Commonwealth Games 2010 – An Uncommon Game of the Wealthy

By Suprio Das

India is hosting the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Why?

Ostensibly, to showcase our great economy and management skills. But there’s little chance that we can come anywhere near China’s 2008 Olympics or South Africa’s 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Very few such sporting events make money, and most end up bankrupting host cities or nations – even when costs are better controlled. So then why?

The answer lies in the whopping Rs 30,000 crore expenditure. (About 6,500 million USD).

While nobody will officially say this, we all know why costs have bloated and stadiums are collapsing. Officials and political patrons make money on bribes from contractors, who win bids at the “lowest” price and then earn super profits by compromising on quality. Then they make more money citing over-runs and repairs. Material suppliers hoard construction materials and make a killing as we desperately race to the deadline.

When one-third of our population lives below the poverty line, and a majority of kids are malnourished, uneducated and lack access to healthcare – this is not just shameful, but criminal. India holds the unenviable record of being home to the highest number of children who die before reaching their fifth birthday. A recent report published by Unicef confirms that India recorded a mortality rate (deaths per 1,000 live births) of 66 in 2009. We beat Nigeria by a good margin.

However, nobody would be indicted, arrested, or tried. That is the way it works – too many important people are making too much money. The file contains information relating to the controversial official’s (Organizing Committee deputy director-general) record of service, including his travels abroad, which are now under investigation, went missing mysteriously. Among other irregularities, the file included details of his trip to UK for the Queen’s Baton Relay after which he raised travel bills of 33,000 pounds.

Shhhh….. Don’t tell the world or let our guests know that there are more than 60,000 beggars in Delhi. Get rid of the poor if you cannot get rid of poverty. Delhi government planned of getting rid of them by ordering them to move out of Delhi, but naturally other states saw through this gambit and refused to be accommodating on this issue, actually they had their own quota of beggars and do not require any more. Solution….? Herd the whole lot in parks nearby to where they conduct their “business”. The parks will now have shelters for them and temporary toilets built. The order goes that they have to remain hidden from the eyes of visitors. Slick banners and other logos to shield them from view will cover the parks.

Mentally sick I am, if I were to be proud of India being the host to the games.

Video Courtesy: Sky News


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