It has been a busy past few weeks for the officials of the Commonwealth Games 2010. And while we would want to believe that their hectic schedules are a result of last minute preparations for the games that begin in 60 days, it is sadly not so. The people in charge of the games are busier dodging reporters, covering their shoddy work and masking their general ineptitude. While we want to forget the inflation for a few days in honour of the 72 participating nations from all over the world who will converge in Delhi to get a taste of the legendry Indian hospitality, those officiating the Delhi games are busier than ever before to present a picture of corruption and incompetence for all the nations of the world to see.
We Indians are very easy to please. You promise us a concrete road but cover a single pothole in five years, we are happy. You make us believe that the water from the house tap will soon run 24 hours a day and you then give us just half an hour running water every alternate day and we are satisfied. But the judges of the Commonwealth games will not be the ever accommodating and easily conned common man of India. They will be sporting legends, players, officials and citizens of nations like Australia, England, Ireland, many of whom might have never visited the country and whose image of India revolves around Taj Mahal, Bollywood, snake charmers and general foul smells and fouls sights if you walk beyond the hotel rooms.
The Commonwealth Games could have been a golden opportunity to prove them wrong. To open their eyes to an India that is marching forward as a strong, determined nation, eager to rise above the socio economic challenges. It could have been a chance to break the stereotype and show the grit of a nation whose youth are determined to usher in a global era that is India’s alone. Such statements sound hollow now. Because a failed games experience staged in front of a sizeable global audience will only add teeth to the murmurs that there is a serious disconnect between the ultramodern image of 21st century India and the reality of the masses who still live in pitiable conditions.
It is only 60 days to the unveiling of the 19th Commonwealth games and the officials are still struggling with core issues. Stadiums are still incomplete, approach roads not yet made, underground cabling, water leakages, catering arrangements, debris removal, traffic mismanagement, tainted contractors, lack of coordination, problem of space, this list of issues not dealt with can become longer than the list of sporting events scheduled for the games.
India is not in the same league as China, USA, or Australia when it comes to winning medals in global gaming events like the Olympics, Asian games or the Commonwealth, but we do have a legacy of being the world’s best host. After all we keep our guests at the same pedestal as our Gods. Playing host to the world for Commonwealth 2010 could have ushered New Delhi the national capital and India into a new era in the history of Indian sports. But alas, the officials misinterpreted Commonwealth to be ‘common wealth’ an opportunity for their own fast monetary gain.
It is time more than ever before, for us to summon our 350 million Gods and hope that the taxpayers money do not all go into the pockets of people who have left no stones unturned to showcase a corrupt face of India to the world. It is maybe also time to be a little more vocal about the way we are always left to be satisfied with the little morsels of development.
Commonwealth games 2010 must surely be a successful event and hope the best of efforts are at least put in now by individual’s for whom the country’s prestige is very important. But more than anything else, even if the officials sweep the dusts under the carpet just in time, let us not rejoice about the patch-up job. Let this dirty game be a learning lesson for us, the common mass, to be more concerned of the way our new India is build. Our tolerance to different cultures, languages and religions is well known, but let the tolerance of corruption and incompetence cease with the games.