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!


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