2 years from now the Tokyo Olympics are set to take place and India will be expecting heavily from its athletes a string of medals in the mega event. However when it comes to appreciating our athletes or even acknowledging their victories in other events, we tend to choose less relevant events. Such has been the case with Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, Rajaguru, K Sanjita Chanu and Deepak Lather. The four athletes have won four medals for India in the ongoing Commonwealth games. With a total tally of two golds and a silver and bronze each, we the so called supporters of our athletes chose to pick Salman Khan’s imprisonment over their achievements.
Saikhom Mirabai Chanu won a gold medal on the first day competing in the 48 kg weightlifting category for women. Having won a silver medal in the last Commonwealth Games, Saikhom Mirabai Chanu was awarded with the Padma Shree by the Indian Government for her contribution to the sport. Upgrading it to a gold this time, Saikhom proved the government’s decision right. It has not just been a gold for India but the Manipuri athlete also broke the Commonwealth record with each of her 3 lifts in the event. She lifted a total of 196 Kgs in her 3 lifts and topped the charts. The win is even more special considering the fact that Saikhom Mirabai Chanu did not have a physiotherapist for the event altogether and managed her physique herself.
Following the star performer, another Indian athlete Sanjita Chanu also bagged a gold, defending her title for the 53 kg weightlifting category on the second day of the 21st Commonwealth Games being held in Malaysia. She also hails from Manipur like her fellow athlete and gold winner Saikhom Mirabai Chanu. Sanjita Chanu also set a Commonwealth Games record by lifting 84 kgs in the snatch event of the 53 kg category.
The Indian athletes are winning medals and setting records which is everything required of a person if he/she is an athlete and all they expect from their country is support and appreciation. In recent times most of the athletes that have bagged medals for India have come from very humble beginnings and have struggled through a lot of difficulties to achieve what they have achieved. Such athletes deserve appreciation in its purest form but instead are sidelined by both the media and their audience. The most recent example is of yesterday where the media was completely immersed in covering the conviction of Salman Khan who because of a crime was imprisoned for 5 years. Do criminals in our country deserve more attention and sympathy than our real life heroes who instead of tarnishing their country’s image, work dedicatedly towards uplifting their country’s honour?
It is not the first time that a convicted criminal received much more attention than he deserved. In 2015, India lost its most loved president Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. It was also the day when Yakub Memon, a terrorist convicted for the 1993 Mumbai Blasts was hanged for his crimes against the country. On that day too, hundreds of thousands of people came in support of a convicted terrorist and chose to ignore one of the most important men in our defense and political history, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Much of this has to be attributed to the Indian Media that believes highly in the TRP game rather than following the principles of journalism. Has the Indian media swooped down to a level so degraded that terrorists and criminals receive a higher level of attention than our national heroes? The answer am afraid is not just depressing but terrifying. We are on the lines of becoming a nation of people with saddistic view points.