August 1, 2010

(Un)Commonwealth Games - The Indian Version

Here's a welcome to all athletes who have bravely accepted to participate in the Games in New Delhi. Its going to be an experience for everyone, from organizers to participants to citizens of the city. Indians always take things in their stride, I mean very lightly. I wonder what the fuss is about?? We Indians travel in filthy trains and buses everyday to work, ditto for our roads that are littered, not to mention the overflowing garbage! And all our roads will put any obstacle race to shame anyway. Where is the security for the aam aadmi as he/she gets to work/school and back?? Where is the quality in terms of stay, transport, amenities etc for any Indian? But then, I am told, all the fuss is for our foreign delegates!!

Ah, how we love to fawn at the sight of white skin, makes me squirm..... I wonder how much longer it would take us to shake this legacy since British rule.. Getting back to the games, there are critics other than Mani Shankar Aiyer deriding the amount we are spending on hosting the event, instead, it could have been spent on developing world class infrastructure for the sporting fraternity across the country, they argue.. Well come on, such things can be debated forever. What about our many fancy missions? We spends crores on a mission to send man to the moon? Is this really required?? Critics can say we can first invest in developing decent aircrafts and not have to lease from Airbus & Boeing:-). Socialists will say, remove poverty and hunger first and then send people to the Moon!

Getting back to the CWG in India, what is unfortunate is the rampant corruption in awarding contracts and misuse of money. To start with, we can have office bearers with fixed tenure with no more than one or terms, in office. Since I can remember, its always been Suresh Kalmadi at the helm of the Sports affairs in the country. Surely there are many more people who are as qualified or more to take over! If we can overhaul our bureaucracy in appointments, and have transparency and professionalism of Sports Organizers and Coaches in our country, we will see more medals. There is certainly no dearth of talent in our country.

We are barely weeks to the event now, cancelling it will be as much an embarassment as holding it!! In my opinion, things have to happen simultaneously, we need to invest in the Moon mission and address the pressing problems of poverty and unemployment and rising prices!! And if possible, host the Olympics too:-)