It so happened that on the final match of Champions Trophy Cricket Match between India and Pakistan, I was in Surat, Gujarat. Whomever I tried to meet for different works, I could get time till 1 pm only. And all told me let’s enjoy the final match, as it was on Sunday also. There were three Union ministers that day in Surat having political meetings, but all could last maximum by 3 pm. So, in the deserted streets of Surat, I had no option other than watching the idiot box and finally what a frustration! I was surprised to watch the news on channels that many cricket fans had broken their TV sets and in some places the security personnel had to make serious measures to maintain law and order. Even some hilly towns like Nainital, Shimla had to face law and order problem. The police had to cordon off the houses of the cricket players, as the angry mob had gathered there. My God ! What a shame? The fan club of Indian cricket team felt shattered and an atmosphere of defeat was surging high, as if India had literally lost the real battle with Pakistan, not a cricket match. It is noteworthy that many of us were completely unaware that India would be facing Pakistan in the semi final of the FIH Hockey World League in London, because our print media, social media and electronic media all were inundated with live comments and different situations of the cricket fans, and an atmosphere of war was created. It felt as if the Indian cricket team was fighting a proxy war against Pakistan on behalf of our soldiers. Nobody had ever thought that India would lose the match with such gigantic humiliation. But under no circumstances India can lose its pride. We all forgot to celebrate the blazing performance of the Indian men’s hockey team at the FIH Hockey World League. The electronic media almost forced us all in a situation of gloom after the defeat in cricket, and forgot to celebrate the victory of our hockey players. What is more, the idiot box continued to telecast live footages of angry mobs on the Indian roads, which were showing frustrations of Indian cricket fans. We have to be careful of the fact that the idiot box is literally stealing natural state of our body, mind and soul. Incidentally, we have become the victim of others’ game plan and hence it assumes importance that we should stay away from the agenda of such section of media.
India is a big nation having a proud history with rich culture. We have our hundred varieties of Indian games and thousands of talented athletes. Hockey, kabaddi, khokho, volleyball, basket ball, football and many other sports are there in India. But unfortunately, all our attention has been diverted to an alien sports called cricket. And the cricket kida has damaged all other Indian games, and the government also has not paid any heed to promote Indian sports since Independence. That is the basic reason India does not win more medals at Olympic Games in comparison to developed nations. Although from our rural India, we see many talented athletes winning medals at the international games, the few athletes who come to the national level are owing to their hard work and great determination, despite heavy financial constraints. The Sports Authority of India has played a dismal role in bringing up young talents and making them flawlessly trained at international level. It is very important on part of the government to lay more emphasis on promotion of Indian games at the campuses of the government-run schools. In fact, at primary level, our private and government schools do not give as much importance to sports as is given to studies. The sports teachers in government and private schools in India are the most untrained ones and students are not provided with modern sports facilities. Even in metro cities, many private schools do not have a dedicated area for sports as they are faced with constraint of space. However for some time, many private clubs have been now coming forward to promote football, hockey and other sports. PM Modi, during his recent trip to Germany, had urged the German government for extending a helping hand in promoting football in India. Modi has just started planning to promote Indian players so as to perform at Olympic Games. That is a welcome step, but very small to support and strengthen sports. Let’s give as much attention to sports as is given to studies.