Dear Indian sports lover, here’s why you should reset your expectation bar

Freedom of speech exists on both sides of the fence, and if you are ready to rub it in, you should be ready to take it as well.

Written by Shantanu Datta | Published:August 19, 2016 6:12 pm
shobhaa de main Freedom of speech exists on both sides of the fence, and if you are ready to rub it in, you should be ready to take it as well.

Sentimental claptrap apart, what is going on in the name of smart Alecky one-lineism is a vicious trolling of Shobhaa De.

Agreed, freedom of speech exists on both sides of the fence, and if you are ready to rub it in, you should be ready to take it as well. Goes for Shobhaa De. Valid for everyone else. But freedom of speech also means comprehending what the person said, and then striking back. Not random hitting back to score a point.

“Rio jao, selfies lo khali haath wapis aao”, as she tweeted, doesn’t mean literally zero medals. It means a below-par performance. It means failure to raise the bar in four years when nearly everyone around you has done that. It means playing to win.

Yes, the facilities/infrastructure/support is bad in India. But has it become worse between 2012 & 2016? I don’t think so, but I’m ready to be corrected.

And, is the infrastructure terrific in some of the African, Asian countries that win medals as if it’s par for the course? I don’t claim to know. Somebody has to tell me the status, and I’ll apologise for this post.

Six medals in 2012 versus 2/3 in 2016 do not fulfil any of these.

So, 1: What is the point of rebuttal to De with news/images of medal winners?

2: Does it mean De would have been correct had these two (or three) medals not come? (If the answer is yes, then one is no better than what one is accusing De of: allegedly not realising what it means to be a sports person.)

3. De stuck to her tweet in a follow-up, I believe. She said selfies lo is valid more so for the management types accompanying the contingent. So little point one will make it believing that De would hide her face in shame.

4. Will you show your love for Indian sports and sportsmen by slamming De for mock-critiquing lack of performance (on day four of the fortnight-long event) with your own self-deluding demigod-worshipping one-liners or by setting your expectation bar high?

PS: I don’t believe in the argument that one should not be critical of a sportsperson just because one is not a sportsperson. That is the most anti-democraitic contention. It robs you of the right to critique everyone by that logic.

It’s like saying you can’t criticise politicians or bureaucrats because you are not one, and you have no clue what it takes to be one. Or, better still, that you can’t criticise Shobhaa De because you have no idea what it takes to be a columnist or a best-seller writer.

PS 2: I write this barely a couple of hours before PV Sindhu plays the badminton final, and I am no “anti-national”, seditious character and will, despite what you may think from the above lines, root for her.

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  1. I
    IB
    Aug 19, 2016 at 4:58 pm
    Kudos to SIndhu for her outstanding efforts!lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;However, let's have a reality check, India got as many medals as Bahrain, Mona and Vietnam and less than such stellar countries as Indonesia, Malaysia and Egypt. Really?
    Reply
    1. R
      Radha
      Aug 19, 2016 at 7:04 pm
      No one is telling Shobha De not to talk her mind. But at a time when India's campaign is not yet over in Rio, we would expect someone like her to say a few words of encouragement rather than paint everyone with the same brush.
      Reply
      1. R
        Rajesh Kumar
        Aug 19, 2016 at 8:32 pm
        I wouldn't criticise sports persons. It's our politicians and sports administrators, and the system they have created.lt;br/gt;Why most of the cricket boards and other boards where there is money are occupied by politicians.lt;br/gt;Sharad Power was BCCI president when he was national agriculture minister as if he doesn't have enough work in the agricultur ministry.
        Reply
      2. U
        Ujjwal
        Aug 20, 2016 at 1:14 am
        This is called explaination after watching you failed. Be like ethical not hypocrite
        Reply
        1. O
          Observer
          Aug 19, 2016 at 5:34 pm
          Shobha is right and Indians are like the gau rakshaks. What's so self righteous of winning 2 medals and being tied at 61 with Mona? And we had politicians across the divide, including those on Bail, who dominated our contingent. Will trollers slamming Sobha, no wonder, we will remain a third world, I'll educated, brash and abusive society for a long time. Indians seem to be such trashy and crabby as can be.
          Reply
          1. G
            Guru
            Aug 19, 2016 at 6:42 pm
            Sorry Dattaji, the argument is not valid. lt;br/gt;1) She meant that the athletes do not deserve to go to the olympics, when clearly they are the top cl within India. Doesn't matter if Shobha De is a good writer within India(which I know she isn't), but doesn't she represent India when in a literary meet!!lt;br/gt;2) She is demeaning the Athletes and not the governing bodies and their officers. She does not in her tweet mean to say anything against the accompanying entourage.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;All she does is demean the athletes, nothing else and especially not required when they are at the games trying to give their best and require a lot of motivation.
            Reply
            1. S
              SK
              Aug 19, 2016 at 3:39 pm
              You are an , Sir. Don't know how you get to publish such meaningless, un-informative rubbish. If you do not know about things, may I urge you to engage in little research.
              Reply
              1. D
                Dr. H.S.
                Aug 19, 2016 at 10:40 pm
                Watch Yogeshwar in wrestling. He is one of the best in the world. But note there is luck in the draws, politics and some equally good wrestlers, so the results can not be predicted. But what is sure he will give a performance as good as any of the top wrestlers in the compeion.
                Reply
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