Hima Das does not get overawed by anybody and does not care about her opponents. In every race, her goal is to beat the best with better timing, which she did it in style to win the coveted gold. India’s long wait for a track gold at an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships is over. Hima Das, who virtually went into the final as the top seed, lived up to that billing taking the women’s 400m gold at the world under-20 athletics championships at Tampere. She was slightly behind around the 300m but as the others appeared to fade away, Hima – who personal best stands at 51.13s, proved that she had enough gas in the tank to take the medal that mattered in the end. Hima is no stranger to the big stage. Around this time last year, she took the fifth spot in the 200m at the Youth Worlds in Nairobi. And she was sixth in the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in April. Kudos Das for the stupendous show!
Incompetent people organisations like in the AFI are the reason why India does so poorly in sports. Neither can they provide proper facilities nor can they provide proper accolades and support – even after a win. Shame on the AFI and just about all the government-run sports organisations! We’ll continue our march to be the #1 in world population but we’ll continue to grovel at the bottom in sports because of the absolutely useless people who continue to get on to these sporting organisations. Can the person who tweeted own up and show what he/she is made up of? Is this person even competent enough to run against a high school kid? Has this person even reached any respectable level in any sport? Why are they even working in these organisations?
But what if the person who won the medal comes from a non-Hindi speaking state — a law-abiding citizen who had a medium of instruction in the vernacular language of the state? In a hypothetical case, let’s say that she speaks in that language. I cannot imagine the social media reaction to it. I can already see statements like “How dare she does not speak Hindi”, “Hindi be made the only language”, and so on and so forth. Just like the reaction now, would the same individuals who felt so strongly about the AFI comment, take a neutral stand. I am sure, not! The systematic effort to kill regional languages by imposing Hindi as a national language should be highlighted here. In a democracy like India, which thrives on pluralism, all languages need to be respected. It is sad that chauvinism wins everywhere. Many regional languages have immense works of literature and also act as the driving forces for unique cultures.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)