Come September and we have for ourselves the glorious Paralympics 2016. The Paralympic Games are
underway in Rio, with Great Britain hoping to surpass their London 2012 medal haul, when they won
120. To see athletes push themselves beyond their normal capabilities and achieve what they have
achieved is an inspiration for the many lost souls like me.
Come September and we are faced with the unwelcome riots in Karnataka. Schools and offices shut
down and life has come to halt. Security was tightened across Bengaluru on Monday following violence
by pro-Kannada activists over the Cauvery river water controversy. The activists set ablaze many
vehicles and attacked govt. offices protesting the recent Supreme Court order directing Karnataka
government to release 15000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu. Some political goons have gone ahead
decided treat themselves to an early Diwali celebration by burning down vehicles in the middle of the
road. How this dangerous outrageous act is going to resolve the issue, I wonder.
For me, these events, the Paralympics and the riots, if studied together may help us in finding a new
direction. Decades of negotiations between the parties have borne no fruit whereas reduced muscle
power or absence of limbs have not stopped athletes from winning their medals and more importantly,
creating exemplary inspirations.
This time, India have sent their biggest ever contingent of 19 including Athens gold medallist Devendra
Jhajharia but no broadcaster, including the national network Doordarshan, showed any interest to buy
rights of the Paralympics. We are still deprived of live telecast as Sony is showing Paralympics highlights
through its two sports channels — SIX and ESPN — in two sessions of one hour each daily.
What do we see live on the news then? A bunch of nobodies creating unnecessary chaos on the streets
in the district of Mandya, stopping vehicles, setting them ablaze, overall, disrupting the day to day
activities of the common man. No amount of water from the river Cauvery will undo the terror that they
have created in the minds and hearts of citizens.
I have this annoying little habit of going way ahead of myself trying to visualize how little efforts can
bring about big waves of change. I mean wouldn’t life make more sense if we learnt to live it as a sport.
Well, at least in that case we would learn to take our shortcomings and failures much more sportively
than we really do now. We would resolve our issues using our capabilities and not possibilities. And the
rest is history.
As I wrap up this segment, a bit of trivia: Did you know competitors in the women's 50m rifle 3-position
event (13:30-16:45) have 60 shots in the qualifying round – 20 standing, 20 kneeling and 20 prone?
With Devendra Jhajharia armed with his second gold and Deepa Malik as the first Indian woman to win
Paralympics medal, let’s invest ourselves in the right direction.