Friday, March 04, 2005

Narain Karthikeyan, F1 and India

Narain may not approve of the title - "Why did you bring F1 between me and my beloved county?" this wear-nationalism-on-your-head-and-whereever-else-you-can driver is certain to ask.

I propably started off on the wrong note (or gear). To make things clear - I respect Narain and his accomplisments - being the first Indian to race F1 is no mean accomplishment. I dig the F1 (as my wife will readily attest) , love my country and show a great sense of pride in being an Indian.

Narain has helped put India on the F1 map and has shown the world another facet of India - an India that has gone from being a land of snake charmers and elephants to the land of IT-itis and the back office of the world. Yes, this is definitely a good thing.

I confess to following the F1 grapevine this season as Narain is in it, rather than sticking to just watching the races as I did earlier. What I fail to understand is why Narain has to be so overly patriotic and appear as if he is doing it for the country, topping it off (quite literally) with a tricolor helmet. I, for one, am against overt nationalism - particularly in sports. It is the last place one needs to show patriotism.

We are who we are, at least in part, because of our motherland. It is there for all to see - no point in the patriotism-in-your-face attitude; just makes one lose sight of the big picture. What?

The Australian Grand Prix starts tomorrow and I will be closely following Narain's lap times. It will be a great achievement, given his lack of clocked time, if he completes the race on Sunday, even as one of the last few.

Good luck mate and er... Jai Hind!!

No comments: