Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Of poverty and olympics

Read an piece by Shobha De and couldnt help but comment

here's the article firstly:
Mera Bharat Kahan?

So I don't get it. What is the relevance and what is she trying to say again? I know I am not the sharpest cookie but seriously!

What does a girl selling a newspaper (no matter how impoverished) have to do with Abhinav Bindra winning a gold?

While a part of me does think that the medal has been made into a huge deal - in that it was a great achievement for Abhinav Bindra but not for India considering a country with a population such as ours should not end every olympics with just one medal ( though we managed to go from bronze to silver to gold), i think the article takes it two steps too far. How can she undermine his achievement? And sure he has a lot of money and thus why should the maharashtra chief minister give him more? But what of the encouragement this might provide to other aspiring youngsters and perhaps their parents who might then push their children's passion. And by saying he shouldnt be rewarded monetarily just because he already is wealthy is such a leftist mindset but coming from the source it is it is just so hypocritical - what of Ms De who herself is a big socialite? How often will she think of the little girl while she indulges in champagne and caviar later in the warmth of her own home?

And the little girl. How easy it is to make judgements. About her. About her parents. Sure they are poor and sure the child is working. But how easy it is to say that the girl will end up a prostitute and her parents will live off those earnings. It is not the family's fault that they are in that situation but perhaps they are trying to make the most of what they have - and maybe just maybe they won't find themselves in a situation where they will need to sell their daughter. Just because she is seen the street makes her a future prostitute? Sad must be the mind that sees the future in this light.

On and what of the line - "He won despite being an indian"
Sure India doesnt offer the same sort of infrastructure to aspiring sportspeople but is she trying to imply that he had to overcome the 'hurdle' of being Indian? What in the Lord's name?!

But I digress here. The article feels to me like it was written because Shobha De wanted to be cynical about the olympic medal and here she found her opportunity.

Who is Shobha De anyway? I've always though her over rated. A model, an editor (of Stardust mind you!), an author (questionable in my head since I could never read more than a few pages of her books whenever I attempted to) and social activist. What is a social activist though? One who sits on the wall and makes judgements and yells out the same nonsense over and over under the pretext of getting people to bring about change? How about for a moment trying to be part of that change instead?

What if Ms De instead of trying to create this 'intelligent' piece in her head while watching the girl had taken the same time to maybe help in some small way. What of the small chance that she may have been able to make a difference to one person - instead of pretending to change society itself?


Amrita said...

hey, just my two cents' worth. Shobha De is a overrated cow who shot to fame because of one bit of work she did (or did not do! who cares) and now reckons that her voice should be heard loud and clear.
The less time spent on such riff raff the better for India as a country.

OnCloud9 said...

couldn't agree more...totally overrated. what was it that made her famous again?

Bollywood Blogger said...

NIcely said Cloud9.