India is the second largest population in the World with about a fifth living in the subcontinent. However India did not win even a single gold medal at the London Olympics! What is the reason behind this disproportionately abysmal performance? We know that India is a victim of wholesale and retail corruption and often is the reason for all evil. Sports is no different! We saw the organizers of Commonwealth games amassing wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income. We recently witnessed the match fixing scandal involving players, organizers and the mafia. Tom Joseph led the national volleyball team in many international events and has been an exemplary sportsman with widely accepted credentials. He was neglected by the sports ministry for various awards in the last many years. This year the sports community was eagerly expecting an award for Tom Joseph but was disappointed again. This reflects the state of sports in our country! The awards distribution is more of a political affairs in India like its coalition politics. The state governments nominate awardees for various awards based on their political affiliations and coalition dynamics. Kerala government was too busy defending solar scam. The numerous union ministers from Kerala were as usual indifferent to Kerala. Its interesting to note that Kerala has a disproportionately large number of union ministers from the State while Kerala receives no attention that it deserves for infrastructure or railway projects. The opposition party leaders too were silent about this neglect by the government in recognizing Tom Joseph. India’s obsession with Cricket is another reason for it poor performance at the Olympics and other international sports events. We forget to recognize other good sports like volleyball and sportsmen like Tom Joseph. Under the aegis of the Delaware Malayalees we plan to mobilize public support for Tom Joseph and submit a memorandum to the Sports Ministry. At least this demonstration of public support gets noticed and makes a difference in our collective conscience.
By Zackarias Periyappuram, Delaware, US.