Winter Olympics: Sochi 2014 and India's Shame!
by Elizabeth Menon
Winter Olympics: Sochi 2014 and India's Shame!
Ashamed to be an Indian today -- the 'Three Orphans' at the Winter Olympics and for being at the receiving end of the International aid!
The Winter Olympics starts today, and the opening ceremony is in progress! I feel a tightness in my chest, when I know that the three proud Indians, Shiva Keshavan(Luge), Nadeem Iqbal(Cross country skiing) and Himanshu Thakur(Alpine skiing), will be walking onto the stadium in a few minutes without the 'Tricoloured Indian Flag, as India was banned from the Olympics in December 2012! I wonder what the other Nations will call our three proud men, who would be marching like orphans, without the Indian Flag -- they would be holding the International Olympics Committee's Flag (IOC). We, as a Nation should feel ashamed for putting them through this shameful ordeal! We have heard of the famous 'Walk of Fame or Hall of Fame', but 'Sochi 2014' is definitely India's Shame, and the authorities, especially the two officials whose names are still on the website, and the Indian Government must take the blame!
The five times Olympian and twice the Asian Champion, Shiva Keshavan says that he will be representing his 'Countrymen', though he can't represent his Country, for no fault of the Athletes!! As he has no facilities to practice in India where there is not even a proper Luge track, he has been travelling with teams from other countries --even the National TVs abroad make fun of India having no proper track for Luge, by showing pictures of Keshavan practising on the crowded streets in India! Keshavan has been training with the American Luge Federation during past few years, kind of a 'Barter system', as he and his wife teach Yoga to the American team!
The IOC banned India in December 2012, because the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) did not ban the corrupted Officials, as per IOC's recommendation and elect new officials! The IOA should have held their election and informed the IOC in time for the 'Sochi Olympics', so that the ban could be lifted - the IOA election, surprisingly is scheduled for 9 February, two days after the start of the 'Sochi Olympics'! Of course, IOA has excuses, and they are just excuses, but the Government should have interfered, instead of spending time on party politics! The Indians in Canada had to pool in to buy the clothes and the footwear for the the three Olympians who represented India in the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, and there was not even a mention on the IOA's website at the time, of the three men who represented the Nation in Vancouver! If the IOA had elected new officials as per the recommendation of the IOC, giving time for the IOC to reconsider the ban, the three men could have represented India holding the Indian Flag, not as 'Independent Athletes', as they have done at the Sochi Olympics! It is not the medals or how many athletes are chosen to represent the country -- we should feel proud even if it is just one person, and support the chosen one!
Now, coming to another shameful act: India receiving the 'Hand-outs' from other Countries! India has the money, but in the hands of the corrupted, which needs to be re-channelled! Questions are being asked why a Country like India should take money from other countries like UK, US, etc, while we have money for sending Satellites! India gets around 280 million pounds from the UK every year and this '280 million pounds' had been referred to as 'Peanuts' by the Indian Officials, but still has no shame to take it! It is not because India has no money -- it has! If all the money that disappear due to corruption in the country is diverted to the people, all the poverty and the lack of water supply in the villages, which is discussed by all the countries who gives aid to India would be a thing of the past!
Britain is facing Nationwide disaster due to flooding, having to evacuate people from these areas, and it would take billions of pounds to rehouse these people who lost their houses and to repair the extensive damage! It was truly shameful listening to the radio today, as the people were asking why they should help India, while people in this country are suffering -- of course there were a few who talked about the 'Poor people' in India without food, water and electricity, and said that the aid should continue -- surely a 'Proud moment' for any Indians who had the misfortune to listen to that discussion! It is about time that we take a bit more pride in our Nation and urge the Government to end corruption in our country and redirect the money where it is needed, and then, India would not feel the need to ask for charity from abroad!
Update on Sochi:
It's painful to see the absence of the 'Indian flag logo' next to Shiva Keshavan's name, but the 'Olympics logo! Shiva Keshavan survived a nasty crash during a training session on Friday and in spite of this, he made a great come back to improve his ranking from the 38th to 35th position, in the first heat on Saturday! Best wishes to him, Nadeem Iqbal and Himanshu Thakkur! Shiva is reported to have said that he will not be taking part in the final ceremony, as he feels that there is no point in doing so when he can't hold the Indian Flag! Shiva Keshavan, Nadeem Iqbal and Himanshu Thakkur are seen below, marching without the Indian Flag at the opening ceremony!