There was a peculiar jinx when it came to sports and politics in India. Every Olympic Gold Medal and Cricket World Cup was won when there was a Congress Prime Minister.
Just look at the list…
1948 Hockey Gold: Nehru.
1952 Hockey Gold: Nehru.
1956 Hockey Gold: Nehru.
1964 Hockey Gold: Shastri.
1980 Hockey Gold: Indira.
2008 Shooting Gold: Manmohan.
You can argue that most of our hockey golds came early on when only the Congress used to rule. But even if you count from 1977, when the continuous Congress rule ended, then the only 2 golds had been under Congress PMs.
The same was with the cricketing World Cup.
The only hockey World Cup was also won under Indira in 1975.
Apart from the World Cup, the ICC has been hosting many other global tournaments from 1998. 1998-2021, the Congress has ruled for only 10 years. But even here they score.
ICC Knockout Trophy 2000: India lost in the final when Vajpayee was PM.
ICC Champions Trophy 2002: Final washed out. We shared the trophy technically, but didn’t win the final outright.
ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Final lost when Modi was PM.
2019-21 ICC Test Championship: We lost the final when Modi was PM.
The only ICC Champions Trophy final we won outright was when Manmohan was PM in 2013.
In a way you could call it a 70+-year-old jinx.
But now Neeraj Chopra has shattered this jinx in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics by winning the Javelin Gold. This is a stupendous achievement because athletics is probably the most competitive arena around. Forget every country: It is intensely fought over in every school in the world. Billions have tried their hand at some athletic discipline or another.
To make matters even greater, this was our greatest Olympics ever with 1 Gold, 2 Silvers and 4 Bronzes for a total of 7 medals and many hard-fought fourth positions in diverse sports like women’s hockey and golf.
Now it’s time to break the World Cup jinx and India should win the ICC T20 World Cup later this year.