There was a huge uproar pouring all over the social and mainstream media when a Telangana state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader K. Laxman termed Sania Mirza as a “daughter-in-law of Pakistan”. Whether she is a daughter-in-law or not, remains another issue, but someone somewhere in the sports fraternity made a silent-yet-thoughtful statement. The Indian ace shuttler Saina Nehwal who put India in the global reckoning in the field of Badminton silently slapped the existing appeasement system in India.
“Leave alone the caste lines; there is so much difference between the sports played in India that any individual cannot look beyond Cricket,” Saina Nehwal yesterday tweeted, which said a lot about the sadistic approach of our ministers/system towards sports structure as a whole in India. Her tweets read: “I am very hurt and sad that I have still not received the cash award from my state for the Olympic bronze medal that I won for my country.”
Does this bring even a bit of shame to the ministers? On one hand a political party/government can dole out lakhs and crores of rupees in gibberish schemes to woo the minority voters in order to maintain their pseudo-secular image, on the other it couldn’t pay the promised cash reward to a player who won the bronze medal at Olympics and made our country proud!
What adds insult to injury is the fact that the Olympics got over, two years back. When India won the World Cup 2011, cash prizes from all sectors poured in and were received promptly. Ask any cricketer about his prize money? No player will say that he hasn’t been paid his big fat cheque yet.
How insulting would a player feel if she is denied what she has rightfully earned? While we don’t deny the fact cricket is a religion in India, but who made the game so big-The ministers? Or the system? Or players? More than anybody, it’s the passionate viewers who made the game what it is.
Yes, it may sound foolish to compare cricket with other sports. But a quick reality check would make one understand that cricket in India was nothing before the World Cup 1983 win. And on the other hand, Indian Hockey had already won 8 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze medals at the Olympics; even before the 1983 World Cup took place.
In this noise everybody maintains that the Bharatiya Janata Party leader should retract from his statement on Sania Mirza. But a bigger picture is missed by all. While our cricketing heroes are worshiped with diligence, other sporting icons continue to receive a step motherly treatment!