A rags to riches story that should make every Indian proud. An unassuming Golfer from Kolkatta won the Indian Masters title at the Delhi Golf Club but the Media has been ignorant of it. A great inspiration story buried even before it can be told.
In the first ever European level Tournament in India, it would have been only fitting that an Indian won it. It is interesting to note that SSP Chowrasia had no formal training in Golf. He was a greenskeeper’s son and was self taught. This was the third ever win of a European tournament by an Indian. Arjun Atwal was the first Indian golfer to win the European Tour International schedule at the 2002 Singapore Open Masters.
The 29 year old champion Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia pocketed a handsome amount of $416,660., the highest prize money ever won by any Indian Sportsman. Chowrasia had been playing professional golf since he was 19, but had not won any major international Golf Tournament but with this win he moved up the international golfer’s rankings to 161 and also at the top of the Asian order of merit. Chowrasia always used to fail at the last hurdle that is the finals, but in front of his home crowd he absorbed the pressure to emerge the winners beating fellow greats like Ernie Els, Arjun Atwal and Damien McGrane.
Going in the footsteps of Ali Sher and Feroz Ali who were also caddie turned golfers, SSP Chowrasia now stands as an inspiration to numerous caddies around India who have hopes of playing in an international Golf tournament some day. And Chowrasai too believes that the Caddies have it in them to accomplish the feat, and tries to help the caddies whenever he can.
In October 2006, this man had stood runners up in the Indian Open behind Jyoti Randhawa and had won his biggest cheque of 33,900 dollars. When asked about an international open, the humble down to earth Bengali had said,
”I don’t think I can play in such cold conditions. After all, Bengalis don’t want to move out in winter without their blanket and you can’t swing the club with the rag on” But winning in the cold winter of Delhi, Chowrasia has proved himself wrong.
In a country like India, the Media plays a big role in building a Sport. Golf though a very popular sport world wide has not got the recognition it deserves in India. And chowrasia’s win shows that you do not have to be a millionaire to be able to afford the Golf Clubs. The Media’s bias towards Sports other than cricket is there for all to see. Well, the media persons have a tailor made answer ready that they reflect only what the Society does or indeed in this case wants.
But the Media should understand that it can play the role of a Leader. It can awaken a revolution among the people whether it is injustice done to the poor or the lack of law and order. The Media should focus on Sports like Hockey, Golf and Football. We do not expect an entire Sports channel dedicated to such Sports but at least a fifteen minute piece everyday will not cause any real harm. But, the TV channels would rather play the same cricket clip again and again than playing a clip of a different Sport.
The Print and the Internet Media is equally guilty here. Here is a young Indian who has won an international Masters tournament and is being discussed all over the World but back home in India, people barely know anything about him. And after winning the highest Sports prize money ever by an Indian, he still cannot feature in the Headlines of a news paper or a TV channel.
If in a Sport we aren’t really doing well, I can understand the Media wants to stay away from it. But in spite of winning the Indian Masters, if the Media chooses to ignore Chowrasia then it is due to the Media Bias. What was astonishing to see was on his arrival back to Kolkatta, there were not a large number of Media persons to talk to him. The Reason an IPL meeting was taking place in Kolkatta and all the Media personnel had been stationed there.
The Media needs to wake up and realize that it’s main job is to inform the people and not to entertain them. Otherwise Heart Warming stories like these would be buried even before they can be told.