One of the greatest” degradations that has occurred in our country during the second half of the twentieth century, has been in the field of sports and games. The” only major performance of note has been the gold medal in hockey won at the Moscow Olympics in 1980 and the triumph at the 1983 & 2011 world cup in cricket,plus a few individual medals in Olympics and few success in Tennis. But these occasional triumphs do not augur well for the future of Indian sports. A nation of 1.2 billion has not been able to produce a sportsperson or athlete of international standards even after 6 decades of independence. In today’s new climate of peace, a nation’s achievements in sports are valued far above its arsenal or military might. We have, however, lagged behind in every field in spite of a large potential manpower. What does really ail Indian sports? With a few honourable exceptions like cricket, chess and tennis (where, even at the best of times, our performance has been erratic to say the least), our sportspersons and athletes like the ‘Flying Sikh’ Milkha Singh and the ‘Sprint Queen’ P.T. Usha have failed to find a mention in the international medal tally, in spite of their best efforts and glowing eulogies at home. The chances of our doing well or making a mark in the international arena remain grim till date. At home also, the standard in regional, state-level and national-level games is fast deteriorating. The malady, indeed, is deep rooted. The first and the foremost cause is the poor state of our economy. We cannot spot, nourish and nurture talent even in the initial stages. Whoever hits the spotlight is, by and large, a fluke. He or she has done it on one’s own merit. For instance, our cricket hero Kapil Dev has come up’ against all odds to make a mark in international cricket. Privatisation or sponsorship of the various games and sports is the only answer especially when we cannot spare enough funds for sporting activities in the country.
Today, when about...
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