Does India have the worst sports results per capita?

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by Brett UK, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. Brett UK

    Brett UK Semi-Pro

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    Look at the population of India and their sports results are probably the worst in the world.

    - In the 2012 Olympics they ranked 55th on the medal table. (no gold)
    - In the winter olympics they won no medal.
    - Football they are ranked 150th.
    - In Test cricket they are ranked 5th equal out of 8 top tier nations. England are pretty terrible right now and they are thrashing India. I think even NZ with 4m people thrashed India in a recent test series. It seems like they don't even try away from home. No fight.
    - Their top tennis player is ranked 89.

    A lot of the posters on this forum are Indian and say Nadal is terrible because of this, or Federer is terrible because of that. Laughable that anyone can really type away picking holes in these all time legends.

    Is India per capita the worst sporting country in the world? I also wonder who is the best per capita? Perhaps Jamaica? ...Serbia not too bad especially with tennis.
     
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  2. cjs

    cjs Semi-Pro

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    Its all about money.

    1 billion people in a poor developing country - what do you expect?
     
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  3. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    India still has hundreds of millions of people still engaged in a subsistence economy.
     
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  4. kOaMaster

    kOaMaster Hall of Fame

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    I'd go for Croatia.

    And I think India has way too many social and economic problems to compete in sports. Plus, it is big enough not to care too much.
     
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  5. Federer302

    Federer302 Guest

    In terms of population India is the worst sporting country in the world.

    However money buys medals. Britain is having success because they have invested.
     
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  6. Chanwan

    Chanwan Legend

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    As far as I know, sports is just not a real part of the culture (cricket aside). And then India have a long list of more important problems than how to create the next sports star.

    But I'm keen to hear what the experts are saying?
     
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  7. Brett UK

    Brett UK Semi-Pro

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    yes let's see what the experts offer. I do observe that Indians are big sports fans with a very high number of posters on this forum so I think they like watching sports very much.
     
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  8. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    Kenia and ethiopia are MUCH poorer than india and they win tons of medals in running. some rather poor african countries are quite good at Soccer (Senegal, Ghana).

    india has a lot of poor People but is an economically rising Country. other much poorer countries do much better in sports than india per capita.

    also india has a large Upperclass of People (which is growing) which should feed "Snob sports" like Tennis, golf, cricket, hockey (which they used to be good in). they should be much better in sports with their ressources.
     
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  9. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

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    Maybe because of the traditional caste system, People don't feel there's much point in excelling cos they can't progress anyway.
     
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  10. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    India intrigues me alot. just the whole experiment of the largest democracy in the world; so much potential but so many problems needing solutions.

    and then theres China right next door taking a very different tact and seemingly having better results.

    the two most populous nations on earth, both with relatively homogenous populations (at least by race/ethnicity) and rich histories.

    very interesting dynamic/dichotomy...
     
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  11. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    good point. you can have all the human capital in the world, but if artificially supressed it remains untapped...
     
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  12. BeefyDeedz

    BeefyDeedz New User

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    Could well be the caste system. Systematic discrimination tends to do things like that.
     
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  13. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    I've worked with Indian doctors and nurses for decades and I can't recall ever seeing a single one of them yell. I've always found them wonderfully peaceful by and large and wonder if that also may be a factor in lack of athletic success -- being less aggressively competitive than some other cultures.
     
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  14. Russeljones

    Russeljones G.O.A.T.

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    I think it's plausible. China has put a lot of effort into using sport as part of the party's propaganda. India could very well have a gene pool capable of producing elite sportsmen but some critical elements must be missing in the country as a whole.
     
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  15. MG1

    MG1 Professional

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    India's sports results are poor but they are improving ....

    2012 Olympics was the best results so far in terms of medal won

    In cricket, India won last World cup,Champions Trophy and was also runner up T20 WC...in Test cricket ,,they've strongest home record(with Aus) ..they were no. 1 ranked test team 3 years back .. There ranking dipped because retirement of 5-6 main players circa oz 2008-12

    There performance is improving at Commonwealth & Asian games...

    Lastly .. population does not have much relevance with sports supremacy..
     
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  16. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    ? time to put beef on the training table ?
     
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  17. Russeljones

    Russeljones G.O.A.T.

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    USA, USSR, Germany, France, China, Iran etc. all point to the opposite being true.
     
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  18. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    ^^ Australia always seems to show up in the top 4 or so at the summer Olympics, and does pretty well in other sports as well. Seems like it's mandatory there to play a sport. Population is about 23 million.
     
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  19. MG1

    MG1 Professional

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    I suppose all these countries have high per capita income also (except china)
     
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  20. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    That depends on where you dealt with them. The peculiar thing about Indians is that if you keep them in India and ask them to grow and make a living here, they are ruthless-not in a productive sense but in a destructive sense. I've been involved in the legal profession for sometime and also experienced "Indian bureaucracy" in some ways. There are those by hundreds who WANT to see you die in mediocrity. But put an Indian outside India and you'll see them flourish magnificently if he/she has the access to decent resources-I often think this is because they don't view Western minds as "threats." Not because they are not but because of the number of opportunities available to them with decent education.

    As for sports-Indian culture has been conditioned to "manufacture" a certain strata of society. Sports involves too much risk. Never ask Indians to take major risks. They don't unless they're the sort having nothing to lose in life. Having a stable job and family are still the most important things in life for us. Not for me personally but most I know.
     
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  21. Keizer

    Keizer Semi-Pro

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    Perhaps, but there are far more divisions that exist. India is lingually diverse, the caste system still exists and people in different geographical regions resent each other. Of course, much is this comes from politicking by opportunistic leaders who try to play up the sense of regional belonging.

    China too has clear distinctions. The north western provinces are home to a Muslim minority and have been host to several protests against the dominant Han majority. There are several indications that China's government is not as stable as it once was.
     
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  22. Dave1982

    Dave1982 Rookie

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    Certainly an interesting topic and I think a number of posters have made some excellent and very relevant points as to why India haven't excelled in world sports.
    Ultimately it does come back to culture and money.

    China is a very class driven society with an increasing middle class and in a general sense everyone is striving for something better in China (bigger apartment, better car, flashier clothes). Excelling at sport is seen as a way of climbing the class ladder in China and hence one reason why such a focus is placed upon it. Additionally China views sporting excellence (especially on the world stage) as a way of generating national pride, as a result the government sees great value in investing heavily in sporting programs which are proven to achieve success.

    India on the other hand doesn't value sport as highly. As an Indian, achieving international success within a sport doesn't guarantee you the same fame and fortune you would receive if you were Chinese. Additionally whilst being a class driven society, India has a significantly larger lower class population as opposed to China, unfortunately for these people, whilst talented, they simply don't have the same opportunities.
     
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  23. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Besides field hockey, for which India has won 11 Olympic medals and cricket, no other sports have really been emphasized in India besides cricket. The country has never invested heavily in Olympic training programs. No central planning has been a huge factor. Academics for kids is emphasized of course. Culturally, fitness and sports is gaining more prominence as the country improves economically. It is not due to traits such as "aggressiveness" in my opinion. Look at Indians succeed in so many pursuits academically in other countries including the U.S. and elsewhere, which also requires some amount of "grit". There are many Indian-Americans that do really well in junior tennis here in the U.S. also. Cricket rules in India and in 2011 India won the World Cup. In tennis at least India has had some excellent doubles results.
     
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  24. Russeljones

    Russeljones G.O.A.T.

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    In relative terms. However the relative lack of success of the majority of high income per capita countries would show that wealth, in itself, is not the leading factor. Large population countries are mostly rich in sporting success. This group also has exceptions, which I would hazard would include Brazil, Nigeria, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc.

    So what are the common denominators?
    Low income per capita = not always but relevant
    Recently become independent = not always but relevant

    You guys come up with more..
     
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  25. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near Talk Tennis Guru

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    Relax folks, ...
    Well, the sporting infrastructures need to be in place... and there's no match for experience.

    I've only glanced at the thread so perhaps this has already been mentioned.
     
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  26. fhdowntheline

    fhdowntheline Rookie

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    Poverty is no longer the major challenge in India. There is money both in the hands of individuals and the corporate world. The fact of the matter is that urban middle and upper middle segment Indians (those who buy automobiles and apartments and make all the lifestyle purchases) is burgeoning by the minute. This segment consists of millions of people and all they are interested in is to enjoy the comforts of life. Sport is not one of their principal hobbies. They do have the money to spend on sports for themselves or their children , but they would rather save that up for the expensive Engineering/Medicine/MBA courses.
    About semi-urban and rural India, there is plenty of talent but no outlet. Nor is there any government or even corporate support.
     
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  27. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Yes, this seems to be a very good description. When I visit India that's what I see as well. For example, there are more juniors playing tennis, yet they're out there hitting after a very long day of school. Perhaps things will change with some more government and corporate support in the decades to come. Besides cricket, there isn't a sport where the whole country is really involved and vested.
     
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  28. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    LOL Winter Olympics is not that relevant to India. Such kind of sports is confined to a few people, mainly the Indian Army who needs to be stationed at those high altitudes and some mountaineering types.

    Today, caste is not a barrier, especially in urban areas and government service. There is aggressive policing and sensitivity to discrimination is very high.

    India does well in tennis (Krishnans, Amritrajs, Paes, Bhupathi, Bopanna, Sania), badminton (Padukone, Nehwal), wrestling (Dara Singh, Susheel Kumar), and archery.

    Many Indians do not believe in sports, though they won't tell you that, and maybe they also don't think like that explicitly. What I mean is that there is a growing realization that sports is not required for fitness or character building. The character building myth of course was debunked a long time ago when sports became commercial and parents started to take over the management of their children. But increasingly it is being realized that the fitness attained by sports is temporary and there is also a great risk of injury. There are just way too many ex-athletes who are in a horrible condition. The new wave of thinking is that doing Yoga and similar stuff is a lifelong way to be fit, not playing a sport intensively, getting injured, and eating a lot of cr*p because you feel hungry after playing.

    Organized modern sport came to colonial countries through the British. It was never a priority before that. Local Indian sports were agriculture-based, like rodeos with cows and bulls, or fighting with sticks during harvest celebrations, etc., and used biodegradable materials.
     
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  29. kalyan4fedever

    kalyan4fedever Hall of Fame

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    India is not known for sports it is known for its Spiritual Advancement and the knowledge it has given to the world in the vedic era
     
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  30. Agassifan

    Agassifan Hall of Fame

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    This honor definitely belongs to Pakistan (180 million). Even at the Second rate commonwealth games, they got 4 medals (0 gold). India won 64 medals (15 gold).
     
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  31. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    using the 'immigrant example' can be misleading IMO.

    of course there is greater oppurtunity in nations that migrants choose to go and reside (otherwise why would they leave there home land in the first place), but immigrants in general are more aggressive and/or greater risk takers/ambitious than their native peers.
     
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  32. Vrad

    Vrad Semi-Pro

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    Some very poor responses.

    Caste system has nothing to do with it. It is hardly prevalent in cities anymore and besides, it is nothing compared to the suppression of African Americans in the US, and no one would say African Americans haven't done well.

    The lack of sportspeople is very simple. Massive malnutrition amongst the poor prevents them from excelling at sports. And amongst the richer parts of the population parents insist kids excel at academics at the expense of sports. There are no publicly available sporting facilities, or sporting facilities in schools. Students usually spend their after school hours doing homework.
     
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  33. Shady_Sawyer

    Shady_Sawyer Rookie

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    It has been my personal observation that the English and wherever their anglo saxon race extends to Australia and USA have some sort of a weird India bashing fetish. Something about India and its people just irritates them and they never miss a chance to malign the country and all its people either verbally or physically or even financially on a political level even today with posters like Bretts.. Perhaps India simply reminds them that 90% of their success during the last 500 years came out of raping this group of people in every possible way.
     
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  34. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Yes, in general. Yet if you spend any time in India, you realize that many of the same traits are within the Indian population as well. Many struggle mightily and those that succeed not largely due to status or class are extremely aggressive. The country just doesn't have the same opportunity and organization as the United States for example. Having grown up in the U.S. I've had a chance to compare the two countries over the years and goodness of India would get it's act together from a government standpoint for one thing, the population would produce some amazing results. If sports such as soccer were properly encouraged in India, with facilities and resources, you'd see a big uptick in performance. As far as results in the Olympics, the biggest sports in India are not big Olympic sports such as Track & Field.

    http://sporteology.com/top-10-most-popular-sports-in-india/

    Soccer is one sport where India could choose to focus in the years to come, along with perhaps track and field. The country needs proper sports investment and planning. You'd have to encourage national competitions and groom athletes from a young age. The talent pool is large, so it's primarily a question of prioritizing and doing the work to get better sports results.
     
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  35. kalyan4fedever

    kalyan4fedever Hall of Fame

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    Sounds about right, and the britishers successfully did that, the current indians don't know about their own rich culture and after 800 years under islamic rule, the britishers came next and robbed all the riches of bharat and introduced a foreign language 'english' to replace the brilliant Sanskrit system. The vast majority of inventions that came from Bharat(India) are termed as western inventions like calculus(from Kerala), trigonometry, geometry, the entire numeral system which later was dubbed as arab numeral system, pythogoras theorem (Straight lift from sulbha shastras), fibonacci series( originally by pingala), binary numbers(pingala), everything can be traced back to it. It has got to be some sort of wonder that still after 1000 years under foreign rulers, some of the vedic texts survived the wrath
     
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  36. R_Federer

    R_Federer Professional

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    Saying you're good at tennis because you have doubles players is laughable. Doubles is recreation tennis.
     
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  37. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Paes still likes to remind people that he defeated Sampras once in singles :)
     
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  38. President

    President Legend

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    As others have said, it is just due to the lack of sporting culture in India. Indians want a "safe bet" for their kids typically, and sports (no matter which sport we are talking about) certainly do not offer that. Much safer to be an engineer or a doctor. Those who do have the hunger for sports glory are often too poor to succeed in sports which take a certain amount of infrastructure/training, which costs money.
     
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  39. KtM

    KtM Rookie

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    You guys have failed to mention one thing.

    Poor economy = poor diet. They among many things, many dont get enough protein. How is a country who's average height of 5ft6 or shorter supposed to dominate in any sport? If they dont get proper nutrition to sustain taller growth how are they supposed to afford an even more expensive diet needed to nurture a world class athlete?
     
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  40. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Vijay Amritraj (70's-80's) and Ramanathan Krishnan (50's-60's) were both accomplished Indian players. Krishnan, whose son Ramesh was also quite good, reached the Wimbledon semifinals twice. It's been a while since India has had any great singles players though.
     
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  41. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I have looked into this, and don't agree. There were some flashes of brilliance and some ad-hoc formulas here and there, but nothing compared to what came out of Europe later. I don't view it as a competition, but more like some ideas from one place percolated and influenced ideas in another place, directly or indirectly.
     
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  42. President

    President Legend

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    China's average height is almost the same as India's, and they don't seem to be having much of a problem :)
     
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  43. ivan_the_terrible

    ivan_the_terrible Hall of Fame

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    They're not very sophisticated in their doping, and I' not talking about tennis here.

    Didn't a bunch of them get busted in the Commonwealth games or some such?

    Olympic-style doping avoidance is just not on their radar, that's all.

    Someone mentioned Jamaica as a country that outperforms them - proves my point right there.

    Citing China for comparison also reinforces this conclusion.
     
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  44. bjsnider

    bjsnider Professional

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    I spoke to someone from the region who said there's an enormous amount of institutionalized corruption everywhere, touching every aspect of daily life. This is probably what's holding back the society.
     
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  45. KtM

    KtM Rookie

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    Well their per capita is still much much lower than any western country thats the general point. And northern chinese are apparently quite tall like Yao Ming where high protein diets are the norm.

    I'm not saying its the only reason, but it is one of many factors, and one that people failed to mention in earlier posts.
     
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  46. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    an article recently stated that its not poor nutrition but poor sanitation habits and infrastructure that negatively impact India's population.
     
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  47. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    India's sporting culture has never been the same since sureshs defected to the USA.
     
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  48. stringertom

    stringertom G.O.A.T.

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    US tennis has gone in the toilet since this defecation!:twisted:
     
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  49. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    That's my vote. Who knows how many Tendulkars there were in IND whose dads weren't novelists?

    But they have SRK (Shahrukh Khan), the Tom Hanks of Bollywood - and Amitabh Bachman, the Al Pacino of Bollywood - so who needs sports stars? Watched tons of Bollywood via Netflix - good stuff (although I do occasionally ffwd through the song/dance numbers)
     
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  50. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    It's not holding China back!

    And the fact is that India is developing rather well but not as quickly as north east asia, obviously.

    American capitalism prefers to outsource production to more authoritarian societies like communist ones for obvious reasons.

    India is too messily democratic.


     
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