrote at length on my Blog about lack of innovation in our industry. Unless we shed our attitude of being lead and start leading (innovating for industry, winning medals for sportsmen) we will be shown only hollow dreams by US and its like.

the_new_cloud said...

well...
i completely agree wth you on this...
We ppl are lethargic... thats why pour in to watch a test match which lasts for 5 days...
:-P