In a country where cricket is followed as a religion and Sachin is worshipped as God, there’s not really a lot of opportunity for any other sports or sportsmen to flourish. After a lot of years, Football finally started gaining recognition, but it’s still a long way to go. Cricket is the only thing that resonates in a million hearts, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It gets unfair when other sports/sportsmen are not given that much importance. We’ve all heard of Shobhaa De’s remark about Team India at Olympics. This is exactly where the mindset needs to change.
Shobhaa De, a well known name in journalism, is someone whose columns are published in the leading newspapers in India. Her opinions are read by a million people on daily basis, she has Twitter followers and a voice that has the ability to influence a lot of people. When you’re someone like Shobhaa De, you need to choose your words wisely.
On Twitter, Shobhaa De did something that was not needed, and certainly not ethical. Slamming Team India, she tweeted the following which, as expected, brought in a lot of criticism. It was not only a very insensitive thing to say, but also a stupid comment that was made just for gaining publicity.
Nobody is unknown to the fact that sports in India is not in a good state. While in other countries, sportsmen are not only respected but also provided with the standard and conditions they deserve. In our country, an Olympic gold medallist sells pani puri to survive. If that doesn’t show how much of a struggle life is for a player of that level, I don’t know what will.
What Mrs. De needs to realize is that in a country where unless you’re a cricketer, you’re of no value, these people have pursued their passion. Despite of knowing that they might never get anything out of it, they decided to break stereotypes and step into a world India is still unknown to. Today, every kid knows who Sachin Tendulkar is, but if you ask them about Dipa Karmakar, they won’t know who you are talking about. I’m not saying Sachin Tendulkar isn’t a great sportsman, I’m saying Dipa Karmakar, or any other sportsman deserves the exact amount of respect and admiration.
The remark made by Shobhaa De is exactly what’s wrong with the mindset of our country. Reaching at the level of Olympics is not cakewalk. Not anyone and everyone can do it. Nobody can imagine the amount of hard work these brilliant people have put in to make us proud. It’s not about winning all the time, and instead of making remarks like these, we could all support our heroes and make them feel that their appreciated.
Slamming them on a platform where the world can read things you put up is baffling, not only as a citizen of the country but as a human being. They worked hard, they did their best, but their opponents were better. It doesn’t mean they did not try.
It is good to see that many people are standing up against the remark because that is needed. Participants from India need to know that their efforts are appreciated by fellow Indians and they won’t let some people try to take them down. Abhinav Bindra responded to Shobhaa De’s comment, and many more did, which is what we need right now.
We believe in you!