Freedom fighters: names you might not know

first_imgMany people did their bit, big or small, to ensure the demise of apartheid. The names of struggle stalwarts such as Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela and more are well known, but what about others? We take a look at some of these people, whose contribution to freedom you might not know.From top left: Peter Abrahams, Victoria Mxenge, Dorothy Adams, and Laloo Chiba each contributed in their own way to the freedom all South Africans enjoy today. (Images: Wikipedia, South Africans Worth Knowing About, The Guardian, and South African Government Flickr)Compiled by Priya PitamberThere was a plethora of people who contributed to South Africa’s freedom. Besides well-known freedom fighters such as Nelson Mandela, Ahmed Kathrada and Walter Sisulu, other young people left their mark on the liberation struggle too.These unsung heroes often were left with no choice but to go into exile, leaving loved ones behind, simply to avoid persecution; or they were imprisoned.We take a look at a few of these names, people who you might not have heard of but who also worked for the freedom and democracy everyone enjoys today — the same freedom that comes with a sense of responsibility.Laloo Chiba, former MP, born 1930At the age of 26, it was the 1956 Treason Trial that put Laloo Chiba on a political path. He first became a member of the Transvaal Indian Congress and by 1959, he had joined the South African Communist Party.He joined uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the armed wing of the ANC, and quickly moved up the ranks, becoming a platoon commander in 1962.Chiba’s trial in the mid-1960s became known as “Little Rivonia” because his was the second MK High Command arrest. He was imprisoned on Robben Island for 18 years.According to South African History online, Chiba was responsible for condensing Mandela’s autobiography Long Walk to Freedom, to “almost microscopic shorthand, reducing ten pages of foolscap to a single sheet of paper”. Fellow anti-apartheid stalwart Mac Maharaj smuggled the shorter version out of prison.Watch Chiba talk about his arrival on Robben Island:When he was released in 1982, Chiba became a member of the United Democratic Front (UDF) but also worked with the ANC.He was elected an ANC Member of Parliament in the first and second democratic elections in 1994 and 1999 respectively.“In 2004, Chiba was conferred with the Order of Luthuli in Silver for his lifetime contribution to the struggle for a non-racial, non-sexist, just and democratic South Africa,” reads South African History online.Peter Abrahams, writer, 1919-2017Born to an Ethiopian father and coloured mother in 1919 in Vrededorp, in Johannesburg, Peter Abrahams’ mixed race influenced his writing throughout his life.He was an avid reader as a child, prompting a career choice as an author. He often wrote about race in South Africa, speaking out against the institution of apartheid.As an adult, he lived in France, the UK and Jamaica. This highlighted even more so the appalling race relations in South Africa.In 1946, his novel, Mine Boy, became the first book to be published internationally by a black South African writer.The book was about the brutality of urban migration and the inherent labour discrimination in South Africa. It also highlighted the difficult living conditions of migrant workers.“I am emotionally involved in South Africa,” Abrahams said in 1957. “If I am ever liberated from this bondage of racialism, there are some things much more exciting to me, objectively, to write about. But this world has such a social orientation, and I am involved in this world and I can’t cut myself off.”Abrahams never returned to live in his country of birth, even following the arrival of democracy. But when he spoke to Caribbean Beat magazine in 2003, he said: “I became a whole person when I finally put away the exile’s little packed suitcase.“When Mandela came out of jail and when apartheid ended, I ceased to have this burden of South Africa. I shed it.”He lived in Jamaica until his death on 18 January 2017.Peter Abrahams. South African. Jamaican. Writer. Broadcaster. RIP— AFRICA IS A COUNTRY (@africasacountry) January 19, 2017South African writer Peter Abrahams thought he had to write about racial matters like apartheid.— NYT Obituaries (@NYTObits) January 23, 2017Dorothy Adams, teacher, 1928-2011Dorothy Adams was born in 1928 in Wellington, some 70km outside Cape Town. Her father worked in a factory and her mother was a cook. Both were heavily involved in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and religion played a huge role in Adams’ childhood.She completed basic training to become a teacher when she was 17.According to South African History online, Adams became disillusioned with the church because “the apartheid government introduced the Group Areas Act through the church”. She felt the church should have done more to reject segregation.The young Adams turned to politics and joined the Teachers’ League of South Africa (TLSA), Non-European Unity Movement, and the National Liberation Front.While teaching in September 1963, at the age of 35, she was arrested for sabotage and detained under the 90 Day Detention Law. She was released in November. Despite the arrest, she refused to testify against her 11 co-accused, who were also members of the TLSA.Adams was given a five-year banning order in 1964, which meant she could not talk to more than one person at a time, unless it was in her own home, and she could not travel within and outside the country without government permission. This made it difficult for her to work.Her name is Dorothy Adams, a teacher and activist, member of the Unity Movement and the National Liberation…— SA History Online (@sahistoryonline) October 26, 2012With help from a religious organisation, Quakers, she got a British work permit and went into exile. By 1976, she had gained British citizenship.While working at the University of London’s Institute of Commonwealth Studies, she and fellow anti-apartheid activist Albie Sachs started researching the drawing up of a new constitution for a democratic South Africa.Adams returned to South Africa in 1991 with her husband, Frank Williams, and found a job at the University of the Western Cape for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.“In 1999, Dorothy and Frank moved back to Wellington, the first mixed-race couple to live on the street that once marked the divide between white and non-white Wellingtonians,” wrote her son, Clifford Williams, in an obituary in The Guardian. Adams passed away in May 2011.Victoria Mxenge, lawyer, 1942-1985The death of her anti-apartheid activist husband, Griffiths Mxenge, prompted Victoria to join the legal practice he had established.She intervened in cases in which young people were ill-treated in prisons and was part of the defence team in the 1984 treason trial of leaders of the UDF and the Natal Indian Congress in the Pietermaritzburg Supreme Court.Mxenge started a bursary fund in memory of her husband, recounts South African History Online. She became a member of the Release Nelson Mandela Committee, the National Organisation of Women and the Natal Treasurer of the UDF.South African anti-apartheid activist Victoria Mxenge was a key member of the United Democratic Front & the Natal Organisation of Women.— AfricanaFacts (@AfricanaFacts) January 7, 2017In 1985, when Mxenge 43 years old, she was attacked and murdered at her home in Durban.During Women’s Month 2016, we commemorate the life of Victoria Mxenge, assassinated on the 1 August 1985— LRC South Africa (@LRC_SouthAfrica) August 1, 2016In 2006, Mxenge was posthumously conferred the national order of the Order of Luthuli in Silver for her contribution to the field of law and her sacrifices made in the fight against apartheid.The Order of Luthuli is given to South Africans who have made a meaningful contribution to the struggle for democracy, human rights, nation-building, justice and peace, and conflict resolution.Sources: South African History Online,, The Guardian.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Mandela Day 2018 launch – a centenary celebration

first_imgMandela Day 2018 launch – a centenary celebration         Yesterday 23rd April 2018, the Nelson Mandela Foundation launched Mandela Day at the Constitution Hill in honour of the legacy of Madiba and placing emphasis on the culture of volunteerism.The Foundation invited all to play a part in building a society inspired by the values of the global icon – Nelson Mandela. The centenary celebration campaign prompts global citizens to take #ActionAgainstPoverty, inspire change and make every day a Mandela Day.“It is important that we use the capabilities we have, wherever we are stationed in life, in a way that dismantles the unequal structures of power and protects the most vulnerable. All of us must commit to continuing Madiba’s work; fight poverty and inequality; strive to eradicate the growing scourge of racism; and reckon with the history of oppression”, said Mr Sello Hatang, Chief Executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.Constitution Hill was bustling with various stakeholders who exhibited their respective Mandela Day initiatives, calling on citizens to sign up and play their part to contribute to Mandela Day and the betterment of the country.The Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Obama Foundation also made an official announcement that President Barack Obama will deliver the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture under the theme “Renewing the Mandela Legacy and Promoting Active Citizenship in a Changing World” in Johannesburg at the Ellis Park Arena on the 17th of July 2018.As a build-up to the lecture and Mandela Day, citizens are encouraged to make every day a Mandela Day. There are various initiatives for citizens of all races and ages to play their part and give 67 minutes of their time to the less fortunate and #ActionAgainstPoverty.Some stakeholders took to social media to share their initiatives planned for Mandela day: @HFHSouthAfrica 21m21 minutes ago At @NelsonMandela Centenary Celebration launch today. Book your team for July’s ‘100 Houses for 100 Families in Honour of 100 Years’ in KZN, JHB and CPT: [email protected] or call: +27 81 840 7968 #rememberingmandela #BeTheLegacy @ZeldalaGrangeSA 47m47 minutes ago Launching our #MandelaDay plans as #BikersforMandeladay #B4MD during the Nelson Mandela Foundation centenary celebration launch. 14 July Mass Biker rally Cape Town – Paarl 15 July Mass Biker rally Johannesburg – Tshwane Details tbc @Absa 2h2 hours ago Like the Nelson Mandela Foundation, we believe in being an active force for good, which is why we’re proud to support them. And to mark the lead up to uTata’s 100th birthday, we’re inviting you to help write the new chapter of Madiba’s legacy. #TheNewChapter #MandelaDayFollow the conversations; and www.nelsonmandela.orglast_img read more

More Energy-Saving Products from the AIA Convention

first_imgHaiku fans from Big Ass FansDespite the over-the-top company name, Big Ass Fans has been at the forefront of ceiling fan development for some years now. The company is known for its large, well, big-ass fans that are used in improving comfort in large commercial spaces — overhead fans that may have diameters of up to 24 feet. Now the company has introduced a line of smaller, residential-scale fans that work in homes.Before getting into the specifics of the Haiku fans, it needs to be pointed out that ceiling fans don’t actually cool a space (i.e., lower the temperature). What they do is make a space more comfortable by evaporating moisture from our skin. If you are normally comfortable in a space at 75°F, with a gentle breeze you can be comfortable at 80° or even 82°F. Not only do ceiling fans not lower the air temperature, they actually raise the temperature slightly — from the waste heat generated by the electric motor (so turn that fan off when you leave the room!).The Haiku fans are exciting from an energy standpoint, because they are the first ceiling fans to use advanced, energy-efficient, electronically commutated, brushless, DC motors, and they have aerodynamically designed airfoil blades that move air more efficiently and more quietly than the blades in most ceiling fans. These features make Haiku fans up to 80% more efficient than standard ceiling fans. While a typical Energy Star ceiling fan uses about 65 watts of electricity (and generates substantial waste heat), the Haiku fans use just 2 to 30 watts, exceeding the Energy Star requirements for energy efficiency by 450 to 750%.Haiku fans also offer highly sophisticated controls, with seven speeds, reverse mode, sleep mode, and timer controls, all handled through a slick remote control. The 60-inch-diameter blades are made from either an advanced composite material in black or white, or hand-finished, laminated bamboo in a caramel or cocoa finish. The shape is sleek and modern.The downside? There’s a significant one: cost. A Haiku ceiling fan lists for $825 to $1,045, depending on the exact model. That cost would be hard to justify on energy savings alone, but combined with super-quiet operation and other features, this is a product well worth taking a serious look at. Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. He also coauthored BuildingGreen’s special report on windows that just came out. To keep up with Alex’s latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed. Philips Ledalite’s unique light diffusers for LED lightingIn the lighting world today, it’s all about LED (light-emitting diode) lighting, which is going through technology advances by leaps and bounds. At the Philips Ledalite booth, the company’s MesoOptics technology for distributing light from LED light sources caught my eye.LEDs offer various advantages, including higher efficacy (lumens of light output per watt of electricity consumption) than most fluorescent lighting. But light distribution can be a challenge, because LEDs produce highly concentrated point-source illumination. Philips Ledalite has tackled that problem using holographic technology in the diffusers of LED light fixtures to control the light distribution as required for the application.Using this MesoOptics technology, Philips Ledalite can design some fixtures to deliver linear light, to illuminate a wall surface, for example, while others are designed to disperse that light more broadly for area lighting. It’s an example of the sort of innovation that is helping LEDs begin to capture market share from fluorescent and halogen (incandescent) lighting. EcoCore phase-change floor panel from Tate Access FloorsPhase-change materials store a large amount of heat by melting (changing phase from solid to liquid). I wrote about the BioPCM material for walls and ceilings in Environmental Building News some months ago (requires log-in). At the AIA convention, Tate Access Floors introduced its EcoCore floor panel which has a micro-encapsulated paraffin phase-change material in a concrete matrix. The phase-change material melts at about 75°F, absorbing a lot of heat in the process.Access floors are popular in commercial building, because they provide a floor plenum that can be used to run wiring and cabling as well as to deliver heated or chilled air. Tate’s EcoCore floor panel looks just like it’s standard concrete access-floor panel — with a steel frame and waffle-like cross-section of concrete, averaging about an inch thickThe EcoCore floor panels are designed to be used in commercial buildings along perimeter walls, particularly west- and south-facing, where significant solar gain typically increases cooling requirements. The panels heat up when sunlight strikes them, melting the phase-change material and storing that solar heat rather warming the space. As the space cools below 75°F at night, the floor panels release that stored heat.Savings are achieved both by reducing the peak cooling demand (enabling cooling systems to be downsized) and by shifting a portion of the cooling load to nighttime hours when cooler outside air can often be used for cooling and electricity prices are lower. Just introduced, the product has yet to be installed beyond prototype and demonstration projects, but the company is hearing a lot of interest in it.The cost premium is about $1 per square foot for the EcoCore material. Last week, I wrote about a number of innovative window and glazing products I came across at the AIA Convention in Washington, DC earlier this month. Here are a few other products I came across with energy-saving features.last_img read more

Ryan ten Doeschate scores his career-best 119 vs England

first_imgThis is the third time in World Cup history that England are playing The Netherlands. Earlier the two sides met during 1996 World Cup at Peshawar and 2003 World Cup at East London. On both occasions England won, but during the 2009 T20 World Cup, The Netherlands beat England by four wickets at Lord’s.Ryan ten Doeschate’s milestones Ryan ten Doeschate scored his second World Cup century and also reached his career-best score of 119 batting against England in Nagpur Tuesday.Earlier, he had scored a century against Bermuda during the 2007 World in West Indies.At the moment he has four (including today’s) ODI centuries under his name.last_img

IPL 2011: Pune in dire need of a win against Chennai

first_imgPune Warriors India would need to lift themselves up when they clash with Chennai Super Kings at their home venue, the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, on Wednesday, less than 48 hours after being beaten by them at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.The Warriors, led by Yuvraj Singh, began their debut season on a high with back-to-back victories over Kings XI Punjab and Kochi Tuskers Kerala earlier this month, both at the DY Patil Stadium.But the defeat against Delhi Daredevils at home, despite scoring an imposing 187 for five started the Warriors’ slide and they lost successive ties to the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium, and to the Super Kings.On a sluggish pitch, Warriors allowed the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Super Kings to score 140-plus on Monday through less-than-perfect work on the field and their batsmen failed to get going in the run- chase.Two big defeats in the space of five days would be a dampener and the task in front of Warriors is to put the past behind and regroup as a winning combination in home conditions which suit their style of play.In fact, their home track has so far brought out the best in them as it helps the pacers get movement and allows batsmen like Yuvraj, Jesse Ryder and Robin Uthappa to play shots more freely because the ball comes on to the bat nicely.The return to the DY Patil Stadium could result in a call-up for Wayne Parnell at the cost of Nathan McCullum, who played in Chennai. With Jerome Taylor performing very well, the new ball bowling looks meatier, but the same cannot be said about the slow bowling as Murali Kartik has been below par.advertisementThe Super Kings, on the other hand, would be happy to get their title hunt firmly back on track.They have won all their three matches at home but are yet to win an away game.Michael Hussey’s form at the top of the order must be a very pleasing aspect for the team’s think tank and though Murali Vijay has not converted his starts to big scores, he has done his bit.But the indifferent form of key batsman Suresh Raina, who flopped in their last two games, must be a cause for some concern as he is an impact player for the defending champions with his flamboyant batting, outstanding fielding and effective bowling in this format.Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming said his team’s brilliant fielding performance made all the difference in Monday’s win and the side would look to replicate the effort in the coming matches as well.”We would look to replicate this standard of fielding in our coming matches.Today, we were desperate to win. This kind of fielding helps the bowler to be a bit more confident and gives the skipper much more confidence to dictate the game. We need to keep improving in that area. We were embarrassed with our fielding in the last game and we were desperate to make the difference,” Fleming said.The former New Zealand captain is reportedly the leading contender to replace Gary Kirsten as India coach, but he did not want to discuss the prospect.”I enjoy my relationship with all the Indian players and Dhoni is a special player I am involved with.He is a captain with free space. I have been working with Suresh Raina and others as well. Just about time that I do not want to be talked about as a potential Indian coach,” Fleming said.Yuvraj’s Warriors have lost three games in a row, including a defeat to Dhoni’s Super Kings in Chennai on Monday, and need to build momentum to keep their hopes alive- With inputs from PTIlast_img read more

Terry Rozier’s perfect start en route to 26 points carry Celtics past Cavs

first_imgOil plant explodes in Pampanga town ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes James Harden now owns NBA’s 4th-longest streak of 30-point games Giannis Antetokounmpo powers Bucks in bounce back win over Celtics PLAY LIST 02:29Giannis Antetokounmpo powers Bucks in bounce back win over Celtics00:50Trending Articles01:31Go: Search for ‘perfect, honest man’ to lead PNP still on02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Irving was sidelined with flu-like symptoms, and Boston was also without Al Horford, who was given the night off to rest and be fresh for the Warriors. Horford had missed seven games in December with a sore left knee before they built his minutes back up.When asked about team’s winning streak at home, Rozier said: “That’s a big one to get 11 in a row. We know how big this game is.”Cedi Osman led the Cavaliers with a career-high 25 points and eight rebounds, and Ante Zizic had 19 points with eight boards. Cleveland has lost five in a row and 17 of its last 18.The Cavaliers might have been in town, but a good number of fans at might have been already looking ahead to Saturday’s game with the Warriors. It was relatively quiet until Boston took charge with a 27-11 run to close the second quarter, pushing its lead from two to 15 at the half.“I thought they sped us up a little bit,” Cavaliers coach Larry Drew said. “You know we had a real good pace going at the beginning. Second quarter, I thought their pressure kind of sped us up. We took some bad shots, we turned the basketball over and on the road you just can’t do that, particularly against a good team.”ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier (12) drives to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman, left, and guards Alec Burks (10) and Collin Sexton (2) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)BOSTON — The Boston Celtics had a little tuneup before their big mid-winter test.Terry Rozier scored 22 of his 26 points in the first half and the Celtics coasted to their fifth straight victory with a 123-103 win over the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Now, they look ahead to a showdown with defending champion Golden State at TD Garden on Saturday night.“We have a great test Saturday and we’ll learn more about us,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said. “We’re not where we want to be at this point.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsJaylen Brown scored 23 points, Gordon Hayward 18 and Jayson Tatum 15 for Boston, which won its 10th straight at home. Rozier, who added eight rebounds and six assists, started in place of the ill Kyrie Irving and shot 6 for 6 and scored 16 points in the opening quarter. He made his only two shots in the second – both 3-pointers – including a 31-foot buzzer-beater from the top of the key that gave Boston a 65-50 halftime lead.Rozier said he found out via text from Irving in the morning that he was going to start, which helped him get “mentally prepared.” Rozier was the first Celtics player to score 20 or more points in a half on perfect shooting since Paul Pierce went 7 for 7 and had 20 in the second half against Chicago on Oct. 30, 2009, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.Last season, the 6-foot-1 guard was a spark in Boston’s run to the Eastern Conference finals, averaging 16.5 points per game when Irving was lost before the playoffs with a knee injury, earning him the nickname “Scary Terry.”“You can say it’s one of my better starts.” Rozier said of the opening quarter.NICE TOUCHOsman was 8-for-11 from the field, making 6 of 7 3-point attempts.“I would say I was feeling good today about my shots,” he said.UP NEXTCavaliers: Host the Heat on Friday.Celtics: Host the Warriors in a nationally televised matchup Saturday night. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Marcus Smart started the spree, hitting a 3-pointer – one of five the Celtics had in the run. Rozier had two, the last coming just before the buzzer, bringing the crowd to its feet.In the second half, Robert Williams’ basket pushed Boston’s lead to 86-67 late in the third quarter. It was 12 points entering the final quarter and early garbage time after the Celtics opened the fourth by scoring the first seven points.TIP-INSCavaliers: They were missing a few veteran players: Kevin Love (surgery, left foot), Larry Nance Jr. (sprained right knee), Tristan Thompson (left foot soreness) were not with the team. … Fell to 4-22 on the road.Celtics: Stevens said his team has gotten a boost from Aron Baynes, who started for Horford. “His spirit is felt,” Stevens said before the game. “You can feel it in practice, you can feel it just around the gym.” The 6-foot-10 center played in his fifth game after missing the previous 13 with a broken left finger. … Improved to 19-5 at home.MYSTERY BASKETAbout 45 minutes after the game ended, the Celtics PR staff informed the media that the final score was changed to 123-103 and a basket was taken away from Tatum.The team said due to a computer glitch, he was credited with a basket in the fourth quarter, but the NBA reviewed the tape and it never occurred.The change didn’t affect any of the day’s listed betting lines on total points or the game’s spread.STEPPIN’ RIGHT IN LATEST STORIES MOST READlast_img read more

Asiad dwarfs CWG by a sizeable margin, says Desh Gaurav Chopra Sekhri

first_imgDesh Gaurav Chopra SekhriThe Indian contingent had a cautiously optimistic start at the ongoing Asian Games 2014 in Incheon, South Korea. Fresh off a relatively successful campaign at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games (CWG 2014) earlier this year, the Asian Games (Asiad) however pose a stiffer test for Indian athletes. Although,Desh Gaurav Chopra SekhriThe Indian contingent had a cautiously optimistic start at the ongoing Asian Games 2014 in Incheon, South Korea. Fresh off a relatively successful campaign at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games (CWG 2014) earlier this year, the Asian Games (Asiad) however pose a stiffer test for Indian athletes. Although the number of countries participating in the Asiad is fewer than those in the CWG, the Asiad dwarfs the CWG by a sizeable margin in terms of the number of disciplines, events, and athletes participating.At CWG 2014, 71 teams (including dependent nations) with approximately 5,000 athletes participated in 18 disciplines, in a total of over 260 events. In contrast, approximately 13,000 athletes representing 45 nations are participating in 36 disciplines for a total of nearly 440 events at Incheon. The Asiad eclipses even the mighty Olympics, which in London, 2012 featured approximately 10,500 athletes in 26 disciplines, with over 300 events.Qualitatively, the Asiad can make a case for being more competitive than the CWG, at least in terms of depth. From the perspective of Indian athletes, the challenges in sports that Indians are good at or improving in, the Asiad frequently fields more accomplished and higher-ranked contingents. For example, in badminton and squash, the latter debuting at this Asiad, the Indian squad is strong, but lacks the depth across the board to seriously contest for gold or silver in team events. That said, there were momentous achievements in the opening days at Incheon, with the women’s badminton squad winning its first-ever medal (bronze), while in squash a bronze medal had been won in the women’s and a silver in the men’s events. Achievements such as these lend optimism about India improving on the global stage. And, while an Asiad medal pales in comparison to an Olympics medal, it is nonetheless an impressive accomplishment.advertisementThe Asiad gives the Indian squad a chance to succeed in disciplines that are usually not featured in either the CWG or the Olympics. Fortunately, some of these disciplines are those where Indians are overwhelming favourites. Kabaddi is one of them as until recently were cue sports, where India has traditionally had extremely successful participants on the world stage. While this edition doesn’t feature cue sports, kabaddi has lived to see another day at the Asiad. The recently concluded inaugural season of the Pro Kabaddi League being declared a resounding success gave the kabaddi squad a perfect opportunity to give further impetus to an indigenous sport that’s gaining in popularity. Sadly, the sport is in danger of being dropped in future editions.On the flip side, we Indians don’t make it easy on ourselves. With a depleted squad in areas where Indians would have been overwhelming favourites for gold and silver medals, the final medals tally will belie the actual success India could have had in this edition of the Asiad. Cricket has been controversially retained despite opposition due to its narrow participation band. But India, which would have logically entered as favourites in both men’s and women’s divisions, decided not to field squads for either. Similarly, favourites in tennis, wrestling and other disciplines have opted not to participate in the Asiad, choosing to pursue their individual schedules instead. While athletes can’t actually be blamed, what does end up happening is that Indian sports continue to get underwhelming results, when in actuality this could have been a far more successful campaign for the squad than will be projected by the final medals tally.While there are definite advances that Indians have made in sports overall, it is difficult to ignore some basic facts. India may finish among the top five or top 10 countries at the conclusion of both the CWG and the Asiad, but when it comes to truly global single and multi-sport events, with the exception of cricket, we somehow always come a cropper. Multi-sport events such as the Asiad feature a highly conducive event schedule for India, with kabaddi, cricket, and a somewhat depleted hockey line-up. If India cannot excel even where there are just a few sports powerhouses, then the mission for relevance at the Olympics is clearly a pipe dream.By the time the next Asiad comes around in Jakarta in 2018, the only yardstick for success will be a top two or top-three finish. At this point, that too seems to be far-fetched. That said, we need to be cautiously optimistic of the strides Indians have taken in sports where we have traditionally had a marginal impact at best. That is the positive thus far from Incheon.Desh Gaurav Chopra Sekhri is an attorney, and leads the sports practice at J. Sagar AssociatesadvertisementTo read more, get your copy of India Today here.last_img read more