By Heena Khan:
The political leadership of India displays an unusual and ludicrous similitude with Kumbhakarna, a demon belonging to the Hindu legend, the Ramayana. Except that he could be stirred from his abysmal slumber at least once in a year, our politicians took seven years to be slapped back into consciousness with the CWG poised at the threshold. The brazen display of this apathetic attitude traced its repercussions in a besmirched national pride and image, pervasive corruption and cronyism, transgressed deadlines, a loathsome callousness to the sensibilities of downtrodden, among others.
One significant reason why India won the bid to hold the CWG (mention of the bartering of gargantuan sums of money for hosting rights is not required) was the political significance the games held in terms of regional leadership between China and India. The former having put up a splendid show in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, extensive expectations the democratic world had from India, to match the power balance with China in South Asia. Though the CWG sauntered without conspicuous hurdles, the run to the games posed to be preposterous, with the national and international media shouting themselves hoarse over the innumerable scams, squalid conditions of the games village, lacunae infesting the security arrangements and most importantly deadlines that were never kept. Thus a crucial goal was undermined if not completely lost.
The Manmohan Singh led government was shaken from its reverie just a couple of days before the CWG was to commence, on being enlightened that the games had political significance in the context of its national stature, pride and image. Frantic efforts were put in and the CWG happened decently but what it had rendered upon India, apart from the legacy of magnificent infrastructure including improved aviation facilities, was an image of “Filthy and Incompetent India” and not a “Shining and Leading India” on the minds of the international community and its hugely humiliated and embarrassed citizenry.
Discrepancies in the administrative management responsible for the CWG has showcased another image of the nation -Corrupt India, where the organizing committee for CWG became conspicuous due to its sluggish approach to the games and the corruption infesting its ranks, not to mention the skyrocketing of the CWG budget due to misuse of the allotted funds. The preparations had been politicized with the head of the organizing committee and the Delhi Administration, both belonging to the Congress (I). Lack of coordination marked the various organizations set up to cater to the myriad aspects of the preparation of the games.
The CWG, have thus proved to be a faint reflection of what India has incessantly harped of being i.e. ‘a shining India’, an utterance which due to its excessive usage but no concurrent methods of realization is becoming trite, thus losing charm.