Saturday, February 7, 2015

NATIONAL GAMES, INDIA 2015: Spiritual Signs They All Missed


I feel talking about a clumsy affair, a delicate event gone terribly wrong. This, perhaps, is what we can say for sure about National Games 2015. Many leftist and Hindu Right wing newspapers as well as channels have already come forward with cases against the sports minister of Kerala. Which newspaper you read is a big problem. The selection of newspaper will decide your point of view. However, from what I understand, every newspaper is printing the stories with the same ugly truths. It feels like reading novels by different authors, but all with same characters and stories.

It wasn’t a surprise that in 2015, National Games, the Olympics of India, the largest democracy in the world, would be held in Kerala. Thirty years back, in 1984 Kerala hosted National Games, and this year we celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of that event. The arrival of the Games back in Kerala was after a long time of waiting. No one cared much about thinking why have we not been able to host the event before the thirtieth anniversary. Some say, it is the direct result of the Northern-lobby’s political intervention.
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The undeniable factor is that the 2015 version of National Games is a well deserving opportunity to the southern state. Kerala’s total land area is just 1.18 percent India’s total area. Still, this small state is capable of delivering its best to promote sporting events such as the National Games. The 35th National Games, Kerala, however has already become a nightmare for those in the authority.

Somehow, a deserving condition was turned around into a pain of moral disintegration and corruption. Interestingly, it is not the leftists or the extreme right wing people that the governing right party fears under the present turn of events. Ever since the inauguration of the event on 31 January 2015, the same people who are part of the governing system are under question and threat of being exposed for corruption. None of the corruption charges has been proven yet. This does not change the attitude of the opposition, though. Sometimes, it is strange how we are attuned to only negative results.

What was missing from the recipe for success that the Keralites had planned for their chance of conducting National Games? Perhaps, what we, in Kerala lacked is what every man on earth misses out on, occasionally. As always, I would like to invite your attention towards a spiritual side of the current issue, I mean the National Games and how it was organized. Between every plan and its apt execution, a very important stage passes that we did not consider this time.
 
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This stage can be called the Stage of Sustenance.

While the excitement for the arrival of the ‘Indian Olympics’ was justified, dwelling too much time on that issue, caused us damage, not just in the organization of the event, but also in matters of self-respect. Surely, when a large program is conducted, it is important to receive applause and support, just to make sure our spirit stays high and motivated. However, the corruption charges upon the government and the bureaucracy surely trimmed our rising self-confidence.

The Stage of Sustenance is needed to keep the contact with the spirit, that is clearly felt at the beginning, active. By simply staying in spirit, one can overcome any obstacle, says Dr. Wayne Dyer, one of my spiritual gurus. In fact, the word inspiration means being in spirit. Religion gives us ample direction toward identifying the presence of this spirit in the lives of individuals as well as communities. Stage of Sustenance is not just a plan of action for a group of people, but it can equally benefit every single individual.

How can a group undergo Stage of Sustenance?

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Sustaining the spirit of the event is crucial, throughout the entire period for which the program is organized. How can a group be so motivated and focused when the participants of the group activity belong to several different backgrounds, socially and culturally. Given the cultural diversity of India, the eclectic nature of group work makes it a tough challenge to keep the members motivated. However, there are strategies that can be of great importance in keeping the connection with the spirit active, or simply to keep inspired.

These strategies are simple and extremely valuable, since we are already a generation of ‘group laborers’. From schools to multinational corporations, teamwork or group-work has been the golden rule of material success. I do not deny the importance of material success and therefore the importance of group work. From time to time, it is necessary to light some candles to make our ways clearer and to remind ourselves that we are one with the spirit of the project.
Image Courtesy: Google

The simplest strategy for Staging Sustenance of spirit is to use stickers and wallpapers with the core message of the project printed on it. These will function as signboards for the members of the team to recover their lost direction. After some time, though, familiarity sets in and some members might lose sight of what is well in front of them. This can be averted by changing the wordings on the signboards and wallpapers.

Group emails and using the social media are other advantageous propositions that can be utilized to make this a reality. In other words, the stage if sustenance is not a fantasy or a word game.

Assemblies are another irreplaceable stratagem for maintain a successful Stage of Sustenance. By conducting group-exercises and assemblies, we could provide an opportunity for the team-leaders to motivate and spread the message of the project into individual members.

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A primary school sits adjacent to the community college I work at. Every morning, as I walk by the school, since I occasionally take a route to the college that leads through the front courtyard of the school, I witness an assembly, in which little boys and girls stand in attention and listen to their headmaster. There is prayer, there is some food for thought, and the whole gathering disperses in silence after a few minutes.

It is refreshing to see those young boys and girls in unison stepping slowly up on the ladder of their life, each day at a time. Soon, they too will start dreaming success and journeys beyond the world of their homes. What I find there in the open ground in front the primary school is the necessity to listen to leaders or headmasters when we work in teams. I have been taught this invaluable lesson through that relatively minor event at the school, every day, day after day.

What does this message mean to National Games 2015 and those who are associated with it?

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Staying in spirit, and standing upright through the pressures of the much awaited event requires enormous strength and integrity. It would go easier of individual members of the group that worked hard to make National Games a reality in Kerala, if they had a leader to motivate them, each day just like that headmaster at the open ground in front the primary school. I am saddened to see that the motivating capacity of our leaders has remained close to nothing.

There was a time when people were ready to die for protecting our land from invaders. Right now, we live through a time when the same people are themselves invaders in their own homes.

The complete answer to the question you read above, in bold letters, is not here. You may still have found a few nuggets. We haven’t asked the serious question yet, though. The real question is not what we could do for National Games. The question of real importance is; how can the individual remain true to one’s spirit?

Let’s find an answer together.               
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