On Sunday evening, taking some time of from watching cricket, I went and saw ‘Chak De India’. It is a tremendous film, very well directed and capturing a lot of the emotions, which professional sportsmen go through.
But the film made me think. Over the years I have considered my self to be a sports enthusiast. So have a lot of my other friends. We all are lovers are cricket but we follow other sports as well. We all were delighted when Ashsish Ballal saved the penalty stroke which fetched India the gold in hockey at Bangkok, we all were proud of Gopichand when he won the All England Championship. And Leander Paes and his brilliance have made so many of our Sunday afternoons memorable.
But hang on. There is a similarity here. We always watch and support our male sportsman. Or is it just me. ‘Chak De’ is a film about 11 women making the nation proud. India over the years has produced some very fine female athletes. But they are never talked about in the same breadth as their male counter parts.
I did a small survey (this survey included both mal and females) to find out whether it was just me or generally the entire country had an apathy towards female sportsmen. Here is a sample of the survey
Q1) Who is the captain of the Indian Women’s cricket team. Most common Answer: Dunno
Q2) Who is the captain of the Indian Women’s Hockey team. Most common Answer: Dunno
Q3) Who is the captain of the Indian Women’s Football team. Most Common Answer: Do we have a Women’s Football team.
Yes we do have a Women’s football team. They had qualified for 2004 Asian Games (something which their male counterparts couldn’t do). And the captain of the Women’s cricket team is a elegant lady from Hyderabad called Mithali Raj. She has to her credit the highest individual score in Women’s Test Match cricket. Something which Sachin Tendulkar doesn’t have.
Common guys. We need to change our attitude. Sania Mirza apart no female sportswomen are talked about in this country. And Sania is more talked about for her clothes then for her game. Admittedly, sometimes the Women’s game can be a bit slow compared to the men’s game. But at least we can support all those individuals who are representing the Tri -colour.
So next time any women’s team is playing lets cheer them instead of comparing them to their male counterparts and pointing out their differences. Lets really prove to everyone that we are a changed country.
Perhaps that’s what Chak De India is all about.
By the way Captain of the Women’s hockey team is Binita Topo. And Dalia Akhtar is the captain of the Indian Football Woman’s team.