Rashtriya Khel Divas
It sounds so much better than calling it the National Sports Day. It feels like there is a ring to it when I say Rashtriya Khel Divas!
Anyway, that aside, it really feels good to wake up to a day like this – at the brink of Olympics games coming to an end. India sure has won some medals and it certainly is a matter of pride to look at the tally now and say – Damn, we had some inspiring people out there representing the country and winning medals. The spirit of sportsmanship was high and so was the energy.
What I really like at the time of Olympics is the surge of interest towards sports. I can see people playing badminton outside their houses, people watching pro kabbaddi highlights. It makes me wonder – is this the same nation where cricket trumped everything else?
Of course we love cricket, but we can love the other games too and Rashtriya Khel Divas is a staunch reminder of that. Not just because it is a day of celebration, but it is named after a legend who did something incredible for the national game and it certainly is a perfect fit.
Who was Dhyan Chand?
Of course he is the legend we are talking about. The man who had never played hockey seriously before he joined the army, the same man who was called Dhyan Chand instead of his original name Dhyan Singh because he was practising in the moonlit nights. The man who led us to a victory in the 1928 summer, defeated the hosts US 24-1 in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics and of course the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Gosh that sure is a lot of medals and no wonder we want to celebrate the sports day in his name. (Ibtimes, 2016)
What Rashtriya Khel Divas means to us?
Well, that is history – something we feel extremely proud of. But I would like to ask what the sports day means to you and me?
India has always been known as a land of culture, a land of society and values and spirituality. But it is yet to be known as a land of kabbadi or hockey. Badminton, archery, shooting and wrestling are about a mid way there – all thanks to the glorious effort of the olympians. It makes me think though, we are a country with the second highest population in the world, it will amaze me if we can think that there is not enough talent to clinch the gold medals just like the top countries in the chart do.
I have never doubted that there is talent in this country, in fact there is no dearth of talent for this country. However, there is something that needs to be done in identifying the talent and encouraging with adequate coaching. It is also about proving to these talented individuals that they can make a life style out of these sports. Something to convince them that they can rely on this to put bread on their table. Cricket is out there, all thanks to IPL and some other splendid initiatives. Maybe there is something in similar lines with these other sports as well.
Maybe some mini olympics in India every year which is telecast and widely sponsored by private companies in exchange of advertising?
There are some amazing commercial opportunities out there. It is just about recognising these opportunities to make something like a Rashtriya Khel Divas more meaningful
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