A Common Man’s Take on the Common Wealth Game Fiasco

The latest controversy about the CWG is as entertaining as it is embarrassing for the country. Kalmadi and Co. try desperately to fight against a mountain of evidence of corruption and money laundering while the Congress is taking the easy road out by saying the Games should be completed before any action is taken. This not only allows the wrongdoers to walk away scot-free, it also exposes the lack of national pride in our country’s politicians by choosing to preserve their party’s interests over doing the right thing.

Can you solely blame Suresh Kalmadi for the farce the games have become? Yes, he has to take a large share of the blame and should be brought to book for it. But eventually, it comes down to his party letting him operate the way he has for so many years, without taking any action and nipping the problem in the bud. The media has raised the issue and brought it to the forefront and they should be given full credit for doing so. But eventually the same media will turn their attention to something new and ‘newsworthy’, because sports and the common man’s money being stolen isn’t important enough after a while.

The biggest mistake was hosting the CWG in India to begin with, without a hint of decent infrastructure or sports culture. It’s sad to see the apathy that the general population (myself included) has regarding the games. No sport has ever come close to competing with cricket in terms of scope and popularity will always remain the sad reality of Indian sports. And the only thing that can change this is the everyday man’s outlook towards sport. It’s sad that the country makes a film like ‘Chak De India’ which wins accolades and celebrates woman’s hockey and at the other end, the same woman’s hockey team complains of sexual harassment. So you and I, sadly, have no interest in the CWG and that’s not going to change for a while.

After China’s 2008 Olympic opening Magnum Opus, that’s become the benchmark for a successful sporting event, the opening and closing ceremony. And that’s the only thing the CWG OC is aiming at. To have a fantastic opening ceremony, stun the world with crores of rupees of fireworks, add a lot of Bollywood masala for good effect, let India rejoice, claiming this to be our coming out party, and then the actual sporting event will continue in a myriad of half complete and shoddy venues which even the Indian media will not highlight in order to ‘save face’.

So friends, it’s as simple as this. The day you and I decide to actively cheer our athletes and sportspersons, any amount of corruption wont able to ruin such an important event, because the entire country will be watching. WE need to change. WE too need to be blamed for the mockery of the CWG organization. It’s time to take a stand and not allow this to continue. The Cricket World Cup is coming up soon in India. I guarantee you, that event will be beyond successful because we will have our eyes peeled making sure nothing goes wrong. If only we had done it a little sooner for the CWG.

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