Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Be Sporty!

Why are there so less girls playing Indian sports? I watched cricket controversy yesterday, and they were debating on the subject. We have only a handful of talented female players out there like Saina Nehwal in Badminton, Sania Mirza in Tennis. But the other sports seem deprived. Especially the physically challenging ones like Football. Why is it so ? Agreed, we women are weaker than our male counterparts. But it is not about taking part in a national team or anything of that sort. Why not play just as a hobby?

In Bahrain , I always saw girls playing basketball , football, volleyball. When I came to Kerala, it was mostly Badminton and Table Tennis for girls. Mr.Navjot Singh Sidhu might act all aggressive when he says parents are not encouraging their daughters to go out and play such games. But the truth is India is not safe even if we keep saying ‘All Indians are our brothers and sisters’ now and then. When a ‘cultured’ man like Mr.Sidhu says things like ‘Even if I do not know the game, I will watch it because such pretty people like you are playing’ ( He was talking to the pretty, young football player also in the show). How could he expect every single guy to just ‘watch’ them ? Especially since so many guys in our country act as if they have never seen a girl before. Girls playing a game like football just might be too much for them.

The fact is, if girls start to play basketball, football in India there will be an audience. But most of them will be guys who are interested in just staring and drooling. They would not even know when the game has ended. Remember, I am just talking about ‘go out and play as hobby’ part. Not playing in a national team. I mean security is better if you are in a national team. There will be security guards around. But what about the girls who want to play near the streets or in a deserted area ? Is it safe for them ? Badminton and Table Tennis can be played within the boundary of one’s home. But games like Football ? Can they be played within a small, well protected area ? I think not.

Take the instance of our ‘home away from home’. Guys stay back to play games, but girls always rush to their hostels or houses. Girls are not even willing to play such games at their colleges where they know everyone !!! There might be less teasing, but still there are guys there… who ( like I said before ) act as if they have never seen girls. They gossip ( Yeah, guys do that !) and hoot and whistle.. Ugh! Who would want to play in such conditions? Definitely not me ! And if I were a protective parent, I wouldn’t want to let my child to play in such conditions either. So, Mr.Sidhu.. before you jump into conclusions, its better you investigate your daughter’s playing environment and ensure that she is safe and sound.