Commonwealth Games is in news for all the bad reasons and it would be unfair if we don’t cover this over here and present our views regarding the same! No. We don’t want to cover the illness of games or the Media’s exposure of Corruption, but the connection between the two and how we should react towards all of this.
From last few months I have been observing the Games closely. I have also faced a major setback for a business model we wanted to work upon during the Games but couldn’t because of the negative image of CWG. One of my friends working inside the Stadia also gave me some shocking examples of how bad everything is managed there. And above all the damage to our image across the Globe is only going to get worse if something unfortunate happens during the Games.
It all started with a series of expose done by Times Now team which showed how openly public money was used to serve corruption! It was like everyone knew about it, but no one could ever point a finger simply because no proof was there. After that several other media channels started exposing one or the other thing. 2 months long negative publicity across 50 odd news channels was enough to tarnish the image of Games.
But matters got worse when real picture of Games Village was shown across the Globe and by channels like ‘BBC World’. It was the end. The image of India as a country was tarnished.
But then there is this other side of ‘common man’ who says that we should support CWG as it’s time to rectify the image. There is lot of confusion among common man as whether to support media or games. To put things in perspective I would quote several examples and let our viewers decide whether they would support the Games or the Media-
1. In the book written by Boria Majumdar and Nalin Mehta named “Sellotape Legacy” they have pointed out various reasons behind the current stature of Games. You can read the book review here. At the end they quote:
The point here is that the Delhi Games might do something for India’s image if they go off well enough, but little for Indian sport necessarily or automatically. Future on-field success will demand more attention being paid to elite sport competition in arenas other than those desperately maintained by a fading post-colonial Commonwealth.
2. Chetan Bhagat predicted most of the events long time back and also wrote an article asking us to boycott the games– “please don’t cheer for the 2010 loot-fest.”. People called him anti-nationalist for such article and demanded that we should support our athletes. But then don’t you think that for a goof-up of size as big as this we should teach our ministers a lesson.
And trust me, if we support the Games and everything goes well, Kalmadi and Co will come out as a Champions and they will take all the credit for the success of Games forgetting the junta who would make it successful!
To some extent I agree with Chetan, the image is already been tarnished and there is nothing left- my friends in US/Australia are already frustrated listening to the shameful comments made by their colleagues on them being Indians.
3. One of my friends is working for an infrastructure company who is responsible for some major tasks inside “Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium” and several other important ones. And as per him the real condition of stadiums is much worse then shown in news. All AC ducts leak including the place where Coaches/family members etc would sit during the events, the wiring is so pathetic that cases of short circuits are common, the security has been tightened very recently and if someone would need to place anything inside could have already done that by now and worse the Ground where athletic events would take place has been caved in 1-2 times already.
This is not just to show the real picture, my main worry is- if anything happens during the Games, if any player or coach is injured due to any reason what it would do to us? “Great Monsoon wedding” can be achieved by jugaad but not an event of this size.
Now, the point is whether we should support media or not? In my opinion today we as an Indian citizen are bigger failure than Indian Govt itself! Govt is able to pull off such corruption because we don’t show any resistance due to our ‘chalta hai’ attitude. If media is trying to expose them we should at least support them. What’s your say on this?