Media hype, and hollow nationalism
So far, as of today, India got a TOTAL of 26 Olympic medals since 1930. Zero — NONE — in Rio, 2016. So far. Michael Phelps got more than that, all by himself.
But first, U.S. media.
One of the reasons I stopped watching the Olympics coverage is definitely Bob Costas and NBC. Two weeks of extreme bias for USA, zero respect for other countries especially Russia, China and Cuba (“communists”), and this flexing of ultra-nationalistic muscle sap any enthusiasm out of me! American corporate media is truly nauseating! There is every attempt to put down and denigrate major athletes from African and Arab countries, and everybody but American players is seen as a potential dope user. The Bahama runner who dived to get a gold medal was scandalized in U.S. media. If I were in charge of news, I would glorify her. Do a major story on her. I would do a major story on Dipa Karmakar, who came 4th in gymnastics. I would tell their stories of beating all odds — starvation, social stigma, death. In the name of this global sports event that was once amateur, but has now turned a profiteering drumbeat for corporate America, I would not use it to declare U.S. supremacy.
Trumps do not happen out of thin air. Think about it.
Now, about India.
How can people in India expect that it will get Olympic medals? India has NO serious sports program for the international arena. About 80-90 percent of its resources is spent on cricket, and people think we’re world champions, even though only 10 nations play it.
The country gives its highest civilian honor Bharat Ratna to a cricket player, who is a billionaire, and hasn’t spent a dime to promote any other game. Football (soccer) was once international standard; now it’s a joke.
Not just China that has achieved miracles in the Olympics, small, poor countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Algeria, Ivory Coast, and of course Cuba have created such a wonderful Olympic legacy. My childhood friend who has worked as a sports medicine doctor all his life reminded me even Thailand and Indonesia have medals in Rio, but India does not.
Indians love media-created hype, and are zealously sentimental about the country. Great! But what about looking for the reasons for this colossal failure for generations? If someone like me challenges, not just the people in power, but really the ordinary, brainwashed Indians ostracize him.
Sure, we are bad people. Why don’t you make these billionaire cricket and Bollywood stars spend a very, very small fraction of their money, and help build a sports culture from now? One Dipa Karmakar or Sania Mirza or Saina Nehwal would not be your sentimental card year after year.
Make an environment so that young women can break free of social and religious taboo, and play together with young men, with zero fear. Feed them well. Train them. Help and support their families. Get money out of cricket, and force government and corporate houses to invest in Olympic sports. Kill the corrupt administrations and power houses. Transfer power to honest and dedicated sports mentors. Do a national conference on Olympics 2020. Make short-term and long-term plans.
And immediately replace that sports minister of India. He is a national disgrace!
Dipa Karmakar, Indian gymnast who got fourth place in Rio. With NO money, no sponsorship, and no media support. Now, Bollywood and cricket stars Tweet for her. As if they really care.