Monday, August 30, 2010

Pakistan tryst with match fixing continues

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Scyld Berry the editor of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack wrote in Australia’s renowned newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald wrote “It is only natural that cricketers - or some of them at least - should reflect the society from which they come. And Pakistan is, and has been almost throughout its existence, riddled with corruption.” This after the world of cricket has been dragged to another major match fixing scandal, the biggest perhaps since the last which threatened the game in the year 2000.

Many might call this as a very racist remark considering it comes from an Englishman whose historical and cultural respect for Asians is nobody’s guess. But isn’t it also true that when people are citizens of failed democracy who see corruption all around, are they to have the same kind of pride and respect for their nation. When these cricketers see their counterparts in India making millions aren’t they tempted to cross the line? That’s the entire point in Berry’s argument.

The defence for this cannot be strong as Pakistani team historically has been no saint’s army. The team has had a history of being in the news for all the wrong reasons in all its years cricketing history. From tampering with the ball to fighting in the pubs the team has done it all in the past. The team which is packed with talent has crossed the danger line too often to give it any benefit of doubt. This is not the first time that the Pakistani team’s name has been dragged into a match fixing controversy.

Be it the 1999 World Cup’s loss versus Pakistan or loss to minnows Ireland in the last edition of the mega event which even lead to coach Bob Wolmer’s suspicious death, Pakistani cricket has always had its shades of grey. Facing commissions and enquiries for such occurrences is nothing new for the Pakistani team as generations of players right from Imran Khans to the Shahid Afridis have faced questioning related to match fixing, use of drugs, ball tempering and even a mysterious death of a coach.

England’s dramatic comeback in the allegedly fixed test match and Pakistan’s school boyish bowling performance might just be one of those natural happenings in the game of cricket. But to the naked eyes it seems too much to be true. Millions of cricket fans around the world will be hoping that Pakistani players come out clean of this as this has the potential to tarnish the game like it did a decade ago.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Why the travelling Bengalis failed to notice Bengal’s decline?

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

In my childhood I was always told that a frog which stays in the well doesn’t realise how vast the ocean is. Most Bengalis would have heard this in their childhood. Bengalis are by no chance the frog whose habitat is his well. Ask any tour operator in India and he will vouch on the fact that this is one of the most travelling communities in India. The annual Puja vacation in autumn has thousands of Bengalis travelling all around the country visiting new places, learning new cultures and tasting new food.

What surprises me is the fact that despite this most of us failed to notice Bengal’s decline compared to growth across the country. A majority patronised the idealism preached by the Marxists who have been in power for a shade too long than it should be in an ideal democracy. Others seemed to have turned a complete blind eye on Bengal’s road to insignificance in context of the nation and its growth engine. But how is it that such a thing was allowed to happen when people from the state have been seeing the growth of other places in the country?

The staunch followers of Marxism would give many arguments of how Left’s rule has benefited the state, But there are enough counter theories to prove how the extended Left Hand Drive has had a catastrophic effect on not just the Bengal but on the Bengali society as a whole. Do we command the same respect that we did in a pre-independent India or years just following Independence? Are we giving leadership to the nation as we did in the past? Have we produced the same number of eminent politicians, scientists, poets and social reformers in our recent years? What has pushed us into this backwardness?

Famous freedom fighter Gopal Krishna Gokhle had once said “What Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow.” Are we even a shade closer to this statement today? What has pushed Calcutta to become a declining metro? Although there are signs of change all around the city but we shouldn’t ignore decades of darkness that we have gone through. Do these idealist leaders who have ruled the sate for so long answer these questions? For them idealism is the best way perhaps to not answer the facts of actualism.

Most of our idealist leaders were beneficiary of our glorious past. They went to institutes like London School of Economics but the moment they came to power they closed such doors for their subjects in the state. Why has the traveller Bengali failed to see the signs of progress elsewhere and notice the decline at home? Why has the traveller Bengali failed to punish these people who have betrayed the Bengali society? The day perhaps we have answer to these questions we will see the change.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Calcutta can rise from its ashes again

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

It was once known as the ‘City of Palaces’ and the place to be during the might of the British Empire. Years of stagnation has made this metropolis as a model of ‘what not to do’ and a place which no longer features on the Indian investment map let alone the global one. A city where the history of the Indian sub-continent was written for more than a century is in sorry state. Apart from the emotional attachment of its inhabitants (mainly Bengalis) it has had very little claim to fame in the post independent India.

It has been exactly six months that I landed here after having a nice career in Bangalore for close to three years. I see a Calcutta which has the potential to define business in the coming years. My point of view might be totally contrary to the great economic thinkers of the state and the country, but that may be because I am not as educated as them! It may be because I see more potential in Calcutta (thanks to its underdevelopment) than these people. This city can change and for which it needs to take a few bold steps. Some of which I think are:

  • There needs to be a change in the attitude and people need to install some pride for their city. My friend who came to this city looking for a job was asked the same question again and again in all her interviews. Why Calcutta, why not Delhi or Bangalore? She gave the smartest and the wittiest answer possible “Give your city a chance.” Rome, London, New York, Bangalore or Mumbai wasn’t built by men who didn’t have pride for their own city.
  • The local manufacturing industries (what ever exists thanks to trade unionism) have a huge local market in the state and the surrounding areas, close to a population of 200 million (including NE and neighbouring states) and should focus on that. They should draw maximum mileage out of the cost advantage that the city and the state has.
  • Calcutta’s economic policies shouldn’t be decided on the same line as that of Bengal’s. The city is a state in itself and its policies should reflect that of Mumbai and Bangalore. Both Maharashtra and Karnataka have their economic problems but their capitals have become dream destinations for job seekers. If Calcutta flourishes the tremors of development will be felt all across the state. Let is be a epicentre of development.
  • English should be brought back into mainstream eduction. The decision to revoke it was a pin prick in Calcutta’s heart. It is ironical that no great Bengali author or poet of global recognition has emerged out of the state since Bengali was chosen as the language in the state. Our biggest pride Rabindranath Tagore was a beneficiary of the Anglo-Saxon world. The Left policy should have produced many more noble laureates. Let’s give our kids a ‘competitive advantage’ as you one need it to compete.
  • Politics is not for all and it’s high time that people realise this fact. The problem with Bengal and this city in particular has been that most of the people have thought themselves as the next potential leader! We need to have active participation in politics in a good democracy but not at the cost of our karma (work/profession). Karma e Dharma (work is worship), people shouldn’t forget that and leave politics to the politicians.
  • Aristocracy isn’t bad and it shouldn’t be denounced which certain politicians championed. Educated and wealthy men were not welcome in the City and they bid adieu. The huge migration of the intellectuals and business magnets from this city has hit it hard over the years. Amartya Sen, Laxmi Mittal, Vijay Malya, Prannoy Roy, Manna Dey and the list goes on. All these men were born in the City but migrated elsewhere for their great achievements in life. How many people in the same period migrated into the City and achieved something great?

In my observation these are a few things that we can do to make this city happen again. Rajiv Gandhi once said “Calcutta is a dying city.” All Bengalis were up in arms against him although in our heart we knew he wasn’t wrong. Cities are born and they do die and from the ashes rises another new powerful one. Perhaps it is time for a renaissance in Calcutta and in Bengal. Shall we accept this challenge or keep on singing the praises of our glorious past. The choice is all ours.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Last Communist of Bengal

By: Pritam Bhattacharya

As political communism seems to bid farewell in Bengal after thirty odd years, the batting has little to say except the tenacity of being at the crease for such a long time and it spurs me to write this post, a complementary to The Last Imperialist of Bengal. If political communism’s comeback in other climes and times are an indicator, Bengal might be bidding farewell to Communism and comeback may be very very far away, for good for for worse.

Who was/is the last Communist of Bengal ?

I think the answer is this, paraphrasing Nietzsche : The Last Christian died on the Cross.

The Last Communist of Bengal is a poet and writer who was out and out a Bengali and aristocrat (I mean this in the Burkian sense – through a habit of mind and not in the sense of অভিজাত as understood by semi and para-literate media hordes of Contemporary Bengal) and I would say : Mr. Asoke Mitra.

Why ?

1. He has been one of the rarest men of Bengal who sensed and articulated the loss of Civilization and High Mental Life in Bengal – echoing his own Bengali essay Calcutta 1969. He had an excellent, self-forged and elegant prose style in Bengali (I read almost none of his works in English – I admit). I think two hundred years hence and with the hope that in this period, Bengal will not be completely savage as far as mental life is concerned, a future historian would have sufficient distance and the freedom of judgement, cleansed of all contemporary incentives or disincentives, very few of the communist era will even merit mention. Mr. Mitra, I judge will be remembered.

2. He carried, cultured and respected the vanishing traces of Bengal’s Rennessaiance although not tempted not too infrequently and occassionally succumbing to the fashionable hubris of his time. We can readily pardon him for that because time itself was like this.

3. He is the only, yes only individual who has something else to say to those people who have little interest as how many processions, gherao, lock-out happened where and by whom and how many people beated, collared and hollared this and that. He has a long literary work documenting the decades of fifty and beyond.

4. He has been a lover of Calcutta where he came very young and the remnants of high mental life (his essay on Buddhadeb Basu should have been taught to party workers/cadres and leaders more as a primer to teach the art of as how to disagree yet to show respect where it is due) attracted him. He has described this elegantly and in parts, poetically. Here in last thirty years of political communism, he has no comrade near him. He shines in a singular aristocracy.

And now, I am going to discover a connection between the Last Imperialist of Bengal and her Last Communist – a connection which tells me something very deep about Bengal’s historical duty to Civilization.

Nirad C , the last Imperialist of Bengal declares from Oxford, in 1990s, Calcutta in the writhing agony of a Cadre State (a form of state where citizen = cadre) – ‘In matter of High Culture, there is no other community in India who can even match, let overtake Bengalis. In the last days of my Life, I find no hesitation in telling this.

Asoke Mitra, the last Communist of Bengal, in protest against imposition of Hindi as a national language and reflecting on Bangladesh’s autonomy on the language which is our common heirloom.

The Last Imperialist and Last Communist of Bengal joins in a common plane and I would like to call this plane a community’s siganture tone, its most encrypted code, its inner drive : Cultural Destiny of Bengal is different from her political destiny.

As an era bids adieu in Bengal, I remain in great anxiety in grappling with this Destiny.

This blog has been contributed by Priram Bhattacharya. He runs his translation and communications company Wordsmith Communication and is a regular blogger anfd writes on his blog Wordsmith of Bengal.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Our cities aren't global as yet!

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata have barely make the grade of global cities. New Delhi and Mumbai are placed at the 45th and 46th places while Kolkata makes it to the 63rd spot in the list of 65 cities around the world. Our neighbours on the west and east also have made it to the list with Karachi, the only Pakistani metropolis being ranked 60, and Bangladesh capital Dhaka grabbing the 64th spot.

The top three are quite New York, London and Tokyo while Paris, Hong Kong, Chicago, Los Angeles, Singapore, Sydney and Seoul make it to the top ten of the prestigious list released by the Foreign Policy magazine in collaboration with A T Kearney and The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Bejing which wowed the world with the 2008 Summer Olympics makes it to the 15th spot which will be a huge jewel in the crown for China which recently became the second largest economy in the world overthrowing mighty Japan.

So why are we ranked so low in the list? Poor infrastructure, poor civic facilities, poor connectivity are some of the main reasons for this dismal ranking. There is a section of Indians who will blame overpopulation as the main cause of this backwardness but Tokyo with a population of 13,010,279 and Bejing with 22,000,000 disapprove these theories. Population alone cannot be blamed for the incompetence in the system. We have a huge population and we have to make policies accordingly.

Another reason many would site is the huge rural to urban migration that India sees. Every day hundreds of people from across the country head towards the big cities in search of a better life. But isn't this true with every metropolis in the world? Doesn't New York and Tokyo also see such migration each day. They have to face migration not just from their own coutries but from around the world.

India wants to be the next big superpower but if we rank in such manner we can be one of the big countries in the world but definitely not a superpower. Our governmental policies promote bigger urban villages which sadly most of our metros have become rather than world class cities. Kolkata was once known as the 'City of Palaces' and people wrote poem's on its beauty. But when the white men left the city they took away the skills to govern a city as well. Same is the story with New Delhi and Mumbai.

There is a problem in the way we approach development. Our so called 'poor man's politicians' stress on making the lives of the poor better. In the end they create Dharavis around the country which become the den for criminal politician nexus. The betterment of the cities would equally benefit the poor and the rich if our planning is practical. We need to grow up and take the lead. It's high time we develop some world class cities in India.


Sector V, Calcutta

By: Pritam Bhattacharya

I had been in a meeting in Sector V, recently. I could see bustle of activities and plenty of men in their late twenties and mid thirties breezily discussing the stress they are in and the hard challenges of professional life. They are truthful and telling the truth. Their life is really stressful and and except for something like ppm (parts per million), none of this class would leave anything substantial in their professional work that would outlive the next quarter, or next profit margin or the next project.

The reason is simple : In a deadline driven world where the office (and its roll) is some blip for someone thousands of miles away and few having an urge to refuse to live an Un-examined Life, the work itself is a Skinnerian Rat-Experiment. I heard somewhere that Nietzsche said that in certain special situation, the Urge to Work is a form of sickness. I am sure that many of these young men feel like being ‘sick’ while they pull themselves up for work in the morning. Add to this the daily commute in Calcutta – a brew of Middle Age Europe, Brownian Motion, Stoic Philosophy, Marxian motion of proletariat and extermination of traffic order, Neuro-Ambulatory advantage of honking, Traffic Policing in Post Modern Marxism.

I grew up in a quiant town in North East India but subscribed to many periodicals of Calcutta (late seveties) and read many translations of classics in Bengali. Most of the translations were excellent. Later I came to know that the translators were doing this as a hobby and not with the slightest aspiration of buying a posh flat in Calcutta’s gated communities. They did this because they loved it. They introduced me to Captain Nemo, Sherlock Holmes, Edmond Dantes, David Copperfield, Professor Moriarty, James Jeans, Neville Cardass and many others.

Without these Bengali translators of Calcutta, my Life would have been of such abject poverty that I would have remained as poor as a typical Cadre of Contemporary Calcutta even though the whole city would have been owned by me or my co-gangs in various forms.

What did these Bengalis get for their work ? A pittance as far as book sales are concerned because the typical Bengali publisher generally denies the author his/her due.

But they have the ever lasting gratitude of men and women of our generation. I more I grow my gratitude seems to increase for these people who made me unthinkably rich. Rich beyond any bania driven culture’s estimation of riches.

I thought of asking these busy, well-paid, well-dressed and apparently doing well gentlemen of Bengali origin : After thirty years, how many people are going to be in everlasting thankfulness to you for gifts you have given them ?

The answer, my friend is blowing in the Wind.

This blog has been contributed by Priram Bhattacharya. He runs his translation and communications company Wordsmith Communication and is a regular blogger anfd writes on his blog Wordsmith of Bengal.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Omar gets the shoe in Kashmir

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

One of the best ways to express protest against politicians these days seems to be by throwing a shoe at them. J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah became the latest victim in the shoe gate when constable Abdul Ahad Jan hurled his shoe at the CM. Omar had just finished unfurling the national flag and was in attention position as the National Anthem was being played. He now joins the elite club with former US President George Bush, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zadari.

In all these cases the shoe thrower have been hailed by the people who have had their recent against these leaders. Jan who is said to be a mentally disturbed cop as been hailed by people who have been agitating in the valley for over two months now. The protest which have claimed close t50 lives have exposed incompetence of the J&K government. Omar who does the most thankless job in the world (being J&K's CM) has been criticised for his actions or rather in-actions in the last few months.

For the protestors it is perhaps the best way to register their protest against the government but does very little to change governmental policies. Abdul Ahad Jan might have done personally done himself a lot of good but he has put a slap on Kasmi's face in front of the entire country. In the last two months Kashmir has been in the news for all the wrong reasons and this incident will do very little to get rid of the bad publicity.

These sort of incidents have no place in a democracy, if one still exists in Kashmir valley thanks to the two Ms militancy and military. The Kashmiri seperatists leaders might hail this act but this will hardly make any change in Kashmir. A few frontpage headlines will be published on the issues and it will find place in a few blogs of people like mine. Where is the achievement in all this?

One thing it will surely do is make the leaders more inaccessible to the ordinary Kashmiris. It is easy for the security forces to chek for bombs and grenades in such places than to judge the intent of a person to throw a shoe. It is high time people in Kashmir realise that they alone are responsible for how their community is looked at by the world. Weather they want to be looked as dwellers of a beautiful place of secessionists as many people drub then. The choice lies with Kashmiris


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Interesting facts about Indian Independence Day

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

15th August is an important day in the history of India. It was on this day that we bid adieu to our colonial masters the British after a rule which lasted for 190 years from the Battle of Palassy. It was on this day a new independent nation was born which would go on to become the largest democracy in the world. Here are few interesting facts that I discovered on the Internet from hours of surfing everyday

Why 15th August? Lord Mountbatten the last Viceroy and first Governor General of India wanted to show that he was in command and decide on the day India would gain independence. He chose the date August 15th as was the second anniversary of Japan’s surrender to the Allied Forces.
We Share It – We are not the only one who celebrate out Independence day on 15th of August. We hare it with three other countries. South Korea won its independence from Japan on 15th August 1945, Bahrain from UK in 1971 and Republic of the Congo from France in 1960

Missing Person – The greatest irony of the 15th August 1947 celebration was the fact that Mahatma Gandhi one of the greatest architects of the Independence moments did not participate in the celebrations. He kept fast for the entire day and was busy dousing the flames of communal violence in Bengal between the Muslims and Hindus.

Tryst With Destiny - Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru gave his famous speech titled “Tryst with Destiny” towards midnight on 14th August 1947 to the Indian Constituent Assembly. He wasn’t technically the Prime Minister as it wasn’t yet 15th August.

Why Pakistan Was Born Before – Lord Mountbatten as the last Viceroy of undivided British India has to attend both the ceremonies in Karachi and New Delhi. To avoid a clash between the two Pakistan's independence day was celebrated on 14th August and thus every year Pakistan’s independence preceded that of India’s.

Colonial Hangover - Lord Mountbatten had ceased to be Viceroy of India. The Indian Constituent Assembly treated his arrival to that of a king. The Indian’s were still to get over from the colonial hangover. He was given the seat of honour, the President having vacated his in favour of the distinguished visitor.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Congress should stop defaming Narasimha Rao

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Hear it from the horses mouth, Arjun Singh has finally broken his silence on the release of Union Carbide Chief Warren Anderson in the Bhopal Gas Tragedy case 26 years ago. The wheelchair bound leader has blamed former Prime Minister and then Home Minister PV Narasimha Rao for helping Anderson feel India. Arjun Singh proved his loyalty to the Gandhi family by giving a clean chit to then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Questions need to be asked on Arjun Singh's revelation. How was it that a Home Minister could take such a decision without the Prime Minister despite being a Gandhi had no say in it? According to Singh's claim Rajiv's immediate concern was about the compensation that the victims would get. Had the Prime Minister forgotten about a more fundamental thing called justice? What explains Rajiv's non-action in the entire issue?

Arjun Singh's revelation comes as no surprise as he has done everything to protect the interests of the Congress Party and more importantly the Gandhi family. Narasimha Rao has already been disowned by the Congress and it makes perfect sense for the leaders to make him a scapegoat on the issue. If sycophancy ever needs an example, Arjun Singh has given us a perfect one. His silence was better than his version of truth!

This is not the first time that the Congress has defamed PV Narasimha Rao. They had earlier put the entire blame of Babri Masjid demolition on the former leader. Rao is no longer alive to defend himself and it seems ideal for the Congress to pile all their wrong doing on his grave. Rajiv Gandhi in his capacity as the Prime Minister should have immediately resigned if his Home Minister had overtaken him in decision making.

It his high time that the Congress government stop defaming one of India's finest Prime Ministers. There has been a conspiracy to denounce all the economic development and growth in the Rao era from within the Congress. The reason is very simple no Gandhi can take credit in what happened during that period. So in the interest of the Congress and the larger interests of the Gandhi family it makes perfect sense for Arjun Singh to make such statements.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Politicians should not demoralise security forces

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Mamata Banerjee at her rally in Lalgarh was bound to have some controversy and she did. The maverick leader from Bengal whose rally was attended by the Maoist sympathisers (PCPA) in huge numbers condemned "the manner" in which Maoist spokesperson Cherukiri Rajkumar, alias Azad, was "killed" in Andhra Pradesh last month. It seemed as if the Trinamool Congress leader was speaking on the same lines as the Left wing rebels who alleged that Azad was killed in cold blood.

Who was Azad? Was he a social worker working for the destitutes? Was he a spiritual leader, preaching peace? No, he was a hardcore Maoist leader who was trying to overthrow democray in India. The same democracy that gives people like Mamta a chance to speak their mind. In a Maoist India she would have been shot dead for making such a statement questioning the act of the government and the security forces in the country.

Social activist Swami Agnivesh might have been trying to act as a self styled peacemaker between the government and the Left wing extremists. He wasn't appointed by the government and thus the security forces were under no moral or combat obligation to not deal with Maoists (read anti-socials) like Azad. Maoists haven't announced any unilateral ceasefire for the government and the security forces to observe restrain.

These sort of political populism do one thing very well, they demoralise the security forces in the country. The men in khaki who are fighting in alien environment deserve some more support from the politicians in the country. Why did Mamata do this? Political mileage is the word and Mamata seems to have learnt the art to use it for her political gains. Her obsession to sit in Writers is making her forget the responsibility as a Union Cabinet Minister.

This is not the first time that the Trinamool chief has made such a statement. She had earlier raised questions about the Batla house encounter in Delhi where Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma has sacrificed his life fighting the terrorists. If that was to reach out to the minority community the fresh bid is to become popular in backward areas of Bengal where the Maoists are running the show. The same Mamata had once made the insane statement that there were no Maoists in Bengal.

Maoists guerrillas have been facing the music ever since Operation Green Hunt was launched. In their bid to create pressure the government to call it off they are trying every possible tr ick in the book. Mamata should understand her responsibility as a Union Minister and citizen of this country and should stop becoming a pawn in the hands of the Maoists She will not be able to run such political shows if India falls in the wicked hands of the Maoists.


The separatists do not want a Kashmir solution

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Imagine this, the hardliners in Kashmir Valley want the Indian government to demilitarise the zone for peace in the valley. It is like asking fire tenders to quit the job when a building is burning. The recent spate of violence in the valley has polarised the people so much that an average Kashmiri youth is forced to believe that if Indian security forces quit the valley the entire place will become a heaven for peace.

The question however is why does India need to mobilise close to half of its active battle force alone in one state? Were Indian security forces always present in the valley in such heavy numbers? No, it was since the start of the armed separatist moment in the state in the 1980s that India mobilised so much of its security forces and turned it into a battle zone. What else could have a government done.

One of the major problem which prevents any solution to the Kashmir issue lies in the fact that the separatist leaders take their orders from across the border. As soon as Pakistan’s position falls weak on Kashmir, there are incidents of violence and a long propaganda that the ISI and the Pakistani government run. The ordinary Kashmiris are nothing but pawns in the hands of our western neighbours.

Pew Foundation an independent agency recently did an extensive survey on Kashmir and came out with some surprising results. A sizeable majority of Kashmiris want to become an independent nation whereas only 2% are interested in merging with Pakistan. This has come as a shock for the Pakistan backed jihadis and military commanders. This figure now questions Pakistan’s legitimacy to the Kashmir issue.

In such a scenario the best Pakistan and hardliners backed by it thought of instigating violence in the valley. It serves two purpose, shows India and the security forces in bad light and also gives Pakistan an issue to address the global leaders. The Pakistani administration is struggling hard to make the world believe that it is not a factory of terrorism for the world.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

A lot of wealth in 2010 Commonwealth Games

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Imagine this, the budget of the New Delhi Commonwealth Games 2010 has shot up by 1500 percent! Cost escalation and delay of projects is nothing new in India but the figure is of course good enough to scare the most inefficient and corrupt souls of the past. If this is not enough, new corruption deals are coming to light everyday. It shows how taxpayer’s money has landed in the pockets of a few in organizing the games.

How could such a blunder have happened in planning for the games which will test organizers and the people of Delhi in the days to come. It was with a huge sense of pride that India had welcomed the Commonwealth Games. It was a good chance to showcase that the once colonial nation had moved on to become one of the fastest growing economies of the world. It was a chance to show that to the erstwhile colonial masters among others.

Although culturally we have never looked as sports as a serious affair it has become a serious business in India. All our sports bodies are headed by a cartel of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen. Where are our sports stars? Well they find their place in the back pages of the newspaper and listen to the dictation of these masters. The most famous sport in the country – cricket is a perfect example of this.

With close to 35000 crores involved in the games many things which are unimaginable in other countries are happening. Treadmills which cost Rs. 4 lakhs are being rented for Rs. 10 lakhs for 45 days. The cost of hiring a cab in London has gone up from £250 to £ 50 a day. All the contracts for the games seem to be landing at the door of the family and friends of the organizing committee.

In the summer of 2008, Beijing hosted the summer Olympics and showed to the world what was to come in this century. It was an event which had no precedent in the history although the western media was trying to highlight the flaws. The event showed China’s urge to announce that their time had come. Will the Common Wealth Games do anything similar for India? We should feel content if we can successfully pull the games off!


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP