There was a time when Guinness Book Records sparked interest and appreciation from people all around the world like the announcement of the Nobel Prize. Now it appears that there are new entries for new, bizarre or novel feats by people who seem obsessed with the idea of entering the Guinness book of records!
While Indians have won records over the fanciest records: World’s longest moustaches, beards and longest fingernails, there are others like some tedious writing on a grain of rice, eating the hottest chilies’ (in the world) in two minutes, and stacking tallest column of coins and it is startling to note a holy man making the world record for remaining seated for the longest period of time or someone pulling a toy train with his ponytail! It takes great human effort; endurance and will power to achieve a feat that inspires people about the power of human mind, body and spirit. Following some of these fancy world records make me curious about the obsession that Indians have about Guinness records that they would etch their names in the most bizarre manner in the record of fame.
Look around, there are small and staple items in the newspaper published nationally and internationally from over the last few years and it will become apparent that the Indian print and media is obsessed with the idea of Indian triumph in making a World record (of sorts) even if it involves etching a record on the place with highest annual rainfall (wettest land-Cherrapunji) and the largest Roti/chapatti(!!) and I wonder what will be next!
I like the idea of Indians entering world records for feats that demand extra-ordinary efforts establishing feats that command respect, but performing stunts just to be in the record book is something that needs a check. Indians were the third-largest number of record applications in 2011, behind the United States and the United Kingdom. Also some of these high-risk stunts/actions for world records demand safety gadgets, insurance and expert training! The lack of sound safety standards can lead to serious injuries and casualties which should be a cause of concern for world record aspirants in India.
Why India has its very own Limca book of records in case they miss the Guinness records!
Your views are welcome.