- Pratap Kumar Das.
It’s usually the academic or entrance results which come with this tagline. But this time, it’s the Olympics. And this time yet again these words resound with great fervor in the entire nation. What was it that made Rio Olympics 2016 mark the emergence of Girl Power and made it the the Games of the girls. Here we bring to the fore the reasons why girls ruled the roost.
Our Indian women have a hard core and an even tougher heart. Lets face it, Indian women are under a lot of stress. Be it their personal issues, family, or societal stereotypes, our women have faced it all. Don’t do this, instead do that. Liberty and freedom for our women is a great struggle even now. ‘Itne dhoop me mat khelo, kaaali ho jaogi. Phir ladka milna mushkil hoga’ is a fairly familiar dialogue for women athletes. ‘Ladkiya khel-kud thodi na karti hai, ye to ladko ka kaam hai. Ladki ko to ghar sambhalna aana chahiye.’ As if women athleticism is inversely proportional to your housekeeping skills. In the end if a women makes through all this, what you get is a women who has tough mind after going through these grinds and taunts of people. They say the mental attitude is more important in sports than the physical. Is there anyone who wants to bet on our Indian women’s mental prowess?
Did anyone say our Indian women are weak physically? It’s a general notion that our women are easily gullible and can be intimidated easily. But brace yourself people you all will be proved wrong. Manisha Malhotra, former tennis pro, now as sports administrator, says she isn’t surprised by the performance in Rio. “Sports scientists, who studied the Indian body type and genetic disposition, concluded that Indian women were closer to world standards physically than the men,” she said. No wonder, our women fared so well in the Olympics. P V Sindhu, with her strapping figure and fist-pumping aggression clinched a Silver. Sakshi Malik, who’s adorable smile belies her tough physique gave us the first medal, a bronze. Dipa Karmakar who’s Produnova (death-vault) made our hearts race inspired us to appreciate gymnastics, which was an unheralded specialty in the country.
Indian history has witnessed many glorious women. From The mythological Goddesses to the fearsome warrior, Rani Lakshmibai to the peace saint, Mother Teresa, our nation has seen them all. History has anecdotes of great women achievers. Its fitting enough that our women deserve the accolades. The first women athletes to represent India in the Olympics were – N.Polley and Sydney Jacob in tennis, 1924. In 1952, independent India sent its first women’s representatives to the Olympics—Nilima Ghosh, Mary D’Souza (athletics); Dolly Nazir, Arati Saha (swimming). But it was in 1984, that P.T.Usha who just missed the bronze by a whisker became immortalized. Indian women found their place in the World map. Generations to come by were inspired. Karrnam Malleswari, weightlifiting, bronze (Sydney 2000); Saina Nehwal and Mary Kom, double bronze for the nation (London,2012) and P V Sindhu and Sakshi Malik this time around.
Women of India, you are the nation’s real assets. You took forward the hopes of a billion people and are an inspiration for generations. Its high time that our women are treated at par with men and get the attention and adulation which they rightly deserve. Cheers to the fairer sex.