On Thursday, the BBC has put up images of the Commonwealth Games village that will make any self-respecting Indian’s head bow in shame.
Doesn’t it makes us all wonder why the government went chasing after the rights of a Games that evokes such little passion in the first place? After all, this was no Olympics, no Asian Games, no FIFA World Cup, no T20 World Cup even.
The less said about the planning too, the better.
Funds were released late, despite us winning the bid in 2003. And once they were cleared, no proper organisational structure was put in place.
Whatever happened to that very Indian trait – the need to weave an intricate bureaucratic web ALWAYS? Our babus and ministers display an undying love for it when there is little need. At a time when we needed a clearly thought out hierarchy the most, though, almost no effort was made.
Instead, we kept it simple. Our idea of a successful organising committee was having Suresh Kalmadi at the helm. Does more need to be said?
The Delhi government and various lower-level committees that were involved in this massive non-exercise shouldn’t also be forgotten. Their list of failures are so long that it even winds its way via the doorsteps of India’s legendary metro man E Sreedharan, whose team was given such a tight deadline that they found themselves dealing with a sad mishap that claimed lives.
Sitting at the head of this ruinous extravaganza was a Prime Minister, who kept a studious distance from this all. The rest of the world might call him wise, but what was the wisdom in his approach of considered silence till today?
Worst of all, we couldn’t even cobble together a decent bunch of spokesmen when the shit hit the ceiling.
Oops! Dangerous word that – the ceiling. But I am getting away from my point. Couldn’t we at least spot our Lalit Bhanots and shield them from the world media and the microphones then?
Since it is the queen’s games, let me end by posing the moot question once again – why at all did we have to get into this right royal mess?
The lesson we Indians must learn at least now is to avoid such attempts at advertisement in future.
Yes, in incredible India, bribes can be taken and given; corners can be cut; deadlines can be missed and power can be abused – but not on the world stage, please.