Pratik Jain Writes a Letter to the Prime Minister


The Prime Minister ,

As the world’s largest democracy wins fewer medals per person than any other country, it’s been priced out of its most competitive sport, but could national priorities also play a role? The question out here is not just  being the most populated country in the world and still we are the not able to win medal even in this Olympics too the question is where we had the maximum opportunity to win the medal our sports ministry could not do anything.

The All India Tennis association acted as a spectator between the feud of Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes instead of resolving the issue what the association decided to send two different teams with Paes having young lad Vishnu vardhan in his team for doubles and the result was clear both the pair Vishnu & Paes and Bhupathi & Bopanna knocked in the group stages only.

The deeper concern was just before the days of Olympics the team was decided and both was unaware of the fact they will be playing together in the Olympics where the association knowing the fact they both didn’t play together since December 2010 why the association took this decision and also knowing the fact the association knew about this why association didn’t try to inform them and try to resolve the issue and if they had the thought in their mind they will be sending the young Vishnu vardhan for the first time in the Olympics then why wasn’t he informed and made him practice with Paes. By just taking the random decision and being the mere spectator of the feud neither the sports ministry nor the AITA and nor the central government didn’t take any initiative to resolve it but left the decision just like that and sent two different teams which were thrashed and here we lost the golden opportunity once again and media enjoyed it as they got their daily dose of masala.

It all seems to be fine from AITA’S point of view they did what best they could do but it wasn’t the best as the nation didn’t get anything and don’t know will we able to bring more in the next Olympics.

India sent 83 athletes to London and won six medals, 4 bronze and 2 silver. That’s not atypical for the country, which, though it’s been competing since 1900, has only won 22 medals in every Olympics combined, half of those in field hockey. It has never won a medal at the winter games. By comparison, the U.S. has won 37 medals just this summer, and over 2,500 overall. At the 2008 Beijing olympics, India had the lowest ratio of medals-won to population of any competing country: one medal per 383 million Indians. And that year was their best Olympic performance ever.

Other developing countries besides India have managed to do quite well at the Olympics. China led the world in gold medals in 2008 and done the same this year, so why not India? Krishna and Trager’s theory may help explain this; though China has hundreds of millions of rural and urban poor, it also has a skyrocketing population of well-connected, well-educated, well-nourished citizens who make up the “effectively participating population.” It’s also possible to see a slight correlation between Olympic medals and developing countries that are run by strong central governments interested in fostering national prestige. Cuba, North Korea, China today, and once upon a time the Soviet Union invest heavily in finding and fostering competitive athletes. The Indian government, at this point, would probably just like to keep the lights on, and is perhaps too decentralized for a China-style campaign to galvanize national athletic talent.

Still, income and governance alone can’t explain India’s under-performance, since a handful of other poor countries without a strong central government have still found a way to win far more medals. But it looks as if these outliers typically excel in just one or two sports in which, for whatever reason, they’ve managed to punch way above their weight. Turkey has won over two-thirds of its unusually numerous medals in wrestling; Jamaica got 52 of its 53 medals in track and field events; Kazakhstan dominates in weightlifting. Perhaps most famous are Kenya and Ethiopia, two of the world’s poorest countries that reliably produce its strongest runners. The story behind those two is complicated, but it could have to do in part with innate physical differences in certain populations along the Great Rift Valley. India, it seems, has yet to identify an Olympic event where its people might exceptionally excel.

Pratik Jain

Image Courtesy: [The Viewspaper]

Disclaimer: The above article is the personal opinion of the author and not of the publication.