Friday, September 30, 2005
Sania mania – "Now, Tennis is Sania (in India)" says, my friend, Ashwini. True. Sania is 'everywhere'...not just on Indian tennis fans' minds and on the tennis court but also looking at us from out of billboards and talking to us from out of the Idiot box, asking us to trust a certain oil and petroleum major, a jeweller et al. Celebrity marketing in India is most certainly not going to take a break. As I sat thinking about the craze and madness, I saw the opportunities that are arising out of this case and before long, I was sort of proven right by a fact-based article on the same lines in a leading daily. There are opportunities amidst the madness….more people are, as I imagined, taking to tennis - which is good in my opinion. More people are choosing tennis as their career and life, more people are getting into the ‘business’ of tennis. At least in Hyderabad, where Sania comes from. What we need is, if there can be such a thing, a controlled mania (an oxymoron, I agree) once in a while….we need more leaders and trend setters in each area that is 'important' to us. For example, a charismatic person leading the initiative of ‘Save the tiger’ (Talwar, for example, is one passionate ‘tiger’ himself). The green revolution (Dr. Swaminathan) and operation flood (Dr. Kurien) are fitting examples. What needs to go with such phenomena is the media. Media can shape today’s youth by understanding the need of the hour and ‘blowing up’ the ‘right’ things in the ‘right’ manner. I think editors, columnist thought-leaders, journalists, television anchors, (and not to forget, authors) etc have a fantastic opportunity to shape the country’s youth. The responsibility that they carry on their shoulders is perhaps many times more than some people realize. They can slowly but surely make or break moulds and opinions and careers. The governing forces of the country need to get this clan of people on their side (or maybe vice versa :)) and collaborate with them.