17 August 2010

Nepali sport hurt by a lack of Commonwealth

Could the stalemate against the Brits in the Anglo-Nepalese War have hurt Nepal's sporting prowess?

The Commonwealth Games torch arrived a few days back in my present home in Hyderabad and it had me thinking about Nepal's absence from the various Commonwealth sporting galas.

Beyond the SAG and Asian Games, most of our SAARC neighbors also participate in the high level Commonwealth Games and other Commonwealth sports meets. This gives their athletes increased opportunities to achieve glory and develop their sporting prowess. Meanwhile our sportsman are sitting at a chiya pasal in Tripureswor drinking tea and eating biscuits.

Despite Gurkhas serving in the British Army for over a hundred years, Nepal has no constitutional links (heck, we don't even have a constitution right now!) to Britain, thus we do not qualify to be a Commonwealth Nation. If we had been swept-up by the British Empire, we would probably all hold Indian passports today (oh dear!). So it's all a bit of a catch 22.