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Race day beckons

The series of controversies surrounding the inaugural Indian Grand Prix notwithstanding, the truth of the matter remains that the country's first ever Formula One race will do more good than harm to our billion-plus nation.

Sport can never do any one any harm, and contrary to what the Indian government believes, Formula One is a sport. Any activity that demands such an optimum level of fitness from drivers can be nothing else. And given India's ever growing young population, sport serves as the perfect activity to not only get them in shape but also to inculcate in them a certain level of discipline.

There was a decent turnout yesterday to watch the Vettels, the Hamiltons and the Schumachers of the world strut their stuff at the Buddh International Circuit during practice for the Indian GP.

And, even though seven-time world champion Schumacher languishes at eighth spot in the Drivers Championship, the huge roar from the handful of fans for Schumacher when he brought on his Mercedes GP car on to the track, shows that idol worship in India is not restricted to cricketers and film stars alone.

Now Schumacher is discipline personified. So, given our youngsters' tendency to blindly ape their sporting heroes both on and off the track, if even a few pick up some of Schumacher's habits, we'd have a healthier India.

So far, India has proved to the world that it can successfully host a big sporting extravaganza. Following the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games mess, this repair job was essential. At least now, the international media, even as much as they hate to admit it, will have to appreciate the perfect BIC racetrack. Race Day beckons.

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