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!!


Anonymous said...

The security though would be the biggest concern for me especially after what happened today at the red fort.

KD said...

nice writeup goti.....was hoping this from u someday :)

Pratyush said...

Very nicely put ......Feels good to know that the grueling schedule of IIIT hasnt sucked creativity out of you. There is a underlying reason behind this brazen show of cynicism from the public(the media) . And the reason is the rampant corruption. If the govt increases the tax rates and and the prices skyrocket due the games being held in Delhi, then the common public has every right to feel angry when he reads a scam of buying extremely expensive toilet paper.
though it did feel nice to read a fresh new perspective and i also think that this blame game can be played later , until then everyone should work towards making these games a grand success and hopefully the best ever too.

Mohit Rathi said...

Good effort....
But according to me the money which the government has spent so far has not been utilized properly(either gone into pockets of some corrupted officials or wasted in some sense)..For me Delhi's 2010 Commonwealth Games are all set to break all records for spending money, it's reportedly already crossed Rs 30,000 crore budget. Though this also includes an upgrade of the capital's infrastructure like roads and flyovers,but not all of it will add to Delhi's quality of life(quite obvious)... :p
The OC also plans to spend Rs 150 crore on a gala opening and closing ceremony which includes Rs 5 crore being paid to Oscar winner A R Rahman for the theme music who publicly claims that he won't be taking money for that....
But of this budget, a whopping Rs 40 crore will be spent to release a helium blimp - a big balloon the gas for which apparently will also have to be imported(Russia,I guess). I'm not yet able to figure out why the hell they need this balloon????

Author (RG) said...

Some things I need to express my views on.
@Mohit_Rathi :
True that the CWG is costing huge amounts of money which could have been put to other uses(either for development in Naxal affected areas or famine affected regions). The reasons for cost escalations are various.But the point is now hardly a fortnight before it is no sense to pinpoint flaws in the lead up to the event.
At a time when there are lots of forces(outside as well as internal)trying to hinder the staging and malign the image of the country, it is really on our part to strongly refute the negative hype around.After all the facilities present are truly world class and just because of some regrettable delays all of them have been labelled poor. I believe this infrastructure will go a long way in aiding the sports in the country.Its worth noting how many stadia are there which can compete with the best.And staging of a multi-nation event atleast provided an impetus for building the necessary infrastructure.The logic is simple:hosting a sports event helps in building new sports infrastructure and to some extent develops the hosting city.That's the reason to host such mega events.
As far as Rahman is considered,I think he is charging money as per some news reports I came across. The balloon is needed for making up the aesthetic beauty of the event.Though this idea hasnt been used ever before.Its good that OC came up with such a creative idea.Its costly but again you cant afford to have a miserly attitude while hosting such a large scale event.
Good Luck to the Games!

Anonymous said...

nice writeup..
with all excitement we should focus the security of commonwealth games..