Thursday, October 7, 2010

The fuss about Common Wealth Games

I had been a silent spectator of the spectacle (nonetheless), Common Wealth Games (CWG), held in Delhi, 2010. There were so many blogs, written all over the world, about the CWG. Interestingly, I saw two sides of the games. One, before the opening ceremony and one after the opening ceremony. Most of us rushed into criticizing the government (ruling and opposing equally), needless to say Kalmadi included, before the opening ceremony. Only after the opening ceremony did we start seeing the other side of it.

Did anyone else happen to notice that no nation (including Britain) happened to even bother mentioning CWG until a small news which came out saying, "sports village might not be ready on time"? Over night India became an international joke.
Suddenly India became a home for snakes, fever and what not! The athletes, apparently are feared that they could catch colds and fevers. The same athletes who happen to be in the peak of their age and health.

I cannot believe the extent many so called 'developed' nations go only to contradict themselves in the end. On one hand Indians are ridiculed that so many poor are left hungry while billions of dollars are spent on CWG. On the other, ALL the athletes expect 5 star facilities! No, 3 star will not do.

Lets take a step back to 1891, the peak of Victorian power. The games started as a statement of good will and understanding for the nations 'of' British Empire. The first full fledged games were actually held only in 1930; the time when British Empire is already under very serious pressure from rivals,  US, South Africa, Japan and needless to say the peak of liberation moments in India.
Churchill's government, as a very last resort, who named the games as British Empire- Common Wealth games (1954), could hold on to the 'name' only. By 1970, many nations are already 'free' from the British rule. The games were re-named British Common Wealth games.The British Empire by then has already lost its stance.
Finally, the delusions are abandoned and the name 'British' is shed. Now its just the Common Wealth games. But the pride is not lost; the fairer skin that is. Speculations about who should declare the games open begin. What a shame! Her Highness cannot make it to the country of snakes (according to you know who) but the Prince assumes the responsibility of declaring the games open; when the Indian President is very well available!

I can still hear the echoes of China-bashing which has happened during 2008 Beijing Olympics. Controversies about poverty, pollution, population and what not were alleged against China! But the strong country that it is, it over came all the hurdles and proved that it is now (YES!) the super power. 

The same thing is now happening with New Delhi. Show me one country where there are no poor; one country where there is no corruption; one country where there is no pollution?!
The moment West gets a chance, they start bashing the so-called developing countries.

Lets talk about the 2012 London Olympics; apparently England will show us how the games are meant to be held the 'proper way'. Alas! Even before the construction began, $15 billion have already been spent! Lets see how much they end up spending by the time the games finally begin. Its not too far; I am going to keep a close eye on these 2012 games budget.
Oh ya! Don't forget all the terrorist threats which London is already receiving. What an irony that the same people complain about India. What is a bigger threat? A cockroach in the washroom or a terrorist who has threatened that they would have Bombay-style-terror-attacks? You figure, do anyone has any right to talk about how "un-safe" India is?

And coming to Australia; how many racist attacks have been made on Indian's? whats a bigger problem? The so-called global warming effect which India has or everyday racist attacks?

Everyone (someone sane) must understand that problems in developing nations (I would/should have used 'developed'), problems are always exaggerated to put them down.

To the West its obscene that India spends million of dollars on games; yet they scream on top of their voices when they see anything less than 5-star-facility. I would like to ask one question to everyone who say that these games are a waste of money...Do you know how and where the money went? How did all the critics conveniently ignore the new airport, subway lines, roads and railway bridges that the bloated budget for the games has brought to the city? Apart from everyday benefits these infrastructure offers, building all these did not appear out of Harry Potters broom! Actual human beings built these! For a wage! Now, who has any right to say that government is not giving employment/bread/shelter? We cannot expect that government give cash on a silver platter without working for it now, can we?

What bothers me the most is the fact that quite a lot of (educated) people in India seriously take every word the media says as 'truth'. Most Indian news channels has international stakes. Most protect the international interest than Indian. How, may I ask, that we trust the media which portrays the poor picture of India?
I agree fully that the corruption has hit new heights in India with CWG games. Yet, I urge that everyone look at the bigger picture rather than concentrating on what went wrong. Of course steps need to be taken.
Kalmadai would pay big time, that much I am sure. Like I said before, the corruption in India is grossly exaggerated.


  1. Nice evaluation Madhu... But corruption seems to reach its heights, like 1 Million INR for treadmill rent for a month... Yeah they did spend money... but in a 10 - 90 ratio??

  2. Invi dear, you got this information from news. Like i said, most news channels have huge international stakes. For a minute, forget even the stakes.

    Public always falls for sensationalized news. What can be more sensational than 10-90 ratio?

  3. Nice one .. but the thing as far as the people i talked to they were not moaning about the games but the SHame that the games had broguth , the corruption thats what I was moaning about and I am still against the CWG because of the shame it brought our leaders have borught us.. and sorry but i felt that this was the right moment to sort of Revolt..

    regarding a few days before the foreign media was not allowed before hence it came out just a few days ago... THe ahtletics stadium and the track was still not ready till the very last moment because i saw them puttign the pitch right which had been spoilt by the opening ceremony.

    This could have been a event where we COULD have gone places in world but instead it got us shame, the pictures all were true.. maybe if the media was given access earlier this would have happened earlier.

    I am not against india or the indian team I am 100% with them BUT I feel againt the leaders and what they did was a or is a shameful act and no matter what they say NOTHING is going to happen once the games get over , all these leaders and the officials are going to go SCOT Free maybe loose a job THATS IT mark my words :)

    BUt i understand your logic and ur emotion
    what will kalmadi pay that wud be interesting the guy who in his speech is mentione princess DIANA.. can u beleive that she is DEAD and he is talking of her...

    Bikram's Blog

  4. Bikramjit, I agree that we had enough and more time and money to get everything in place months in advance.
    From what I understand many facilities were not made ready 'intentionally'. The reason is that, because of heavy flooding in Delhi, it is very much possible that everything gets spoilt before the games begin. On that front, it makes sense that the field was ready only after the ceremony.

    I agree that corruption hit new levels and I agree that kalmadi's speech couldn't have been more inappropriate while quoting Diana, but the end picture is that, India managed to stage such games! Who would have though it were possible.

    Yes, there is corruption, I totally agree but not to the point of how the media portrays.

  5. Look, it was known that games will take place and the country will see it through.The problem started with TIMESNOW picking up the corruption story and aired it, not realising as to what was it walking into.
    Foreign media picked it up thus started India bashing to which there wasn't an end.

  6. Exactly Chowlaji. But the way its happening here is that everything is exaggerated! And trust me when I say, I am not saying I am proud of corruption in India, but its grossly exaggerated and is being shown in such a way that India is so bad that everyone coming to India is stupid. Every news channel is showing such a bad picture. True that there is corruption but not to the extent of what its displaying.

  7. very thought provoking post! People made noise only when the CWG comittee missed..9 DEADLINEs..could they be called deadlines at all..
    I believe that if someone is a thief that doesnt mean we can say stealing is not may exaggerate a little, butatleast they brought it in open...
    and CWG would havent be so shamed, if they had crruption..ok we are habitual of that but then atleast would have completed evrything in time and in due quality, they got the brickbacks not because of the corruption only but because they made a shoddy arrangements.a bridge falling and people dying is not a trivia for the people.

  8. And I just hope the guilty get punishment.
    I dont know why we set this low standards for us where we do a little and want to pat ourselves, I believe thattoday India is capable of much more and the best, but we are always left in shame by these politicians.

  9. Renu, What you have said is right. Missing 9 dead lines is a shame and so is a bridge falling. Like I said, I am ashamed too of the corruption. But, when it comes to raising these questions, international media seems to be missing the point. The point being, India is capable of hosting the games; corruption included. If that was the only issue raised, I wouldnt have a problem with that Renu. But what is being raised is that pollution/population/global warming etc, apart from what I have already written in the blog. Now, its none of any other governments business other than Indian government. Thats the point I am trying to make.

  10. forgot to add, I did not mean to say that we set low-standards.

  11. I have also read a lot of posts on CWG but this is the most interesting and informative one. :)