Are Our Sportsmen Free?


Another Independence Day! Happy Independence Day, to all my readers.

Went for a walk in the morning, past the Shivaji Chowk and saw that most of the road has been taken away by parked trucks. Anyway, skirted them to walk gingerly along a road which was full of wastes of various animals. Bore the stink. At the Chowk there was a knot of people who unfurled a flag and sang a patriotic song, really touching. At the park where I went a group of people from the adjoining society had gathered and were waiting for the flat flag (a case of Freudian slip, as I write about flats for a living) to be unfurled. Really touching the way they saluted when the flag opened and showered them with flower petals. Watched this for a while as I stood there and thought, “Are we really, really free?”

Well, that’s me.

Then read the papers. There were a lot of articles about freedom and what it means. Really glad the prime minister appointed a committee of ministers to oversee the working of the Common Wealth Games and restore confidence of the people. Phew! But now let’s see what this committee can do. That led me to the thought: “Are our sportsmen free? How free are they to pursue a career in sports as in other professions?”

Sports in India is not about breaking of records or display of toughness and endurance. It is about using it as a tool to get sexual satisfaction, money, and a weird notion of being powerful. Awful! Pathetic! That’s why our sports bodies are led by paunchy politicians who chew betel nut. After all, there are well toned bodies, well muscled and flat tummies and the drooling malfeasant male considers it open season, right?

To all of them: guys, sports is about teamwork, patience, endurance, giving our best in adversity and the bonding that youth should be given for the nation to hold its head high in international fora. Don’t spoil it all with your testosterones-led lurid fantasies.

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