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Saturday, September 25, 2010

The malaise India outgrew long ago

Who knew that when CWG 2010 was entrusted to the capital city of one of the most influential nations around, it is going to be a profound disappointment? The games have not even begun but it has already shown India under poor light. If Commonwealth Games 2010 go down badly, it will be a serious let down for a proud nation like India. It has gone so south that prime minister Manmohan Singh has decided to put his shoulder to the wheel. The involvement of a very esteemed and naturally busy leader like him confirms the parlous state of preparations.

Westerners cannot be faulted for demanding higher standards (frankly, at least basic living conditions). After all, they come not as curious visitors but as elite performers. A few teams have already arrived and seemed to be content with the way things have been shaping up.

One must admit, sport has been a laggard in India. Every nation is different. Swedes have lagom. While Germans rise on organization, we thank Ireland for Kilkenny. Greeks drink strong coffee and it seems like Indians respond ONLY to a crisis. The important thing to remember is that there need not have been a crisis in the first place.

I can site several talks, concerned discussions and clamor concerning pitch conditions that raise its ugly head 2 days(usually) prior to start of a test series in India. Miraculously, on match day everyone seem to be OK with the conditions. The curator's and tireless efforts of workers amount to everyone focusing on Cricket on match day as they should be. India seem to set such low expectation levels to begin with so that whenever an event is conducted normally (as it should be, as it is expected to be), it looks like a job exceedingly well done and all participating parties leave the nation happy. To be honest, it seems like a good strategy if we do not consider the stress level during the days leading to an event.

An abundance of techies, doctors and economists have emerged and many prestigious awards have been won. But sport continues to depend not on the excellence of the structure but on the brilliance of the individual.  Indian teams succeed despite the system not because of it. This cannot be tolerated. CWG, Delhi 2010 imbroglio is merely an illustration of a malaise India outgrew long ago. If Games go badly, I feel that the Old India will die a little. In that case dismay many once again be the mother of progress.

That being said, there is a good chance that India might just pull this off. I pray that they do. At the same time, I wish that once everything is done, no one forgets the trauma that a nation had to endure and embarrassment that people had to face because of the chain of events. I can only hope that all individuals who are responsible for the state of affairs to spiral down are brought to light and are dealt with in such a way that no one attempts to try anything similar with any event in the future.

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