| August 17, 2008 at 11:55 pm
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India has finally broken the jinx and won an Olympic gold medal in an individual event for the first time ever. The winner,Abhinav Bindra has ignited the hope and aspiration of the whole nation.India is not done yet and there is great possibility that our boxers might bring one or two more medals from Beijing this time.The nation is celebrating but eminent journalist Tavleen Singh finds this shameful. Tavleen Singh is disenchanted because while China has been winning gold medals by the dozen, we Indians have just got our first.Both countries have a population of more than a billion but China is in a different league altogether.The state plays a major role in China which is absent here. There is no Sports Culture in India.There were some traditional sports like wrestling and Kabaddi being played in every nook and corner of the country but they have vanished because of migration and other major socio-economic factors.There are few areas in Haryana,Punjab and Kerala where sporting tradition is still intact but these are also going to meet a similar fate like those in other parts of India ,sooner or later. Government has created apex bodies to promote various sports.But these sporting bodies have been hijacked by politicians who have been in charge of affairs for decades.The money meant to promote sports is being diverted into personal accounts and sports persons are condemned to live in penury.Sports are literally in the pockets of our politicians.Their personal wealth multiplies manifold every year but the sporting bodies they head remain defunct- always.Any serious probe will reveal the bitter truth and these leaders will escape the bars-as always. India might be a nation of more than a billion people but barely a few thousand people are actively pursuing sports across the length and breadth of this country.Cricket is the only sport which is omnipresent in India. India lives in village and villages are out of sporting horizons.Most of the district headquarters have a Stadium but these are used only on 15th August or 26th January.These stadia are the grazing grounds for stray cattle throughout the year.No body is responsible for this shameful waste of resources. If India has to win medals then the facilities have to be provided at the village level.The politicians and bureaucrats have to be booted out and accountability has to be fixed at every level. We should not moan and groan as very few privileged people have access to sporting facilities in this country.The feat of Abhinav Bindra can be termed as a miracle in this scenario. It is hoped that the government would take notice and do something to facilitate sports in every part of the country otherwise we will have to wait, yet again, for years before someone achieves greater sporting feats,despite the system and governance.