Aug 25, 2010

Indian Sports: Beyond Cricket?

At the recent world conference on Mathematics, the World Champion in chess, Vishwanathan Anand, was not conferred a PhD in Mathematics. And the reason for this was that, he is not an Indian. It was after some enlightenment that he is indeed an Indian, that this folly was realized and the HRD ministry tendered an apology to the Grandmaster.

(Image Courtesy: 

Such is the state of a sport (and its stars), other than cricket (and of course the cricketers). For a person who used to look upon Mr. Anand as an inspiration to achieve greater heights in life, this was indeed a great disappointment. Agreed that the nation eats cricket and sleeps cricket, but it sure needs to have people in responsible positions who can think beyond cricket.

And to top it all, Mr. Anand is a part of the 'Olympic Gold Quest' that has been formed to support the country's elite sportspersons and talent towards the Olympic endeavor. It would indeed be a slap on the face of the government, if Mr. Anand continues to serve on this Board. But, I sincerely hope that Mr. Anand continues to serve on this board, because that is the only way for a sportsperson from a non-cricket background to get into in the spotlight despite the step-motherly treatment by the corporate sponsors and the government agencies.

If Mr. Anand not staying in India is a reason for this non-Indian stature, why raise make a fuss about an ABCD Sanjaya Malakar on the American Idol or Sunita Williams' India trip? They don't even represent India, and the government and the media put them in the spotlight for so long.

Indeed this step-motherly treatment towards the sportspersons of merit must stop! I am sure there are lot more Saina Naiwals, Vijender Singhs, Abhinav Bindras, Sushil Kumars and others hidden in the country, thanks to this form of ignorance in India. And they need to be unearthed!