Beautiful Gold Coast bid adieu to the Commonwealth Games last night with a closing ceremony that had raised both praise and criticism. Flak for a lack of focus on athletes and praise for
Going beyond the merits and demerits of the event, this CNN report takes a big-picture view of the relevance of the Games, given that it is viewed by some as an “enduring reminder of British imperialism.”
Any balanced report on the relevance of the Games will be incomplete without bringing up the botch-up that was Delhi 2010. Not surprisingly, the CNN report has this to say:
“The Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games was one of the low points in the history of the event. Engulfed by controversy, there were criticisms about spending millions on a sporting event in a country with extreme poverty. There were also construction delays, infrastructure problems and poor ticket sales.”
What a mess the then Congress Government in India made of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, which faced the threat of being moved to another country at the last minute or, worse, being abandoned!
All because of corruption of Himalayan proportions, shoddy preparations and mismanagement! Delhi 2010 even put India’s participation in the Olympics in jeopardy, though the potential ban was overcome with some clean-up actions. But, the man behind it all, Suresh Kalmadi, a former Congress MP, was never dealt with promptly.
That only goes to reinforce India’s democratic tradition that while governments may change, the situation will only go from bad to worse as far as crimes by the establishment are concerned.
G Joslin Vethakumar