The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Arjun Ganguly, EMBA 2015-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
I always wandered why is India good only in cricket and not in any other outdoor game. It had always been disappointing to see India perform at the Olympics. I always was of the opinion that we as Indians should show little more interest in other games like football, tennis, boxing etc. Although we may not or rather will not see
immediate results but it may ensure that future generations would be inclined towards many outdoor games apart from just cricket.
The good news is change is in the air nowadays. With Sania Mirza creating history by becoming the first female player from the country to win a women’s doubles Grand Slam title, partnering with Switzerland’s Martina Hingis, I would like to believe there is more to come from her. After all she is only 28 years old. Currently ranked
world number one in women’s doubles, Sania became only the second tennis player to be recommended for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna after a Sports Ministry appointed selection panel named her for the top sporting award of the country. In 2005, Time magazine named Mirza one of the ‘50 Heroes of Asia’. In March 2012, the Economic Times included her in a list of ‘33 Women Who Made India proud’. I am sure many youngsters will be elated and motivated by looking up to her and all the many laurels she won for India(including recently, the gold and bronze at Asian Games in Incheon, in 2014).
The current year also saw Vijender Singh turing to professional boxing by bidding adieu to his amateur career. Vijender, also a previous recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award—India’s highest sporting honour, had done India proud on many many occasions. He is credited with winning the bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, the first ever Olympic medal for an Indian boxer. Later on he went on to become the top-ranked boxer in the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) annual list(middleweight category). At 29 years of age, and turning professional( which by the way ruled him out of 2016 Olympics as he no longer remains eligible to represent India) I have very high hopes on him making India proud again on many occasions.
Lets just hope these are no isolated developments and actually inspires India’s youth to look to many different games in the coming future. For a country to be strong we would the youth to be strong first. As Swami Vivekananda had famously said – You will be nearer to Heaven through football than through the study of the Gita.