INDIAN TELEVISION: Let disputes replace talents in Indian Paralympics…!!

The Paralympics 2012 is verging towards the End. The show which is being regarded as the most popular Paralympic games got a huge response all over the world. “The appeal of the Games has grown alongside the public appeal and acceptance of Paralympic sport as a high performance sport,” the (International Paralympic Committee) IPC’s Hartung said. Among countries where broadcasting rights for the Paralympics have been sold for the first time are Iran, Singapore, Malaysia and Pakistan, the local organizers said.

Alas there was no Channel which broadcasted Paralympics in India. The only option for a live show was the IPC website featuring the games through a Smart player which was anything but smart! Indians couldn’t see Farman Basha performing most probably for the last time in any Paralympics Games. They failed to witness the fights of their real heroes; the focused performance of the 10 athletes unfortunately got out-of-focus!!

The superbly able left foot of H N Girisha, silver medallist, High Jump, London Paralympics 2012

The superbly able left foot of H N Girisha, silver medallist, High Jump, London Paralympics 2012

What more?? Indians missed the spectacular show of H.M. Girisha winning silver in F-42 category of High JUMP and throughout the next day the only picture which was roaming in the internet and Indian television was the Reuters’s one. Can a high-jumper’s feat be depicted by a still photograph that too in an electronic medium!! The action of his superbly “able” foot with a slipper couldn’t reach the Indian audience live!! The adrenaline rush of the Karnataka born athlete was not felt by any Indian who was outside the podium.

Now what the Indian Electronic mediums was talking about Paralympics that night! They were talking about the discontent of Farman Basha, Amit Saroha on the unavailability of escorts and coaches that the PCI (Paralympic Committee of India) was supposed to provide. Shameful no doubt and an investigation is already been started by Honourable Sports Minister Ajay Maken to get a clear view of the whole problem, but ‘whatever it takes’ Indian Electronic medium dragged the greatest feat of Indian Paralympics in last 8 years , down under a scam !! The Indian channels questioned officials, athletes, related personalities and left no stones unturned to thoroughly investigate the problem with their TRP oriented scanner!! The silver moments of H.M. Girisha got lost in translation! The dispute of Indian Paralympics overshadowed the achievements of Indian Paralympians at London. Indians lost the opportunity to support Paralympics in Indian Television but gained the momentum to talk about the irregularities!!

A file photo of the first woman Paralympics sprinter Manisha with her sighted guide runner

A file photo of the first woman Paralympics sprinter Manisha with her sighted guide runner

When I called up H.M.Girisha, the next morning to congratulate what I found was none of the Indian Media ctronic/print) actually contacted him!! Did these channels try anything to find out why Paralympics Games 2012 was not broadcasted? Was any talk show/ interview/debate been conducted to show the displeasure of the differently able people, sports lovers over the non-transmission of Paralympic Games?
A simple answer of NO will end the discussion!! And sadly they didn’t do any different through all these years. Even the term Paralympics was alien to them and hardly any television channel pronounced it correctly; with “Para-O-lympics” mostly winning over their ignorance! Any small piece of information of a para-athlete on any television always got showed in a sympathetic and “para” view rather than sports view!!
It’s high time we focus on right issues;
It’s high time we value our heroes in the right way!!
It’s high time we support Indian Paralympics rightly where “Para” for god’s sake stands for “Parallel”…!!!

About the author:

Shuvojit Moulik is the President of Civilian Welfare Foundation (CWF). He is pursuing his Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from University of Calcutta. For any queries related to the article and CWF, call him at +91/9062264489 or email him at shuvojitmoulik@cwforg.com

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