KAMAAO-Wealth Games 2010

NEW DELHI, INDIA - SEPTEMBER 29: A Council of Delhi worker sweeps the pavement in front of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on September 29, 2010 in New Delhi, India. Workers all across Delhi are scrambling to complete last minute preparations for the upcoming Commonwealth Games. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

Just like the menu in any Chinese restaurant in India is incomplete without the ubiquitous Chilli Chicken, any form of writing in this month would be virtually incomplete without any mention of the flavour of the season - the Commonwealth Games 2010, or more aptly the Kamaaowealth Games, if you consider it from the organisers’ viewpoint.

India is probably the only country which provides nail-biting thrill, suspense and intense drama even before the opening ceremony; the only flip side of the fact being that all the interest in the Games will probably disappear once it actually kicks off (being an optimist, I do hope that the uncanny Indian ability of Jugaad will prevent any last-minute cancellation). The prices of the tickets are probably beyond the reach of the common man who is already reeling under the intense pressure of recent inflation. Add to it the fact that non-cricketing events hardly get any recognition they deserve and you do not need to be a qualified soothsayer to foresee numerous vacant seats at the venues. Moreover, given the recent incidents with the collapsing footbridge and the ceiling of the weightlifting venue, the lack of a free helmet with the tickets will certainly be a massive drawback. A good way to fill those empty seats would be to issue ‘complimentary passes’, guaranteed to be in huge demand for the enviable social bragging rights invariably associated with them.

It has been said in some quarters that constant grumbling about the lack of preparedness for the Games shows a lack of patriotism on the part of the media as well as the twitterati but what is beyond me is how a person can show true patriotism by supporting rampant corruption, limitless nepotism and above all mask-faced shamelessness. If we start showing support for the Games because the incompetency  of the unscrupulous organisers needs to be camouflaged in the guise of national pride and integrity, then God save our future generations from where this country is headed in the not too distant future.

It is very easy to criticise only the organisers directly involved with the Games for the massive mismanagement but both the state government and the central government must share the blame too. After all, when the main organisers were dilly-dallying (or should it now be replaced by Dilli-dallying?) about project completion deadlines, why couldn’t the government step in to stamp its influence on the proceedings? Why did the government representatives kick into action ONLY after embarrassing pictures were flashed across the world showing faecal stains on ‘world class’ facilities? The BJP led government at the Centre was overthrown despite (or maybe because of) their ‘India Shining’ campaign; wonder what will happen to this government in the next round of elections with their ‘India Whining’ image? Of course, this is India where a single blanket or a platter of food is enough to make one oblivious of five years of unimaginable misery just before the polls and one can only imagine what a laser show or high-profile Bollywood gyrations can do to the public memory historically predisposed to selective amnesia!


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