Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Tag: London Olympics

Mitt Romney loses

Willard Mitt Romney lost U.S. Presidential election. This election did not have a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) or anyone who had served in the military as presidential or vice presidential candidate from Democratic or Republican side.

It is said that the proportion of whites in American population is decreasing. It is 72%. If it had been 76% Mitt Romney would have won. The counter-argument is that in 2008 the white percentage was 74% and Barack Obama won with higher percentage.

Mitt Romney had offended the British when he went to London when Olympics were nearby. Prime Minister David Cameron said hosting Olympics in London was different and it is easy to run an Olympics in the middle of nowhere referring to Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002 which Mitt Romney had organized. London Mayor Boris Johnson addressed a crowd and asked “There is a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we’re ready. Are we ready? Are we ready? Yes we are.” The crowd said “Yes” every time.

Mitt Romney offended Russians by saying Russia is America’s geopolitical enemy number one. The Chinese where apprehensive about the trade policy he will follow. The Palestinians were offended about the statement about their culture.

Barack Obama was more popular in USA and abroad. In a poll conducted in 21 countries Pakistan was the only country that did not want Barack Obama to win.

Mitt Romney changed his position on issues. When he was governor of Massachusetts he was seen as liberal. When fighting for Republican nomination he was seen as a hardliner. During presidential debate he seemed moderate. Someone said “Mitt Romney is not pro-choice. He is not anti-choice. He is multiple choice.” That was in the context of his changing stance on abortion.

Before the counting began many analysts said the contest was too close to call. The election day may turn into election week or election month. Some talked of the possibility of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney getting 269 electoral votes each and U.S. House of Representatives electing Mitt Romney and President and Senate electing Joseph Biden as Vice President. It was an anti-climax. For sometime Barack Obama and Mitt Romney had a close race. Barack Obama won Ohio. Then at 11.18 p.m. Eastern Time Wolf Blitzer on CNN declared Barack Obama the winner.

Mitt Romney’s statement that he did not care about 47% damaged him. Two Senate candidates created more problems. Todd Akin talked of legitimate rape. Richard Murdock talked of a child conceived due to rape as a gift of God.

Mitt Romney had tried for nomination in 2008. This time he got nomination but lost the election. Republican hardliners may have been miffed at his changing positions. Some may not have voted for him because he was a Mormon.

Herman Cain, Rick Perry, John Huntsman, Michelle Bachman, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul were Mitt Romney’s competitors for Republican nomination. Ron Paul did not concede defeat. It is of academic interest what would have happened if Mitt Romney had chosen Rick Santorum as his running mate.

Some are concerned about the money spent on presidential election. The president is not directly elected by the people. It is better for U.S. Congress to elect President and Vice President for 4-year terms whenever the vacancy arises.

Six medals in London Olympics

I expected five medals in London Olympics; one each in archery, badminton, boxing, shooting, and wrestling. We got six. In archery we did not get a medal. In badminton we got one. In boxing we got one. I expected a medal from one of the seven men; we got from a woman, Mary Kom, the only woman boxer. In shooting we got two. I expected one from Abhinav Bindra, we got silver medal from Vijay Kumar and bronze medal from Gagan Narang. In wrestling we got bronze medal from Yogeshwar Dutt and silver medal from Sushil Kumar. Sushil Kumar became the first Indian to win two individual Olympic medals. In Beijing we got one gold and two bronze. In London we got two silver and four bronze.

I did not expect any medal in hockey and tennis. In hockey India did not get a penalty corner against Holland in its first match and lost the match 2-3, a difference of one goal. Next match India lost by two goals, third, fourth, and fifth matches by three goals each. They lost to New Zealand 1-3, to Germany 2-5, to South Korea 1-4, and to Belgium 0-3. In the classification match to decide 11th and 12th places out of 12 teams India lost to South Africa 2-3 and finished 12th.

In tennis India did not go beyond second round. Some said sending two doubles teams will double the chances of medals. Zero multiplied by two is zero. There was lot of acrimony during selection. Mahesh Bhupati and Rohan Bopanna should not be selected to play for India in Olympics, Davis Cup, Asian Games or any other tournament.

There were controversies in boxing. Sumit Sangwan should have gone to the next round. One commentator said the decision of judges was daylight robbery. India’s appeal against that decision was said to have been thrown out because it was not filed within the stipulated time of 30 minutes. In Vikas Krishnan’s case, judges declared him winner. The Americans appealed against that decision. The jury reversed the decision and Vikas Krishnan was declared loser. India’s re-appeal was dismissed. There was a report that India appealed to Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and CAS said we do not decide on on-field decisions. Later another report said CAS denied having any appeal from India. Manoj Kumar lost to Thomas Stalker in pre-quarter finals. Devendro Singh lost to Paddy Barnes in quarter finals. Manoj Kumar and Devendro Singh claimed they were unfairly deprived of victory.

Indians reached finals in men’s discus throw, women’s discus throw, and semi-final in women’s 800m race. In men’s triple jump Renjith Maheshwari committed three fouls and did not qualify for final.

This Olympics had some strange decisions. Eight badminton players were disqualified for not trying to win. One Tunisian was disqualified for not trying to win 800m race heats. He produced a medical certificate. He was reinstated and won gold medal in 1500m race. South Africans were allowed to compete in men’s 4 x 400m relay without completing the relay in semi-final.

Sania Mirza and humiliation

On 26/6/2012 Sania Mirza and Rushmi Chakrabarty got wild card entry for women’s doubles in London Olympics and Somdev Devvarman in men’s singles. Soon Sania issued a statement. Some excerpts:

“For Leander to consider partnering with Vishnu only if he has a written assurance from me to play mixed is, I think, demeaning for me, Vishnu and Leander. What is even more shocking is the manner in which facts have been misrepresented to justify the breaking up of a team that won a second Grand Slam. Leander and I are not the only combination likely to get a direct entry in the mixed doubles.

As an Indian woman belonging to the 21st century, what I find disillusioning is the humiliating manner in which I was put up as a bait to try and pacify one of the disgruntled stalwarts of Indian tennis… the manner and timing of the announcement reeks of male chauvinism where a two-time Grand Slam champion and No. 1 player in women’s singles and doubles is offered in compensation to partner one of the feuding champions purely in order to lure him into accepting to play with a men’s player he does not wish to play with!

This kind of blatant humiliation of Indian womanhood needs to be condemned even if it comes from the highest controlling body of tennis in our country.”

Anil Khanna, president of AITA, spoke of selection of players on 21/6/2012. Sania should have spoken soon after that. Waiting for wild card and speaking after that is opportunism. Sania has mentioned male chauvinism and blatant humiliation of Indian womanhood. One does not have to put up with humiliation. If Sania felt it was not just her humiliation but humiliation of Indian womanhood she should have refused to play. If she finds it demeaning to play with Leander she should refuse to play with him. She will do a great service to Indian womanhood.

Sania said Mahesh Bhupati had promised to be her partner in London Olympics and broke his promise to her. Krishna Bhupati had said Mahesh is a role model and had promised to partner Rohan Bopanna in Olympics and could not break his promise by agreeing to partner Leander. What about breaking promise to Sania? Is he not a role model then?

Sania mentioned she and Vishnu Vardhan had won silver medal in mixed doubles in Asian Games 2010 and the three stalwarts, Leander, Mahesh and Rohan, had refused to take part. She said she is ready to partner anyone in mixed doubles in Olympics. She has not received wild card for mixed doubles.

There was doubt about Somdev’s fitness when doubles players were considered. Now that he has got wild card for singles he seems to be fit. If Somdev did not want to play doubles Anil Khanna should have said that.

Rohit Rajpal should not have been sent to London to talk to Leander. They could have talked on phone.

Self-respect is greater than playing for country in Olympics. Respect of Indian womanhood is important. Sania can avoid blatant humiliation of Indian womanhood by refusing to be a bait to pacify a male player. She can say she will not play mixed doubles to uphold the dignity of Indian womanhood.

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