Ms. P.V. Sindhu, Indian Badminton Star who has won Silver Medal at 2016 Rio Olympics, has every right to be on Cloud 9, and she deserves her due accolades. She is also entitled to some REASONABLE cash awards, felicitations, celebrity status, house-sites, Govt. jobs, etc. etc., proportionate to her accomplishments. At the sametime, the Chief Minister of Telangana, Mr. K. Chandrasekhara Rao, and the Chief Minister of Residual Andhra Pradesh, cannot create a hullabaloo, by declaring disproportionate cash rewards, housesites, jobs, etc., as both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh States are cash-strapped, albeit, Telangana may be slightly better off. At the same time, whether Mr. KCR and Mr. Naidu realise or fail to realise that public funds cannot be splintered and squandered, for short term political gains, and cheap popularity. We must keep in mind that both the Chief Ministers are overtly or covertly begging the Finance Minister of India, and the Prime Minister of India for billions of bucks, under some pretext or other.
GAUDY FELICITATIONS IN HYDERABAD AND VIJAYAVADAThe felicitations made by Mr. Chandrasekhara Rao in Hyderabad, and by Mr. Nara Chandrababu Naidu in Vijayawada to Ms. P.V. Sindhu, are too gaudy. There is a need to maintain balance, and to avoid making "mountains out of molehills", or making "molehills out of mountains".
I have nothing personal against Mr. Naidu or Mr. KCR or Ms. P.V. Sindhu. I am neither a politician, nor a sports person. I have no reason to envy or be jealous of any of them, hence I request my readers not to misunderstand me.
We can write a thousand pages about the place to be allocated to SPORTS in India, without making any malicious comments on the sports persons concerned. This blogpost will not be sufficient to discuss everything. We shall take up one or two items as samples, now. Depending on priorities and time, we shall take up other items for discussion, by going for a 10 part blog-post series.
In 1976, I attended a group discussion and interview, for the job of a Probationery Officer in a Bank. One of the items of the group discussion was "Should India participate in Olympics?". The topic given for the group discussion, was very much contextual. India's medla count in 1972 Olympics was at its nadir, and there were no hopes of getting anything in 1976. For the benefit of our readers, I reproduce India's medals position at that time:
|Year 1972||Gold 0||Silver 0||Bronze 1||Total 1|
|Year 1976||Gold 0||Silver 0||Bronze 0||Total 0|
|Year 1980||Gold 1||Silver 0||Bronze 0||Total 1|
|Year 1984||Gold 0||Silver 0||Bronze 0||Total 0|
|Year 1988||Gold 0||Silver 0||Bronze 0||Total 0|
|Year 1992||Gold 0||Silver 0||Bronze 0||Total 0|
|Year 1996||Gold 0||Silver 0||Bronze 1||Total 1|
Owing to my jhompadi-guDise (hut) background boyhood spent during 1962-1968 studying IX standard to XII standard, I had little access to any sports of any kind except playing gOlIlu (glass spheric marbles-pebbles of 1/2 inch diameter), and karra-billa (also called biLLam gODu) played with a stick of around 18" length, and a wooden-bails 6"-8" long with sharp edges on both ends, in lanes on gully-sides with street-boys. Even in gOlIlu, or biLLam gODu though I had some skills, I was not much proficient. My expertise was confined only to household chores of running a small tea stall, or feeding/grazing a buffalo, getting hay or green fodder, or bowl dung cakes to the wall for fuel, or stitching leaf-plates, the activities on which our family of 2 parents + 5 children survived.
During those 1962-1968 days there used to be Labor Welfare Centre, run by Government in our vicinity, on a 12 acre site. They used to run a good reading-room, a carroms-hall, and a room for harmoniums. Occasionally, I used to go there and play some carroms. The Staff there were kind enough to permit me touch the keys and pedal the harmoniums, and feel the keys of music. That was a sweet experience.
The purpose of my writing all these things is, not to evoke the sympathy or empathy of my readers. I wish to point out how our attitudes and perceptions are formed from our childhood and boyhood experiences. These attitudes and perceptions affect our natural behavioral patterns, and if we are to speak at a particular place, spontaneously without notice (ex tempore), without even a prior knowledge of the likely subject on which we are to speak, we speak as per our natural behavioral atterns evolved from childhood and boyhood experiences and perceptions. These childhood-boyhood circumstances which influence our behaviors, may sometimes be fortuitous (our birth in a rich family or middle class family or a poor family itself is a sort of lottery) whether Gods-goddesses conduct this lottery or not. A sort of le miserable combinaison de circonstances fortuites..
In the same manner, the poverty of a Nation, failures or successes of a Nation whether in Sports or elsewhere, is a function of numerous factors, on which the Nation may, sometimes, have control, and in some other times, it may not have control. For this reason only, whether Ms. Indira Gandhi was PM, or whether Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee was PM, or whether Mr. Manmohan Singh was PM or whether Mr. Narendra Modi is PM, the failures and successes have remained equally dismal and fortuitous. The position would not change irrespect of whether Messrs. Gandhis (Indira Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi et al), or whether Mr. Narendra modi shouts from rooftops and fort-tops.
BACK TO GROUP DISCUSSION OF 1976
There was no advance preparation for me for the Group discussion topic of "whether India should participate in Olympics". Hence, I had to speak as per my natural behavioral patterns and attitudes, learnt from childhood-boyhood experiences and perceptions. I took a position that INDIA NEEDED NO SPORTS AT ALL. I made it clear that Food, clothing, shelter, and old age security should be our top priority. India's population at that time was 636.9 million (1976). I said that Meeting these four needs of the 637 million population itself was a Herculean task and that no resources would be left for development of sports, engaging expert coaches, providing financial support to sports-persons. I said that sports could be sent to a back-burner for another 50 years, till we feed, clothe, shelter all our population. Now our population is double of 636.9 million. Other participants in the Group discussion, and the observers seemed not to have relished my talk.
DO YOU STICK TO THE SAME VIEW OF YOURS EXPRESSED IN 1976?
Ans: Yes. Reason: Our population doubled to 1300 million. We are importing cereals, pulses, oil seeds, raw sugar, what not? Consequently, domestic Indian agriculture is languishing. Where did we get the foreign exchange for our imports? By selling the shares of our Companies in Indian Stock Exchanges, at inflated rates with fudged accounts. We have shifted from an EXTERNAL DEBT TRAP to an EXTERNAL INVESTMENT TRAP. Every year we have to get more inward foreign investments. Else, foreign exchange reserves will erode, and our 1991 position of being forced to export our gold and pledge it abroad, to pay for imports, will re-emerge.
Why the foreign investors are keen to invest in India?
Foreign investors might have been tired of investing in other countries either because returns are low or because Chinese and South-East-Asian markets frequently turn volatile. On the other hand, Indian Government is maintaining the Stock Exchanges in a booming condition, by sending pension funds, trust funds etc. into stock exchanges. Apart from that, Indian Companies, even if sick, even if -have low production activities, are endowed with URBAN LANDS. Both Indian industrialists and the foreign investors want an EASY EXIT POLICY, because they want to sell the lands owned by the Sick Companies, by converting them into plots and flats. In almost all the Class I, Class II, and Class III Cities of India, we have this position.
Can you give one example?
In Guntur City, we have a Jute Mill, which mainly makes jute bags for packing grains, sugar, etc. Owing to market preferences for plastic bags, there is a shift towards HDPL bags, resulting in sickness of jute mills. Apart from that, there is a change in the working preferences of urban workers, particularly urban youth workers. They do not want to take up hazardous and dirty occupations like the handling of jute-dust. Consequently, re-opening of the mill for production at minimum economic scale of break-even became difficult. Now, the Jute Mill owners seem to want to hand over the factory land to ReaLtors for development into house sites, plots. Of course, opposition leaders, sometimes, make some sounds, opposing the move. The jute mill, earlier in a smaller Guntur, used to be in outskirts. Now, as the population grew, the Jute Mill is surrounded by residential areas. Establishing a HDPL plastic bag weaving mill may increase the pollution levels. Some cleaner, softer, units are to be established in the factory premises. Neither the Government is interested, nor the owners are interested.
TAIL PIECE धूमकेतु తోకచుక్క
We have Emperor Neros everywhere. Our Chief Ministers and Prime Ministers in India too, some extent have some semblances of the Roman Emperor Nero, or the Indian King Janaka. When Rome was burning, Nero was Fiddling. When Mithila was burning, Janka a great karma yOgi was holding philosophical discussions with priests and sages.
What Mr. Chandra Babu Naidu and Mr. KCR are doing?
To continue. सशेष. ఇంకా ఉంది.