24 September 2010

Commonwealth Games 2010 - the Indian caricature of organization

I have to admit I wasnt following this piece of news at all. Out of my very few associations with sports, the ones I remember clearly are playing hand cricket in school and some tennis with Vijay.So CWG was clearly out of my league. But I came across a note written by someone in facebook- a note to the CWG director asking him to call back this staged mockery of India a.k.a Commonwealth Games. His article was bold,concise and succinct and definitely from the heart.

Link: http://www.facebook.com/notes/bodhisatwa-dasgupta/to-the-commonwealth-games-federation/431059778634

Like any other Indian, I am angered. I feel helpless and I want to bang my fists to know at least one simple reason why no one cared about CWG. I rushed to catch a glimpse of what exactly had happened and the pictures were anything but comforting. Shocking would be putting it light, I mean. No one talks about the proceedings of the game but every newspaper is swooning to write about the squalor at CWG. Cant the organizers think? What will they do if they were asked to live in such a morally repulsive and sordid environment? Do they ever think about the struggling common man whose money they have easily squandered?

They dont care about the country,they dont want to show any concern  for the common man, they are definitely not bothered about the players from the other nations - what are they made of??? Do we still stand by the belief Athithi Devo Bhava (Treat Guests like Gods)... do we?

Athlete's Village - ah! this name is probably the reason why they chose to keep everything half baked and poorly developed with absolute lack of sanitation. The athletes who felt mortified by all this have decided to pull out from  CWG. Some have delayed their arrival hoping this mess would clear up. Shouldn't we be rejoicing about this? Officials from other countries have started playing the blame game already. But Im sure Indian officials will respond - they will fight back and say "everything is under control..its been taken care of" when they have already fed their bellies  with money. They might spit out one or two coins while speaking. For a change, why dont you people just agree that you made a big blunder and caused this huge travesty to the country? Why dont you apologize and stop fooling around as if there were no problems?

Everything under control? Really? When a ceiling falls down? When electric cables are exposed and seen swooshing through stagnant water? And now Manmohan Ji has taken control over this and ordered Blah Blah to do more blah blah blah.... What was he doing until now? Waiting for the right time to butt in? And Mr.Rahul Gandhi? Why dont you go clean the stadium and relieve those children who were working until the last minute? Travelling by local trains & carrying cement all in front of a camera is too easy brother. Do something, be a man. Any sane leader would keep such things under his/her direct supervision - for heavens' sake the country's reputation is at stake here! The neanderthals from BJP et al would be celebrating now because according to them its all about belittling Congress that has officially dug its grave by screwing this up. I will grow a mustache if they dont give a sermon on 'How to not conduct CWG in India: The Congress way' in their next election campaign. 

I am most delighted for Barkha Dutt and her peers at NDTV,TOI etc etc. After that immaculate minute by minute commentary  of the 26 Nov incident , this will be a great thing to talk (and only talk) about. Im a bit sad that I cannot flip between NDTV,TimesNow and IBN as I can in India and watch these crows hover over the affected areas and unendingly yap about what could be done.

We failed to prioritize. And its high time we did something about it. Lets start by feeling ashamed of it. Isnt that what many of us dont do? We are a team, we must remain so.I hate to say this but some butthole official supposedly organizing CWG is the team leader. Its practically impossible for him to do rounds daily and monitor things. The people working under him -from the building contractor to the masonry in charge must act responsibly. They should have seen to that the workers were taught some lessons in cleanliness and sanitation. Simple things like spitting is horrible. And more horrible when it is done in rooms & restrooms to be used by guests from other countries. Simple things like urinating in public areas is a crime.And more criminal when it gets mixed with stagnant rain water ready to welcome a village of mosquitoes.These are things Saraswathi Miss taught me in 1st std. No Brainers. Is all this so ****ing tough for us to follow?

This is the problem.It starts from the grass roots.We fail to acknowledge the goodness of maintaining a clean environment. We think its liberating to throw candy wrappers and plastic spoons on the road. We think its our prerogative to spit in public and pee into the puddles. And why not? Who wouldn't  want to pee on the roads which are mighty cleaner than jaundice-giving-public toilets. The moment we see something is public and not ours, we think we have every right to ruin it. We think its OK to not keep it clean. This starts from public toilets to restrooms in office buildings. While the illiterate spits chewed paan on the road, the 'elite' corporate crowd that has received several etiquette trainings will forget to flush the toilet. What would you do if someone did the same in your own bathroom? There is seriously no use of having your  house dusted and mopped 5 times a day when you live in an area that could be the next dump yard for the municipality. And yet we will shout our guts out and say Slumdog Millionaire is a bad movie because it shows India badly. Whats with showing it badly? Mumbai shantytowns are sinkholes and thats exactly what was shown in the movie.

There are A/C buses in Chennai. Travelling in kulu-kulu A/C (even though the ticket price from Adyar to Chennai Central  is a whopping Rs.50) is all OK - but is that what we need now? The roads the buses travel on are filthy. The roadside gutters overflow during rains and the kaiyendhi bhavans have created a beautiful rangoli of wasted food and vegetables near them. We failed to prioritize, again. Keeping India clean  is more important than having western sophistications. Scorching heat and sweat are thousand times more bearable than a hepatitis or malaria. We dont need 500 shopping malls in every metro city, we need at least one decent public toilet in every street. We dont need marble flooring where ever we go, we just need to walk freely without having to roll up our pants when we enter busy streets. We dont need a Pizza Corner or Taco Bell in every city, we need our own Saravana Bhavans and Dhabbas to have clean toilets and wash basins. We dont need people talking about 'Is western culture good or bad?', we just want them to shut up and listen when they are asked to not litter public places.  We dont need to know what Obama said or who the next American Idol is , we must understand it is essential to keep our surroundings clean.

We need a lot of common sense and civic sense for commonwealth games. Jai Hind!

1 comment:

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