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August 2017 Edition of Power Politics is updated.  Happy Diwali to all our subscribers and Distributors       August 2017 Edition of Power Politics is updated.   Happy Diwali to all our subscribers and Distributors       
Issue:August' 2017


Five days to remember

Indian women's 4X100m relay team members The newspapers carried full front page advertisements of Olive Ridley turtles on the beaches and invitation to Bhubaneswar. Apart from that the media coverage of the Asian Athletic meet that the Odisha capital hosted was hardly the kind the prestigious event deserved.
The visual media, except for national broadcaster Doodarshan, gave it a complete miss. Most newspapers relegated the event to the bottom of the sports page. Most of the space was devoted to the debate on the choice of the manager of the Indian cricket team..

All Indian medal winners of 22nd Asian Atheletics meet with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik For all that, the athletics meet was a grand success. Not just because India headed the medals table, but the way the entire event was conducted. There were some surprisingly excellent performances and many unknown stars held the spotlight. Not only on the arena were performances remarkable, the Kalinga Stadium was renovated in a record 90- day period. The stadium, which has a seating capacity for 15,000 spectators, was provided with a new synthetic track laid and flood lights and warmup facility for the athletes were all completed in this short period after Ranchi pulled out at the last minute. So quietly was this done that it hardly found any mention in the media

India's gold and silver medal winner javelin throwers Neeraj Chopra, left, and Davinder Singh Kang The only coverage that it got on the visual media was through DD Sports and this the channel did with remarkable understatement. For a change, those presenting the medals were not high-profile officials but MLAs and local level leaders. That was in keeping with the low-key conduct of the entire show.
At the concluding ceremony Chief Minister Biju Patnaik, sat quietly and even the officials moved without any fuss, unlike one gets to see at sports events in big cities, or at cricket matches.

G Lakshmanan, left, and Gopi Thhonakal For the record, Indian athletes did commendably well, leading in the medal tally. But the statistics are just that - for the record. The cordiality that the sports people exhibited and the way the Pakistani contingent got along with the hosts, was evidence of the bonhomie and sporting spirit that seems a thing of the past. One was transported to days of the first Asian Games in Delhi six decades back, where inaugurating the games at the National Stadium Pandit Nehru memorably exhorted the sports people to 'play the game in the spirit of the game.' This was what was amply evident atBhubaneswar all through the five days of the Asian meet.
The Indian gold rush began with Swapna Burman winning the heptathlon, Govindan Lakshmanan winning a double in the long distance races, Neeraj Chopra and the women's 4 x 400 metre relay team securing gold medals and Nirmala Sheoran, Muhammad Anas, PU Chitra and Jay Kumar Saroj also among the gold medals.

A big shabaash !

India womens cricket team Mithali Raj's girls fell short by a mere ten runs in the Women's Cricket World Cup final at Lord's.
As Mithali herself explained, her team panicked in the closing stages of the final, while the English team held their nerve. But there was not an Indian in the millions who were glued to their televisions on Sunday, July 23, who had a harsh word for the Indian women about their sudden capitulation. They may not have won the cup, but they won the heart of every Indian.
There's no way to know for sure how many Indian women play the game. Maybe a few hundred. Your guess is as good mine. After the exploits of Mithali's team in England, one hopes more of our betis will be attracted to the game.
The performance of the Indian women cricketers has grabbed many an eyeball thanks to impressive overall team efforts in notching up a string of victories on their way to the Lord's final and also exceptional individual displays.
Harmanpreet Kaur's amazing innings of 171 not only knocked out six-time champions Australia but raised the bar and expectations of the billion-plus cricketing hearts in the country.

Inspiring tale

Manohar Aich Prateek Vats's documentary on Manohar Aich, or Pocket Hercules, could not have come at a better time as India's first body building champion passed away recently at the age of 104. Vats and his team from the FTII displayed perhaps as much sincerity, patience and perseverance over two years as did Aich over his more than 100 years of existence.
The 1913-born Aich prevailed over a severe illness as a child and thereafter focused on health and body training by watching local wrestlers. He performed for years in a travelling circus, joined the Royal Air Force and trained with weights for up to 12 hours a day after being jailed in 1947 for slapping an officer.
His hard work and philosophy of never worry helped him earn accolades and titles in the 1950s and compete until he was 89. Aich's family was no less dedicated in ensuring that the champion lived a great life. An inspiring tale indeed.

For slum kids

rganizers are happy that they have been able to sell a lakh of tickets for the 24-nation tournament during phase 2 of the sales programme out of the roughly 1.4 lakh of available tickets.
With about 10 weeks to go for the tournament, efforts are underway to ensure a healthy audience throughout the tournament.
While we could see loads of schoolchildren at the stadiums to witness the matches, it would be nice to see the corporate world step in and buy tickets to enable slum children football players to see the world talent and get inspired.
Given that almost all the current world greats have risen from the slums, especially in Latin America, India deserves a chance as well.