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The Common ‘wealth’ Games ridiculed

The official website of the 2010 Commonwealth Games features on its front page, a prominent countdown to the very second the Games are scheduled to begin.

It also features the blog of its infamous, corruption tainted chairman Suresh Kalmadi. “We are focused on delivering a great Games” writes Mr Kalmadi, “yes we can do it…”

While the Indian in me just wants to blindly believe him and cheer for the Games, the journalist in me has this question: Mr Kalmadi, do you even mean it?

On Tuesday, a pedestrian bridge next to the main venue - Jawaharlal Nehru stadium – collapsed, injuring 23 construction workers.

The Australian Channel 7 station claims to have exposed serious security lapses at the CWG venues in a sting operation; its reporter got through the security check with a suitcase full of explosives. Government officials have dismissed the operation calling it bogus, however three top international athletes have decided to pull out for security reasons.

Adding to the ignominy, Scotland, England and New Zealand raised concern over the hygiene conditions of the athletes’ accommodation.  And again, a government minister shamed us all with the usual “head in sand” attitude. “Everyone has different standards about cleanliness. The Westerners have different standards, we have different standards,” he said, surely a line that is going to bounce around youth hostels and expat bars for years to come.

India’s image has been tarnished with each CWG mess. And that has obviously not gone down well with Indians within and outside India. Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and even the statuses on Google chat are full of criticisms, ridiculing the CWG.

Here’s are some selections:
“Kalmadi exposed even more brazenly. How much more salt is he going to rub on the Indian wound? Doesn’t  matter for him though - he has avid supporters in the Delhi and Central government.”

“A collapse a day keep the athletes away!”

“Land of Rising Sun : JAPAN!
Land of Midnight Sun : NORWAY!

“CWG = Cash Waste Gaya. #CWG# Commonwealth Games”

“The Common ‘wealth’ Games are finally happening amidst so much shame, such shame, such a shame.”

“Dilli badnaam hui, daaarrrling tere liye!”

Oops – here comes another news flash even as I write this:  “Now a ceiling collapse inside the weightlifting arena of Nehru stadium.”

And just when I’m thinking “Haven’t we had enough?, a friend replies “But this is just the beginning.”

3 Comments on “The Common ‘wealth’ Games ridiculed”

  1. #1 David Berridge
    on Sep 23rd, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Canada’s team management is already planning for a pullout from these Games should the situation still continue along these lines, and some individual athletes have already declined to go over and compete. This is a great tragedy on the 80th anniversary of these Games. There are now many questions as to whether India is the modern image Westerners desire to think in terms of. or the traditional impoverished and corrupt view held for many decades. The government should have given a top priority to seeing the Games through as a throughly competent project, attempting to reflect the success South Africa enjoyed with the World Cup.

  2. #2 savvy
    on Sep 24th, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    great article… and guess what even the CWG website is under construction…;)

  3. #3 K Narayanan
    on Sep 24th, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    I am really ashamed to be an Indian at this moment. Unfortunately, the world thinks that India and Indians are not capable, while actually the opposite is true. The CWG mess is the handiwork of some politicians with some vested interests. The CWG was brought to India not to bring glory to the country, it was done with the ONE & ONLY ONE motive of making money. The goal has been achieved. Now wait a minute, do not come to a conclusion that only the Indians politicians and some members of the OC have benefited. The two Mikes - Fennel and Hooper were defending the organising committee just a week back - they had gone on record that everything is fine and they were very happy with the arrangements. What caused the sudden change? How the “world class” village suddenly become “unlivable” within a week? These and other questions need to be answered. There is also sufficient doubt in the way certain contracts were awarded to EKS, owned by an Australia born resident of Switzerland.

    I would like to tell all the readers of this blog that, India and Indians are very much capable but unfortunately most politicians in India put Self over Country.

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