Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Chakde Indian Hocky Team....

Much like the Dream Team lined up by the USA in Basketball the past decade, there used to be a time when Indian hockey players lined up for a Gold Medal at every Olympics. Starting from 1928, for 36 years, the Indian Team won every Olympic Men’s hockey gold medal except one where they finished second. Led by that great wizard Dhyan Chand, India introduced the Indian Dribble to mesmerise opposing defences world over. To refresh our pedigree, some excerpts from Dhyan Chand’s profile, from Rohit Brijnath.
Dhyan Chand captained the Indian team in 1936 Summer Olympics final. His team had gone down to the Germans in a friendly match, shortly before the Olympics. But this time, India’s forward line was reinforced by the inclusion of Ali Iqtidar Shah Dara, who managed to reach Berlin just in time for the final.
In a patriotic note, they raised the Indian tricolour in the dressing room and sang Vande Mataram an Indian nationalist song, rather than the British national anthem, which they were obliged to sing.
Indians were leading 1-0 at the half time. In second half, they scored 7 goals. After trailing 0-6, the Germans are reported to have resorted to body play. In a clash with the German goalkeeper, Dhyan Chand broke one of his teeth. But the valiant Rajput returned to the field after first aid. When the match ended, his contribution in India’s 8-1 win was 6 goals.
The match was attended by Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler who left midway as he couldn’t bear to see his "racially superior" team being demolished. Sensing something amiss, he was ordered to change his stick, but the flow of goals continued. India won the match 8-1, with Dhyan Chand scoring 6 goals. A reporter said about Dhyan Chand’s performance - "With a flick of the wrist, a quick glance of his eyes, a sharp turn and then another turn, and Dhyan Chand was through".
Adolf Hitler left his special box in a huff, after Germany’s rout. Next day, he invited him for a meeting the following day. Hitler asked Dhyan Chand what post did he hold in India. On learning that the hockey wizard was a mere Naik in the Indian army, Hitler offered to make Dhyan Chand a Field marshal should he decide to live in Germany. Dhyan Chand politely refused, saying that he had a large family to look after, in India
Dhyan Chand won a number of awards and accolades during his illustrious career. One of the most touching gestures came from the residents of Vienna, who built a statue of the Indian with four hands and four sticks, signifying his unparallel control over the ball. During a 1935 tour of New Zealand and Australia, he scored 201 goals out of the team’s tally of 584 in 43 matches. Don Bradman and Dhyan Chand once came face to face at Adelaide in 1935, when the Indian hockey team was in Australia. After watching Dhyan Chand in action, Don Bradman remarked "He scores goals like runs in Cricket" and it is a measure of this man’s innocence that he writes, "The picture of that meeting I will cherish all my life."
They say you can judge a man’s legend by the quality of myths that surround him. By that measure itself, Dhyan Chand was an extraordinary man. To hear tales of his craftsmanship was to wonder whether his stick was designed by Merlin himself. They broke his stick in Holland to check if there was a magnet inside; in Japan they decided it was glue; in Germany, Adolf Hitler even wanted to buy it.
Today, forget winning the Gold at Olympics, forget winning a medal in the Asian Games, we cannot even win a qualifying tournament, getting knocked out by 2 goals in 10 minutes to be ousted from the Olympics for the first time since Independence. The coach Joaquim and his support staff promptly resigned, Dhanraj and his fellow brethren felt like there was a death in the family, but KPS Gill, Nero-like, apparently needs more time.
Cry, my beloved country…
Harish Bijwe
(Ref: http://www.prempanicker.com/)


Anonymous said...

Good One Harish.............

Anonymous said...

Whats good in that?
Were you not aware of DhyanCHand? Were you not aware of his performance, his skills? I'm sure you must have read about this in our school text books? Nothing new.
So do I assume you liked the fact that somebody pointed out our plight?

These kind of articles have no value. Some critic out of somewhere just points out the short comings and feels happy about the fact that he brought awareness!
Whats the use? When there is no positive note in the article, the writes and even the readers energy has gone waste. Does anybody knows the way out? If this author dares to peep into this topic, it is his duty to put positives and negatives and causes.
I would never appreciate a writer who, though sarcastically, asks his country to cry!
Many have done this before. Somebody got to lead in a direction.

Ameya Gupte

Anonymous said...

Dear Ameya,

I really didn't know about the conversation between Hitler and Dhyan Chand. And, I appreciated the article becoz I got some new info from it. U know, why we lost in qualifying rounds this time? Why our country is not doing well in hockey? Like these and many other questions have only one answer - Generations born in Independent India always look for somebody to lead..................Nobody starts from himself / herself.


Anonymous said...

I do think it is very good and valuable article -
- valuable, because as you correctly said, it revises our history, throw some motivating information at us, which does make me proud to be an Indian.
- good because, it is provoking us to think about this fact that we are consistency not performing in our national game.

I like your question, "Does anybody knows the way out?". The author has started the process by highlighting the issue, now it is up to rest of us to find a solution, and if India is crying for the poor performance of the hockey team someday, I think that is a good sign, at least we are paying attention to hockey and hope to dance one day when we will win a Gold Medal.

With all these thoughts, I feel it is a Very Good and Valuable article, that is the only reason why I circulated it, and I think author's purpose is getting served here, because we are paying attention to the issue raised.

Harish Bijwe

Anonymous said...

Hello Guys -
Do you agree with me(?) that when you were instigated, you searched for the positives buried in the article. but the first time you read, you closed the email with a remark, "hmmmm"

I have got following four points to discuss on -
1. Criticism -
- For it to be useful, has to be directional.
2. Whose responsibility? -
- Responsibility and action needs to be identified by person who is learned enough to write an article.
3. Reconnecting with the past -
- Definitely good to set standard
4. Resource of pleasure -
- Awareness is surely important, and so is its portrayal.

Add your points if you wish to, to these bullets. The point is not the views of individuals in this group, but the mass interpretation. Kailas, read the article again and write your comments as an editor of a daily, why would you or why won't you publish this article in your daily. Whats the message, according to you is being passed on to your readers.

Ameya Gupte

Anonymous said...

Please see my response:

In newspapers, editorials are always written only for 5% readers. This is because out of all readers, only 5% readers read editorials regularly. You might not believe it, but this is very true. Most of the readers read other news and get information. But, very few read editorials and think on them. These editorial readers are called Society builders. Really, only these 5% people build society.

1. Criticism - The author has compared the glorious past of Indian hockey with the current situation. I think, the author, Rohit Brijnath's criticism is directional. He has concluded the article with bitter remarks to KPS Gill. Doesn't that mean KPS Gill is the main suspect? We know how KPS Gill has been biased in the team players selection. Here, author definitely criticizing KPS Gill mainly.

2. Whose responsibility? - Responsibility is not only limited to 11 hockey players, few managers, a coach, and KPS Gill. They represent us and our nation. So, obviously we are also responsible as we allow KPS Gill to do as per his wishes. Action is required from everybody. And, that's what author is trying to say.....

3. Reconnecting with the past - Author is emphasizing on the past mainly to highlight the downfall of Indian hockey team. He is urging us to think first and then act on it. The author is asking us - Why this happened? Who is responsible? What can we do? etc etc....

4. Resource of pleasure - Awareness is surely important as it always leads to better understanding and makes criticism more directional.

As an editor, I have no rights to alter the meaning of the article. Only thing I can do before publishing this article is to make it more clear. And, I think, I did same thing above.