Much is being made of the Indian sport persons not bagging gold medal in the London Olympics. There are many reasons for it, training being one. Sports have never received the treatment they deserved in India. In fact, the Ministry of Sports itself was created only in 1982 at the time of the Asian Games in New Delhi. Though games like cricket, hockey, volley ball, foot ball , tennis, table tennis, basket ball etc have been very popular in schools and colleges, yet scarcity of coaches made them just fun games. Same with sports. Not only sports but many other important fields like music, dance, drama or painting etc also suffered similar fate. Added to all this was the culture of patronage by the political establishment. Instead of putting experts in charge of games and sports, dishonest politicians were thrust as heads of games federations. They ran them as their own private fiefdoms. They never built teams. The result is that individuals alone, with their blessings, could make small success of it. If they failed to get gold in London, how can someone rue it? What use is it to make comparisons with China or even other Asian countries, who all performed much better than us.
India has to professionalize sports. We have to invest in promoting games, but not the way of the CWG (Common Wealth Games). The value of the individual talent needs to be recognized. Talents need to be identified early and nurtured honestly. Best training should be given to the candidates. If efforts start in right earnest now, it should be possible to win a few gold in Rio. The history of treating the ministry of sports as a dumping ground for the lightweight ministers and bureaucrats needs to be changed. There are some ministries for which the coalition partners can fight wars with each others, but several others which never attract their attention. The ministry of Sports is one such. The very fact that Sports and Youth Affairs are under the charge of the same minister is proof enough of the importance that the present government attaches to sports. These two make for a very heavy charge, if sincerely attended to, with separate ministers for each. But our government thinks otherwise. Once upon a time it was just another wing of the ministry of Education. We have come a long distance since then. But we have still to traverse long distance. But Rio is not far away!