I haven’t really been blogging recently, apart from the occasional reblogs of things I stumbled across and found interesting.
I have been reading a lot about the backlash India received in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games, and it used to be embarrass me. How can a country with so much potential and promise, end up being caught with its pants down like this? Even after having 8 years to prepare, and spending close to USD 6 billion dollars(–the amount is staggering, I personally believe we could have used that money for much more resourcefully.) The pictures of filthy bathrooms, the unfinished village, and crumbling venues made me believe you were digging our own grave. The international and domestic media gave the organizers such a tongue lashing that left the organizers reeling! China, which isn’t even a part of Commonwealth, offered to host it and flaunt its ability to not just host large events, but attract all countries to participate, promising decent facilities and security.
But in a matter of days, they turned things around, managed to work 24/7 and put on an amazing opening ceremony. It was a spectacular that made me feel proud to be an Indian. How the rest of the event will be conducted remains to be seen, but I am fairly optimistic.
But when I sit back and dissect the issue, I agree the media seems have taken its criticism a bit too far. The countries seemed far too paranoid and even threatened to withdraw. In the face of all the criticism, it looked like India silenced its detractors. But does it mean we achieved all that much? I am not too sure– what we clearly displayed was our lack of planning and execution, our inability to follow timelines and finish something of this magnitude ahead of time or at least on time, lack of standards or quality in deliverables, and last but not the least, the one thing we pride ourselves about most, our ability to do a last-minute quick fix.
To some people, the end is all that matters, in that case, yea we proved a point, we can host such events. But to people who would like to believe that we are on our way to be the third largest country in the world, we need much more that a quick fix event. We have to showcase our excellence in more ways than just a last-minute job, we had an excellent opportunity to flaunt our power and ability and we ended up making it an event that was not just a public relation nightmare; it almost did not happen, and most of all, it made the world discover all of India’s flaws.