At this time, nobody is likely to question, much less shrug off, all the accolades, gifts, and cash being showered on the medalists in the recent Tokyo Olympics. The conversations around this subject center on the hard work and training getting to the podium and the support (or lack thereof) from the public and private sector. In general, many just want to bask in the reflected glory of these new entrants in the country’s celebrity club.

It has even become an issue on who has the right to offer congratulations, as if the vicarious titillation of victory needs to be earned. Should former red taggers also join the reception line?

Maybe, it’s the shared gloom of the lockdowns and frustration over the pandemic that made the playing of our national anthem with a compatriot on the podium so uplifting for the country’s spirit. Would the jubilation be as pronounced in more normal times when all are caught up in the busy hustle of life?

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