By Ramu Sharma
New Delhi (Syndicate Features): The mess that was the preparation for the Commonwealth Games is hopefully sorted out. At least that is the impression from the reaction of the visiting teams after the last ditch cleanliness drive was carried out. And as for Suresh Kalmadi, the IOA President, never the one to be put out by criticism, it was time to talk about hosting the 2022 Olympic Games. Brave man, never the one to succumb to any sort of pressure. He is forever hopeful, no matter what happens.
But frankly is it really worth holding any multi-discipline games in India? Given the perennial security problem, the lack of space on the roads, lack of accommodation and allied facilities and the many self-inflicted deficiencies and a general attitude of “chalta hai” prevailing all over, India is the last country which should be hosting extravaganzas like the Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games. One would like to leave the Asian Games out of this orbit but that too should be undertaken only as a last resort.
One should be thankful though for the time being that the Asian Games bid by India will not be entertained for a while. China has far too many cities all ready to take on the Games and with South Korea, ever ready to host and the Arab world always prepared to push forward the claims of one of its tiny island kingdoms India does not have a ghost of a chance of hosting the Games. Public memory is not that short to remember that India lost their last bid to Qatar which though had money did not have enough people of its own to fill the stadiums.
The ambitious IOA should remember that hosting the Games is a big responsibility and that the people of the city which it is offering as a venue should be taken into consideration. Delhi, for instance, is the last city which should be hosting any games. With an ever increasing population which is already groaning under the burden of inadequate transport, poor roads, paucity of drinking water and electricity, Delhi is a problem riven capital and just cannot take any extra burden.
One of the reasons for this antipathy to the Commonwealth Games has been the sufferings of the people because of dug up roads and the work on the repairing of Connaught Place, the main shopping centre of the Capital. People had no place to even walk, leave along drive. With so much construction work it was impossible to live in Delhi. One cannot and will not wish for another sports extravaganza just to fulfil the ambitions of IOA. (Syndicate Features)