4 more years to the Olympics, maybe.Who cares?

So tonight and the loss to South Africa in the finals of the Olympic Qualifier Finals means that the Indian Women’s Hockey team has failed to qualify for the London Olympics. This means that the team has to wait for 4 more years to try and qualify for the next Olympic games.

But here’s the real deal – who cares?

South African players celebrate their victory against India for the final position of the FIH London 2012 Olympic Hockey qualifying tournament at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi on February 25, 2012.

Shelley Russell (C) of South Africa celebrates a goal with teammates during the women's field hockey match between India and South Africa for the final position of the FIH London 2012 Olympic Hockey qualifying tournament at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi on February 25, 2012.

It makes me so mad. It makes me so angry. It makes me want to hit my head against the wall when there is such a step-motherly treatment for the so-called national game of my country. And it makes me sad to see the state of the team, the state of the players, their well-trained, muscular opponents outclassing them even when our team clearly has ample more skills and talent.

It makes me mad when a male laughs and asks mockingly, ‘Is there a women’s team? Oh I seriously didn’t know’ . I feel like pointing them towards the amazing female players that our women’s team has and the stupendous effort they’ve made to reach the finals of this qualifying tournament. If only people would care enough to pick up and actually read the newspaper that is delivered to their home everyday.  It makes me sad when people have such low expectations from the women team and demand the opposite from the male team. Why? Why the difference in perception? Since when has it become fashionable to bring down and mock female participation in sports? Do women play only so that male spectators can come to jeer and ogle? Do they? Do they?

South Africa's Lesle-Ann George (L) fights for the ball with India's captain Asunta Lakra during their London 2012 Olympic Games women's field hockey final qualifying match in New Delhi February 25, 2012.

It breaks my heart when virtually no friend of mine follows this glorious sport. The sport that has won India 8 Olympic golds. It makes me sad that people would actually watch a TV premier of a movie and not the Olympic Qualifier finals for their national women’s team. It makes me so so sad. It makes me so angry.

But as I said, who cares?

The team will slog on for the coming 4 years and try to make it to the Olympics, try to better their ranking. But will anything change? Will the perception change? That is why our team desperately needed the win tonight – to shut up a lot of people and show them how the game is played. To show them that women don’t play with any less passion or dedication when compared to men. To show that we have an equal stake. Yes we do.

Do you care?