Are we neglecting the sports other than cricket?In India, the memory of people is very short. They forget either good or bad things very quickly. We can easily recognize that mentality in the response of people for the performance of our cricket team. Whenever the team wins a match, that too if it is against Pakistan, the people treat the cricketers like gods, but when they lose a single match, they forget everything else and go after the team. It is difficult to say whether the cricketers are either lucky or unlucky. On the one hand, they earn huge money which the players of no other sports can earn in India. They get all the recognition from public very quickly. Just one century would be enough for the people to make a cricketer a god. But in no other game in India no player will be recognized for his performance in just one or two matches. The sad thing is that even after participating in hundreds of matches and helping for the team's great success; they remain in the background only, without being noticed by anybody. But cricketers are also unlucky when they lose matches. When they lose badly, the people throw stones at their homes, but in no other game have we ever seen people throwing stones at players' home, no matter whatever may be the performance of team or the player.
But are we doing justice to those players who have done an excellent job for our country in other sports in the past? No. Remember Dhyan chand, the greatest hockey player ever. Today hardly 10% of our school students know his name, but more than 90% of them know the name of Ajinkya Rahane who has hardly played 10-20 matches so far. We don't give the talent its deserved respect. We don't give as much reputation to Saina as we give to Sania. But if we compare the achievements of these two, anybody can easily know who the better among the two is. Leave them alone, what have we done to Dhyan chand, the greatest hockey player the world has ever seen? He died in a hospital in 1979 in a very bad condition. I can still remember one of our newspapers having issued a special 4 page edition during the 90th birthday of Sir Donald Bradman. But either during the 90th birthday or centenary of Dhyan chand, no paper issued any special edition. No doubt Bradman is a great personality, but in recognizing a foreign player, why did our people fail to recognize our own hero?
The same is true in the case of our present hockey players. While the cricketers earn several dollars for every run they score or every wicket they claim, the hockey players don't get even one percent of that even when they win a big tournament. Recently when they had won the Asia cup, remember the way in which they were treated. When they go abroad to play matches, they are not provided with good hotel facility many times. Then how can we expect them to do great things?
The plight of other sportspersons is also quite similar. Athletes and kabaddi players are also neglected completely in our country. Consider the achievement of our ladies kabaddi team recently. They have made the whole country proud by winning the world cup. In kabaddi, India is undoubtedly the supreme these days. But if proper guidance and help is not provided the budding players, the other reams will soon catch up with us. Remember how Indian hockey was in 30s and 40s. How formidable it was then and how tame it is now? We shouldn't allow the kabaddi team to follow the similar path. But if we don't give the needed support, both morally and financially to the budding players, the other teams will soon catch up with us. So we have to take proper steps to ensure that our proud history will repeat again and again.