The British left India in 1947 and it was assumed that India will forge ahead in all spheres including sports. Now India has a population of more than a billion ,yet in the world of sports India is at the bottom rung of the ladder.
India and Sports
India’s poor record is in sharp contrast to China with a similar population winning tens of medals at International events like the Olympics while India has a big zero against its name. Even smaller countries like Korea, Germany and Kenya are way ahead in winning gold medals in International events. Some thing certainly ails the Indian nation, that in the field of sports like athletics, Rugby, football, hockey the Indians are nowhere in the rankings.
The problems are more deep rooted and one cannot just blame it on the politicians or the sports administrators.
Diet and Sports
One of the reasons is the diet of the average Indian, which is poor in protein and other energy giving constituents.This poor diet is one of the reasons for the poor performance of Indians in all athletic and strong arm games. Even in wrestling which is endearingly called ‘Kushti’ an age old sport practiced for over three thousand years, India has nothing to show. Thus as a nation there is not enough to eat and in addition a call from religion that lays stress on vegetarianism cannot produce world class beaters. This stress on vegetarianism is detrimental to producing sports men who can excel at the international level.
Games of Skill, Some Success
Whatever success has come to Indians is only in games of skill like Chess and also sports like cricket. In cricket also we have not been able to produce an express speed bowler for over a 100 years, if one excludes Mohammed Nissar who played in the thirties and later migrated to Pakistan. In cricket also it is a matter of deep thought that India with a population of a billion persons still cannot produce a team that can steam roll over all opponents. We end up by playing countries with one fiftieth of our population like Australia and west indies and it there also we have not won much in 7 decades of test cricket.
Thus two facts emerge, if India is to succeed in the world of International sports. Firstly a better and richer food diet for the entire nation. Thus at the grass root level the nutrition must improve and add to this the training facilities , only then can India make a mark in sports, otherwise we will have the sorry spectacle like India winning only one gold medal in kabaddi in the Beijing Asian games about 2 decades back.