Opinion: Aspirant manned space nation India faces up to embarrassing power cut and Olympic disappointment (Updated)

by | Aug 1, 2012 | History | 0 comments

While India continues to make plans to launch astronauts (“Gaganauts”) into space (and thus catch up with its neighbour China) albeit that the GSLV 3 launch vehicle it planned for man-rating, has yet to fly successfully, it has now had the embarrassment of having much of Northern and Eastern India cut off from power.

The power cuts in late July were not due to solar storms, that traditional cause of mass power cuts, but were rather because demand exceeded supply.  The power cuts have put India under other pressure.  The economically fast-growing nation had arleady been under fire by aid-giving nations for having a manned space programme at the same time as much of its population still live in poverty and do not have efficient road, sewerage, and power services. 

There was, of course, one benefit for those Indians living in the power cut regions, they could not see TV coverage of the Olympics (India normally underperforms at the games relative to its size) as their only gold medalist from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Abhinav Bindra, failed to qualify for the final of the 10m air rifle.

Still, at least he tried.   Four pairs of badminton players from China, South Korea and Indonesia have been reprimanded and later disqualified for not trying hard enough in their group games. And we were thinking that the Olympics had become too competitive.  Actually, it was all down competion tactics as they had allegedly worked out that by losing certain matches in the group stage (the competition used to be all knockout but this was changed) would give them a better chance in the later stages of the competition.

When it comes to not trying hard, well you cannot say that of  Team GB.  With no gold medals after four days, they are trying their hardest.  In fact, there are signs of panic within the team:  the signs being that they are asking the British public not to panic. 

LATE NEWS: British Gold Medal Panic Over!  Like London buses, after a long wait, two come a long almost together.  On the morning of 1 August, Helen Glover and Heather Stanning showed true Brit grit as they won the gold medal in the women’s pair rowing event.  Then later the same day,  Bradley Wiggins, fresh from his Tour De France cycling title, won the Olympic cycling time trial gold medal. This proves yet again that the Brits are best at sports involving sitting down.

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