Bindra won despite the system – thanks to rich and generous father
State after state governments announced rewards for Abhinav Bindra - states that have no role in shooter’s success, like Maharashtra. Chhattiagarh and Bihar. It’s as if there was a mad race to catch the Golden Boy’s reflected glory.
The fact is that not just government, but the entire government system has had hardly any role in Abhinav’s win. He won because he was lucky to have a rich and generous father – in other words, had access to a private support structure like other successful Indian sportsmen, who have triumphed not because of the system, but despite it.
Check out list of 19 award winners of our highest sporting honour, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, and you will know how little most of these stars owe to the system and how much to individual or private initiative.
The first two award winners were Vishwanathann Anand for chess and Geet Sethi for billiards. Later, Pankaj Advani got the award for billiard and snooker. None of them owed anything to the government for becoming world champions.
Then there are cricketers – Sachin Tendulkar and M.S.Dhoni. Also think of Leander Paes. Again GOI has nothing to do with there achievements. Shooting stars Manavjit Singh Sandhu and Abhinav Bindra would be hard pressed to tell you how, if at all, the state has helped them. Thanks to their rich family.
Anjali Bhagat and Rajayavardhan Singh Rathore, two other shooters in the list, do not quite have as affluent backgrounds. So it might seem the state must have supported them in some way. The support for Rathore came from Army. Bhagwat too got state support once she had hit the headlines, as did the other shooters.
Also know the fact that our first individual winner – wrestler Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav of Maharashtra had died in poverty.