If armchair criticism was an Olympic sport, we’d win gold!

The Olympic fever has died out but the noise and clamour for medals from some of our so-called well meaning critics hasn’t. On one side, the State and Central Governments are bending over backwards to felicitate shuttler PV Sindhu and wrestler Sakshi Malik after they clinched a hard earned silver and bronze in badminton and wrestling respectively.

Just before that happened, one ill-informed socialite and rather well known columnist and novelist, whose depiction of socialites and sex in her works of fiction have earned her the sobriquet “Jackie Collins of India,” typed a tweet which did her no favours. This was her tweet.

Goes without saying, this woman is unlikely to have ever played a competitive outdoor sport in her life, unless wild partying counts as one.

But looking at it from a broader angle, Ms. De is certainly not the only one to have such sentiments. Many of us must have said the same thing in our living rooms without having picked up a hockey stick, rifle or a badminton racquet in our lives. This makes me believe that if arm chair criticism had to be an Olympic sport, we would most likely win the gold medal!

Let me just give a few examples. Many of us criticize the ambitious “Swachh Bharat” campaign that the Government is trying to do, calling it an eyewash. At a personal level, we continue to throw away plastic bags on the streets and clog the drains. We get sozzled out of our senses and urinate in public (other times when sober). We again throw the blame on the Government saying they’re not enough public toilets and continue to soil the streets.

We go hammer and tongs at the system for not eradicating corruption but don’t think twice about paying a fat sum of money to get admission into a reputed college, or paying money under the table to get a driving license or passport quickly. We don’t encourage our children to take up sports beyond a certain age and push them into academics, whether they like it or not.

A country can only be as good as it’s people. Ms. De would also do well to realize that her writing, as highly as she may regard it, would never even come close to qualifying for a Nobel, Man Booker or Pulitzer Prize, close equivalents to the Olympics in literature. And I for one, would consider her novels a waste of money. She has had countless opportunities over a long literary career.

It is despite the system and poor infrastructure that Sindhu, Sakshi, Saina, Sania, Abhinav Bindra and many others have emerged. Ms. De sure has no shortage of money, but it’s highly debatable if she ever came forward to sponsor any of the athletes when they were going through tough times.

So please stop spouting golden pearls of nonsense and celebrate the spirit of PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, not to forget the death vaulter Dipa Karmakar and the others who made it this far. Stop talking stupidly about hiring a foreign coach to turn a silver to gold. Clean out your own trash before you try to trash the people who have dedicated their prime to compete against the best, and sacrificed many a party to do so. Get off that high horse before you are forced to come crashing down.