Going from strength to strength

Source: Express buzz

What are the biggest lessons for India from the wonderful, glittering and highly successful Beijing Olympics, which are still going on (the Paralympics)? First, that what the Dalai Lama calls “black Karma,” the karma that an individual or a nation gather by doing wrong actions (such as killing a million Tibetans), does not strike immediately. In fact, it probably catches you unawares when the black deeds are long past and you look shining and innocent and have all but forgotten about them. This is why we get a deep sense of injustice when we see catastrophes or accidents befalling harmless civilians or innocent children.

Thus, China was triumphant.

The second lesson is that good governance is about cynicism, manipulation and deceit, what we in the West call Machiavellism. The Chinese are masters at saying one thing — that they will not interfere in the NSG clearance for instance — and doing exactly the opposite.

This is also what they proved during the Olympics, having promised beforehand not to censor the Internet — and not keeping their pledge. India would do well to understand once and for all that you cannot trust the Chinese. Unfortunately since Nehru, every prime minister has fallen for the Hindi-Chini-bhai-bhai…and paid the price.

There is even a deeper lesson: if your intentions are noble, dharmic, one would say in India, it is ok to use unethical or machiavellian means, for one has to play the game by the rules of this world which are rough, tough and adharmic. The question is: does the Chinese goal of ultimate conquest of India and the world qualify as dharmic? The third lesson is about triumph of will, hard work and dedication. The Chinese showed the world what it means to strive hard with efficiency and vision and achieve one’s goals. The Olympics were a fantastic success story, both in technological terms — the stadiums, the organisation, — and sports-wise.

China emerged as the biggest winner, having forged in the eyes of the world its image of a political, industrial, and sports superpower.

The fourth lesson for India is that of patriotism and nationalism. The Chinese are proud to be Chinese. All Chinese, whether mainland, expatriates, atheists, Buddhists or Christians participated in the success of the Olympics. In fact some of the biggest contributors were Christians, such as Jackie Chan. It is a pity Indian Christians often feel that they are first Christians and then Indians and complain of persecution, when they have been welcome in this country since the 1st century AD. But all Chinese beamed when China won a gold medal. Compare this with Abhinav Bindra’s unsmiling, totally unemotional face during the medal ceremony while the flag of his country was raised. It’s ok to be cool, but Bindra is also a product of an education where children are not taught to be proud of their country and in fact are taught that being a Hindu (or a Sikh) is a curse. It is this near total absence of love for one’s country that allows terrorists to strike indiscriminately, as they have just done in Delhi —and get away with it.

It is the lack of national and cultural education in Indian schools and universities that allows the Indian government, as it has done since every terrorist attack in the last five years to :

a) condemn ‘in the strongest terms’ this ‘barbarous act’;

b) appeal for calm and ‘communal harmony’;

c) give a few lakhs each to the families of the deceased or injured, so that they shut up; and

d) never catch the culprits (except in Gujarat where there was a political will behind the police) and go on as before till the next terrorist act.

Look at America, the most hated and targeted country in the world: it has not suffered a single terrorist attack since September 11 2001. Which Indian politician has the courage to tackle terrorism with courage and determination? Finally, the last lesson is about sports.

China got 51 gold medals and India 1. Why? I have said it time and again —and I will say it once more — even though I know that many of the readers are great cricket fans. The main reason is that cricket stifles all other sports. Because sponsorship and advertisement is solely focused on cricket, much more deserving and physically harder sports, such as track and field are neglected. More deserving athletes get very little sponsorship and media attention. As a direct result, India’s world position in sports is nothing short of disgraceful.Instead of concentrating on cricket and hiring foreign coaches, the government would do well to use India’s greatest gifts to the world: hata-yoga, pranayama and meditation for its sportsmen.

With a little rigour, discipline and training techniques borrowed from the West, India would quickly produce athletes of world calibre in all disciplines. It is also high time sports was taken off the hands of politicians and bureaucrats who for 60 years have shamelessly exploited sports and left it in the mire it is now. But as usual, we see that even the government is more interested in aping everything the West does, including cricket, at the expense of traditional sports such as kalaripayat, which gave birth to kung-fu and karate and is still practised in Kerala villages.Millions of Westerners practise meditation, multinationals include pranayama and hata-yoga for the relaxation seminars of their over-stressed executives, but these disciplines are not even taught in Indian schools. If only Indian cricketers would win! But they lose most of the time. It is high time the government enforced a limit on the number of international cricket matches played abroad and started focusing a little more on other sports. India lags 50 years behind China in most disciplines.

Fgautier@rediffmail.com

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