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The week that went past was, like most weeks, a mixture of good news and bad. Let’s get rid of the bad news first. Sadly for those of us in Karnataka who have the best interests of the State in mind, “Have you caste your vote?” has become the slogan of our times.

On the one hand, we are proud of Bangalore’s astonishing growth over the last few decades. It has grown to be prominently known all over the world, thanks in large part to the cosmopolitan mix of its people who work together to make it India’s IT capital. On the other, we are shocked to find the depths our politicians can sink to. Even the BJP, touted earlier as being different from the machinations of its main rival, the Congress, seems to have sunk to its nadir. Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda, a Vokkaliga (does that really matter?) is likely to resign any day now to make way for a Lingayat Chief Minister, Jagadish Shettar ( who cares which caste he belongs to anyway as long as he is an efficient administrator?). The whole re-jig has been engineered on caste lines. I would imagine this is much to the detriment of the party and the State. Ultimately, the politicians will find ways to feather their own nests irrespective of who/which party/part of party is in power. The sufferers will be the common people.

The good news for the week is that India will be sending its largest contingent ever to the Olympics starting in London on July 29. There will be 81 athletes from 13 disciplines. This is very encouraging. In the 50s and 60s, India’s only hope was in field hockey, a game we had dominated for decades. The game then changed and we lost our coveted position as world beaters.

With fairly good prospects for medals from sportspeople like Abhinav Bindra, Ronjan Sodhi (in shooting), Deepika Kumari ( in archery), Saina Nehwal ( in badminton) and Vijender Singh and Mary Kom (in boxing), we go with far higher hopes than in previous Olympics. At the last Olympics held in Beijing in 2008, we got 3.medals: a gold from Abhinav Bindra and bronzes from Sushil Kumar ( wrestling) and Vijender Singh (boxing.) Will 1.2 billion Indians have more to cheer about after the 2012 London Olympics? Time will tell, but our best wishes go out to our athletes. May they make their country proud.

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