The day India extended their arm




The support, debate and disappointment on display after Jwala and Ashwini got knocked out from women’s doubles in a controversial way at London Olympics shows how a good performance and broadcasting can generate interest.

Indian people had long been blamed for showing lack of interest at sports other than cricket. Even a not so high profile Indian cricket series involving Bangladesh or West Indies (Irony but current team is such that) generates interest as much as Asian Games does among the people. But you can’t polarize blame only on people. Media, Associations and Government all failed to play their part correctly. How do all Indians rigorously following a sport that was largely unknown till 1980’s but don’t know much about the games which existed in their roots? When the national channel DD fails to show all Indian matches from the mega sporting event such as Olympics, how can you expect people’s to know, follow and support all sports and sportsperson? Its for all to see how aggressively and tactically BCCI promote cricket. Thanks to technology growth that most number of houses in India have internet connection one way or other through computers, phones and iPhone’s. People now can see and learn whatever they want through this medium instead of depending only on TV and daily newspapers.

A good performance will make everyone to take notice

I don’t know whether this Olympics is some sort of revolution or what. Because I’m not sure whether people started watching other sports such as Badminton, Archery and Boxing with interest or just because of better promotion (awareness) and occasion like Olympics with pride at stake. Its hard to tell but surely this London Olympics build up and actions have put the many unknown India performers into spotlight. Some players like Mary Kom deserve the attention. Although this Olympics so far not turning out as expected, people atleast interested to know how each contingent matches went and what are their chances. Its a good development from before, where only medal won or not are what people wanted to know.

Thanks to my electricity board for consistently switching off power at regular interval from 11pm on Tuesday till 3pm on Wednesday, i was robbed off the chance to witness the keen debate on Badminton women’s doubles. Not that i am aware of the end result because mid way through Tuesday when Japan deliberately lost to Chinese Taipei in two sets, Indian pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini are knocked out irrespective of their final match results. Somehow Indian badminton officials or management or players are not informed about this.

We all can write and talk to promote sports but somehow need to measure how far the efforts reached. That’s where sites such as Facebook and Twitter are gifts because it produces feedback at ease.

(I came to know through media and other sources) Jwala and Ashwini came out all guns blazing against Indonesian pair in final match to win the match emphatically. It was only after the match that Indian badminton team, media and people came to know about elimination. Nation at disappointment. On one side news channels like CNN-IBN and Times Now ran a debate in their Olympic show to clear the doubts how Indian pair got eliminated and about poor Japan sporting play. And on other side in social media sites, people had debates with their own set of group. The debate seems highly intellectual that one person took the lead and replied to most people queries.

Building interest and awareness is first step towards producing many sportsperson

I was amazed to know all these after looking at articles and social media sites. I still remember what happened on Asia cup when Bangladesh qualified for finals on head-to-head match result against India and the way people & media reacted on the rules in place. First to see people taking keen interest in Jwala & Ashwini match itself is great thing (because Badminton means Saina Nehwal in India). Then to know the number of peoples showing displeasure at how Japan played, trying to know why India got knocked out and putting out encouraging message for Jwala & Ashwini is something of extra ordinary.

This is the way to go. The benefits of being aware about many sports goes far beyond just cheering for nation. Even though 4 teams disqualified on “poor sporting play and trying to manipulate fixtures” by Badminton World Federation, India result (knocked out) stand as it is since no team in Group B is charged.

Jwala and Gutta might had got knocked out from London Olympics, but they put the dot on something where a long road can be laid for benefits of all parties involved in sports.

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