Saturday, October 23, 2010
There is a very peculiar thing about criticism. It tends to strike our mind pretty fast and sometimes can even have a prolonged effect which can erode our sense of rational judgment. While writing this I kept one simple thing in my mind, I won’t subject my writing to any kind of bias. I would simply narrate things as I saw and would give my honest perspective of the events in the past few weeks. The run up to the Commonwealth Games was very disturbing to the common man. The common man, who honestly pays his taxes, listens to news channels and castes his vote to select a privileged few to run our country was deeply in pain as one after the other frauds unfolded and a serious question mark stayed on whether we would even be able to conduct the games. Adding to this was the media, who constantly focused on what went wrong and why and how. Not that I am blaming they were wrong. They easily justified their role by saying that media as the fourth estate has a big responsibility to protect the interest of the common man by exposing government and bureaucratic failures and scandals. Deadlines lingered on and on. Collapses occurred, budgets increased and many more things I came to know because of the 24*7 news. The government was also baffled and in a bid to save its already tarnished image, it went into emergency mode. Leaving all that aside, there was another picture which I saw with my friends. Thanks to my college giving me a few days off, I got an opportunity to explore what lied beyond Noida sector 37. So I with couple of my friends decided to explore what is really going on in Delhi. Normally one would have preferred to see the grand sports extravaganza, but I decided to take a different course. I landed up in Connaught place, one of the busiest places in Delhi and surely the digging up of which must have hurt the Delhiites most. But to good surprise everything was fixed. Another surprise awaited us at the Baba Kharak Singh Marg. The Incredible India festival was going on. Food stalls from all the country were there. There were handicrafts, paintings and many other pieces of art all together at one place, right in the heart of Delhi. The place was so full of energy with cheerful and laughing people around and there was really a sense of celebration in the air. And how can I forget to mention that free coke, yup chilled cold drink was also being distributed, although it would have certainly cropped up in the comments section. The roads were not so crowded for a change, the pollution was also not there and walking on the sideways was an exercise one could enjoy without having to cough or cover one’s mouth. From there on we headed to be a spectator to Jashn-e-Dilli or more known as Delhi celebrates. From riveting dance performances like mohiniyattam to spectacular music performances, it surely is one of the most beautiful memories I have captured over a period of time. We enjoyed a lot the Commonwealth games, although we saw none of the games. One of my friends even said, it doesn’t feel like Delhi, so much big was the transition. But how can one insulate oneself from media. Although the resounding success of the Indian athletes notching up second highest number of gold medals did bring the smile back on our faces, the games truly belonged to the common man, who volunteered to make it a grand success, who paid taxes to construct the village. It is the common man because of whom metro is possible. Undoubtedly the hero of the Commonwealth games has been the common man, who cheered for each and every athlete irrespectively of which state he or she came from. The medals also proved that sports, which was once restricted to the elite few is now in the hands of the strong Indian middle class from small towns. But India’s success has given fuel to a very disturbing discussion. Is the success of an Indian Athlete an individual’s success or is it really the success of the sports bodies and the government. Leaving that debate aside which in future might be the basis of another one of my writings, I was lucky enough to have enough free time to witness the opening and the closing ceremonies and just watching those two would have silenced any critic who ever doubted India’s ability to accomplish any feat. But all said and done, India finishing second, the games gone without any terrorist attack, the black spot of the corruption and irresponsible handling would never be gone. A friend of mine told me, we are experts at getting things done in the 11th hour, I think this mindset seriously need to change if anything long lasting and concrete has to be achieved. We are getting another chance by getting to host the cricket world cup. Although nothing as compared to the CWG, it is still a good opportunity to show that we have changed and not merely moved on from the CWG debacle.