Sunday, September 19, 2010

Silver Lining

Amidst all the negativity and brouhaha going around about the upcoming Commonwealth Games, there is hardly a soul who hasn’t scoffed at the state of affairs in the National Capital. Any day you can find a television presenter moderating a debate show focussing the messy preparations, aided by loud graphics and speculated exaggerated figures, trying to elicit harsh statements from the viewers to give the organizers a virtual thrashing. Morning newspapers scream about the wrongdoings of the committee and the reader is unwillingly drawn into the large army of people who are incredibly pessimistic about the Games and waste no chance in a social gathering to give a glum forecast about the 14 day event.

However this author has tried to brave the public notions and reason with himself that as to why “he should be eagerly waiting for the commencement of the Games”. It was undoubtedly tough to look over the omnipresent negativity but some effort spend on introspection has lead to some interesting and bright aspects about the Games!

Indian society has never been utopian and since independence the Indian citizen has been conditioned as such that he is always complaining and grumbling about the present scenario. He is not happy with the local councillor about the over-flowing drains near his house, critical of the electricity department for the frequent power cuts, whining about the service of the state telecom dept. and this list never ends. Over a period of time he begins to view everything with a cynical eye and it is perhaps this main psychosocial reason that has aided the critics to spread a maligning campaign against the Games. Whatever theory that maybe put forth it is hard to shut eyes over the positives-the development that the Capital has seen in the last 12-15 months or so. The underlying incentive for hosting such a big event after three decades was the strong push that the city would get towards being a world-class city. Although the national capital is far better than majority of the Indian cities in terms of infrastructure, it still doesn’t count among the best cities in the world. And it was the 1982 Asiad that made Delhi move ahead of its peers and very likely the CWG will provide it the needed thrust in becoming one of the best cities of the world.

Keeping in mind the functioning of govt. machinery it is easy to comprehend that had it not been for the CWG, the metro lines connecting NCR regions to the heart of Delhi and many other lines wouldn’t have come up so fast. And do not forget the recently inaugurated Terminal 3 and the highly awaited metro service from IGI to New Delhi railway station. These are not the only developmental activities taken place; 1900 new buses will be on the roads much to glee of the daily commuter and it seems certain that hosting Games will help in dispelling doubts amongst the western world regarding the capabilities of the city.

It is not only for some concrete building structures and a few days lasting praise that one should be happy about the Games. The mega event provides the genuine sports lover an extra-ordinary opportunity to view his countrymen excel on the world stage. It is difficult to find a sport in which one can name this country being a world leader, notwithstanding cricket which is played by only a handful of nations. It is an irony that the disciplines in which India is truly a world-champion are either not counted as Olympic disciplines or do not have a significant fan base. But fortunately Squash is not caught in such a vicious circle. Though not an Olympic discipline, India has produced champions in this sport- Ritwik Bhattacharya, Joshna Chinappa to name a few. And this time we will see Saurav Ghosal, Siddharth Suchde fight for the gold medals. It will be one of those rare opportunities to see an Indian stamp his authority over the game in his motherland.

As Games inch closer it is important for us to set aside our doubts and join Rehman in calling to the world, India Bula Liya!!