And with that Cable, My Patience Snapped: Commonwealth Games Collapse

Posted on September 25, 2010 in Shout Out

By Kunal Anand:

Finally, my worst fears regarding the Commonwealth Games have started coming true. Right from the day when the first report on how Kalmadi and Co. have taken the country for a ride started pouring in, I kept praying for the success of these Games. I wanted it to succeed, not to hide our corruption and incapability (thanks to our netas and bureaucrats, nobody expects us to be outstandingly honest), but for those poor athletes who toil for years to make their mark on the world stage. I wanted it to succeed for the people of Delhi who have suffered numerous terrorist attacks in the past and these Games could have been their healing balm. I won’t lie; there was a part of me telling that if we could pull this off, it would be a great image booster for the largest democracy in the world. With all the negative hype surrounding the preparations, I still thought that at the end, we would make it. After all, if South Africa, with fewer resources and a lot more problems could make FIFA World Cup memorable, why couldn’t we do it with the CWG?

And then, the newly built foot-over bridge leading to the main stadium came down like a pack of cards. The official reason given was that a few cables holding the structure snapped, leading to the collapse of the structure. Sheila Dikshit again came up with an inhuman excuse (remember her rhetoric about how female journos shouldn’t move out in early hours of the day to avoid rape and murder?) telling that there was nothing to worry as the bridge was meant for the commoners and not the athletes! As if the lives of common Delhiites means nothing! I don’t remember what Kalmadi said. That guy has lost it totally and if not for the “High Command”, he should be sharing space with Abu Salem in Jail. Public Works Department passed the buck to the contractors, and as always, nothing changed. Participating countries are threatening to boycott the event due to inhabitable living conditions in the Games village. An Australian T.V crew was able to walk in the main venue with a detonator suitcase. In an ironic turn of events, China has finished all work and handed over the athlete’s village to the Asian Games federation for the Asiad that will start only in November.

India’s moment of Shame has finally arrived. Thanks to a group of thieves, the whole nation stands humiliated. Adding salt to the wound, everyone who should have been punished for this mess is walking around without a bit of remorse. I guess we have had enough. It’s time we distanced ourselves from this sham. It’s time Delhiites keep away from an event whose organizers think it’s ok if a few of them die walking on those over bridges.

THIS IS NOT INDIA’S COMMONWEALTH GAMES. THIS IS NOT HOW WE DO THINGS. We are the people who make high-end processors and softwares. We power NASA missions to the moon. We are in no way incapable of making a few buildings and bridges. It’s just that we chose the wrong people for the job this time. We do not deserve to be disgraced at the hands of a few dysfunctional administrators. So what if they all have colluded together to hide each other’s crimes? Let’s show them that our coalition is far stronger than their “group of thieves”. Let’s not be a part of this mockery. If these Commonwealth Games fail, we won’t lose any respect. These games have brought none anyways. They have failed us forever. It won’t guarantee any change of guard or heart at the higher level, but at least it will send a message to the world loud and clear that INDIANS are not a party to this mess.

It will be interesting to hear their excuse if a structure’s collapse is on a high ranking Games official.

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Shivani

It is a shame on our country. But we CANNOT say that these are not our games and that this is not our responsibility. Yes people screwed up. Yes there has been too much thieving. But we, as a nation, have ALLOWED this. We are the ones who have not forced better standards of honesty. Yes, this is hard to do, and these changes cannot be made overnight. But if we say that “this wasn’t us and wasn’t our fault”, we will NEVER rise above these failures.
This is how we do things. But this is NOT how we will continue to do things. We must be chastised and catalysed by this shameful experience.

    kunal

    mediocrity and dishonesty isn’t our way of life…but complacency is. add to this our amnesic attitude of forgetting the wrongs done by a few people sitting on the echelons of power and you get a self destroying venom that’s eating us from within.. the games must go on, but more importantly, the culprits should be tried for “Waging a war on the nation” just like kasab.

Shivani

I agree that we are a complacent and lazy nation at the moment. But it is crucial that we all understand that by condoning mediocrity and dishonesty, we ourselves become a part of it. There is no such thing as an innocent bystander. Until all of us stand together and say no to the things weakening us today, we can never move beyond them.
These are OUR GAMES, these are OUR MISTAKES. I as an Indian fully share in the responsibility for them being a shambles. I will learn from this, and in the future do my best to hold those working in the name of the nation responsible far more accountable. It’s about each of us figuring out what WE can do and then doing it.
We are a mess at the moment, but we will not be in the future, IF we take on our responsibilities.

    kunal

    I do not share the responsibility for a crime committed by a guy whom i never voted for or elected. and i do not believe in carrying the burdens of sins of a government which refuses to carry the burden of its farmers,tribals and poor middleclass population that is trying real hard to make both ends meet in this era of sky rocketing prices. i demand justice and nothing else. I cannot celebrate a game that was won by bribing 72 nations and has gobbled Rs 77,000 crores that could have prevented the suicides of thousands of farmers.

    kunal

    I do not share the responsibility for a crime committed by a guy whom i never voted for or elected. and i do not believe in carrying the burdens of sins of a government which refuses to carry the burden of its farmers,tribals and poor middleclass population that is trying real hard to make both ends meet in this era of sky rocketing prices. i demand justice and nothing else. I cannot celebrate a game that was won by bribing 72 nations and has gobbled Rs 77,000 crores that could have prevented the suicides of thousands of farmers. This ongoing loot visible in the mines of Orissa and the plains of New Delhi SHOULD NOT BE HIDDEN BEHIND THE VEIL OF PATRIOTISM. I AM A PROUD INDIAN,NOT A FOOLISH ONE AND MY LOYALTY LIES WITH MY MOTHERLAND AND NOT ANY CORRUPT GOVERNMENT. As far as taking the responsibility is concerned, I believe responsibility means punishing the guilty and not rallying behind the wrongdoers on the name of nationalism.

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  • surfingthesky

    Yes, part of being responsible citizens is taking the wrongdoers to task. Those who have engaged in the multitude of illegal and immoral acts over the course of the games MUST be taken to task, and punished. No arguments there. I do not dispute that.
    I disagree however, with the shrugging off of responsibility. You may not have elected those officials in particular. We have as a nation, however, for many, many years, accepted many, many crimes, and let too many such crimes go unpunished. In effect, we have been teaching our leaders that it is OK to loot whatever they want, that it is OK to ignore the welfare of the nation. This makes us a party to their crimes. The problem is not isolated to the CWG- they are just a symptom. We must all work towards curing the disease, not just hiding the symptoms.
    I feel in some ways that you and I will ever agree on this matter, so thank you for your article- it raises some important points, and for the discussion following it.

    Best,
    S

      kunal

      @surfingthesky: I couldn’t agree more with you friend. It’s true we cannot run away from these problems. after all,they are OUR problems. All i want to say is that let’s be strict to the culprits this time. They hide their crimes behind the name of Ram or Allah or caste or patriotism. This time,for a change,people have chosen to see behind the veil. It’s a great sign. Let’s keep them on their toes and even the the most corrupt politician will deliver for the fear of his seat.
      WE ARE THE CHANGE.

    #StartTheChange

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