What divers of the Thai rescue operation can teach politicians across the world

As great teams tumbled out of the football World Cup, humanity won in a cave in Thailand.

 |  4-minute read |   15-07-2018
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We seem to be constantly living in times of bad news. Nothing seems to be going right in the world. We feel depressed with the news of conflict, confrontation, ugly accusations, and political strife.

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But does that represent the reality of who we are as a people.

It was during a travel show that I made an observation: People are much nicer and warmer than their governments. Indeed.

The Thai rescue of the stranded teen footballers made people across the world empathise with the children and their families. Everyone was glued to either the TV or internet to remain updated on the condition of the children. No one wanted to know what US President Donald Trump had tweeted that week to justify separating children from their parents.

No one cared about what political parties in India were planning for 2019, or that Pakistan had decided to arrest more politicians. That North Koreans had done a complete turnaround or that Venezuela remained a mess.

On the sideline was also the football World Cup contesting for our attention. Football too kept us away from the humdrum of political developments.

It was actually surreal to watch great football teams tumble on the turf of the greatest World Cup competition. Germany was ousted followed by Argentina, Portugal, Brazil, and England.

We need to be really thankful to England for the Premier League that has raised football clubs to such prominence that players kicking the ball on behalf of their countries are now being identified as per their football clubs.

Times have changed to the point where the players have become bigger than the nations they represent (Don't we remember Pele as a Brazilian first?)

Sometimes it is hard to recall which country a player comes from but we do remember his club.

I am sure there are more football fans across the world than there are voters. Some of the viewers in the stadiums of Sochi, Kazan and others were toddlers, proudly wearing the colours they supported.

FIFA 2018 has been a tale of the underdogs — Croatia, Sweden, Uruguay, South Korea, and Japan, which nearly made it.

So while the football superstars were hogging the limelight, a group of 12 boys left their bicycles and clambered into the caves of northern Thailand after a training session. They were accompanied by their football coach on this adventure trip.

As a torrent of rain filled the cave with the boys still inside, the world waited for updates on how they were faring.

As days passed, we wondered if the boys would survive without food and water.

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News channels from across the world congregated in the area where the cave is located to cover the rescue operation. People waited in anticipation of some good news.

When they were found, all 13 of them, the world heaved a sigh of relief. It was a symbol of more than just a successful rescue. It was a sign that humanity wins every time it joins hands and unites with love.

In a world that is marked by divisions and differences, wars, rising prices, job losses, crime against women and continuous marginalisation of the week and the poor, the Thai rescue operation proved to a story of shared hope.

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This is the reason why when the divers gathered from across the globe began the operations to save the children, we cheered loudly.

It was a moment when we realised that as a people, we are warm, helpful, supportive and loving.

The weather reports were ominous just like the reality of the world we live in where free speech, gender justice, right to life and dignity are under constant threat.

But the divers did not let the weather report deter them driven by humanity alone.

This is the unique lesson the episode holds for us: Do you duty responsibly. Just rewards come in due course.

Football is an exciting game, subsequent generations and supporters will ensure its popularity but it's the saviour divers (read our politicians), who need to ensure that hope and goodness remain intact, and forever.

Also read: Is there anything sacrilegious about Sunny Leone’s ‘Kaur’ past?

Writer

Anjoo Mohun Anjoo Mohun @anjoomohun

The writer is addicted to sports and is indebted to the inventor of the flat screen TV.

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