As if contented with being the biggest consumer of gold - any way, and the definer of world gold price, India said ‘no’ to gold medals in the London Olympics 2012. As if preferring spiritual than mundane bliss, this country that ‘balances’ globalisation by exporting yoga and meditation to the West even dint mind the few pieces of bronze and silver posted to it.
In fact, although cricket is a religion there, as if suggesting ‘even a dog has its day’, but more than not reminding conversion of religion that Hindus frown so much, even the bronze and silver bringing Olympians saw religion momentarily changed from cricket to Olympics. In fact, tormented less for a lesser gender, more for lesser in number in the race conscious nation, the Mongolian lady boxer, Mary Kom from media remote Tripura who saw derision alone before, now saw adulation.
Furthermore, already united in territory to disprove American theory that it would disintegrate after liberation, now transcending divisions in culture, faith, ethnicity, gender and language it suddenly stood united in euphoria.
More was to come...
Sensing gold, the sports minister from the state capital Delhi, made Tripura the sports capital. Almost tallying with its multiple paths to God, he included sports in multiple paths to ICS officer. Sports suddenly became an undying career. Those less keen on schools, who refused to aim for doc or engineer as demanded by parents, suddenly had a good reason to do so - if only they chased sports instead of girls.
However, in shifting focus and using lesser telescope to include China, the view desplays sadness and ‘Should India really be proud?’ climbs. Although playing a hide and seek in numbers of population, economic growth and future leadership, the mismatch in the medals tally brings more pain to India in showing than hiding. Although the inference ‘It’s better to work than talk’ almost sides with ‘Single party system is better than multiparty’, the primary pathology seems to be the lack of intension in the triangle below the Himalayas.
That almost brings us to this...
If India is thinking of being the future leader, it has to begin with the realisation that the present achievement is a failure and the euphoria misplaced. That, however, constitutes just one step. It has to go for a long march. But then, does that not remind one of what Mao said about the need of first step in a long march? With India ruling over China for the last 2000 years without sending a single soldier – as a Chinese embassador candidly put, it’s probably a payback time in terms of learning!