Modi Frees Sports

From the Elite Class

By Someswar Bhagwat

Cricket once was the game of the aristocrats, played by  the Nawabs like Pataudi and Rajas like ‘Vizzy’ (Maharaj Kumar of Vizianagaram). They also could be captains  or administrators  with their wealth. Most of  them were from ‘higher’ castes.

The situation has changed now. Top honours have been won by boys and girls who are children of roadside hawkers, maids or farmers or were so themselves.A friend narrated the story of the  16  hockey players:Rani Rampal comes from Shahabad where her father runs a tonga. (horse cart). Gurjit Kaur Miyad Kalan is the daughter of an Amritsar farmer. Salima lives  even today  in a kutcha house in Jharkhan where her  sister works as a housemaid.

 Nikki Pradhan is daughter of a Jharkhand policeman.Vandana Kataria is from Roshnabad, near Haridwar and learnt to play hockey with a tree branch as she comes from a poor family. Navjot Kaur’s father works  as a mechanic in Muzaffarnagar,l UP.

The goalkeeper Savita Punia,  lives in a kutcha house. Nisha Waris is the tailor’s daughter. Neha Goyal, from Sonepat Haryana, did not have money to get hockey shoes. The father  Udita Duhan  from Hisar was a policeman who  died in 2015. Sharmiladevi Kumari is from Hisar where her father is a farmer. Also dead is the father of Lal Rem Siamese of  Mizoram.  Deepa Grace is from Sundergarh, Orissa, and till date there is no water and electricity in the village.

Monika Malik is from village Gamdi  in Sonepat. She  tried wrestling and then liked hockey. Reena Khokhar is a resident of Nayagaon Mohali.  Her father is in B S F. Though the team lost narrowly, its play is highly appreciated. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who spoke individually to all medal winners and boosted the  hockey girls’ morale by speaking to them even after loss.

No national leader has done as much for boosting India’s Olympic  medal tally as Modi did and still Congressmen find fault with naming of Modhera stadium after Modi while justifying hundreds of sports events, awards, and venues being named after members of the dynasty  that was adept at playing only one ‘game’ – dirty politics     


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