"Incredible India", the advertisement that is supposed to attract millions of tourists to India, must have been severely dented with the catastrophic events that have been taking place in New Delhi, the venue of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) which is to begin on 3rd October. Yes! it is incredible how the Indian Organisers of the CWG left it so late that it nearly jeopardise the whole CWG. Indeed an international news reporter summed it by stating that the whole event is compared to organising an Indian wedding where everything comes together at the last minute. However the CWG is no Indian wedding; rather it is an international sporting event that is two third the size of an Olympics, yet having all the events of the Olympics.
India has spent anywhere from US$6.0 to US$10.0 billion including construction of a new airport, Metro system for Delhi and roads & bridges let alone the sporting infrastructures plus the CWG sports village. Despite the huge spending, the unhygienic environment leading to deplorable conditions at some of the accommodation units at the Games village and the shoddy work that permitted the collapse of a foot bridge connecting to the main stadium plus the crumbling of the ceiling at the weightlifting stadium, has given rise to enough complaints from participating countries that is putting the whole CWG into jittery position. All these without doubts has devastated India's image and some have called into question India's qualitative skills and standards in organising such a mammoth event. Indeed India was given 7 years to get their act together and today questions are even asked why was India considered for 2010.
India is now the 4th economic power house in the world and the events unfolding with regards to organising the CWG is not doing good to India's international image. Some in India may argue this as a media conspiracy to hurt India but what is more important is that the Indian Organisers allowed it to happen. Obviously if the Games itself moves smoothly without any further glitches and brings the best in sports, that in a way may help to mitigate the disastrous aspects which existed prior to the commencement of the CWG. Still we cannot discount the fact that what happened in India will remain a negative stigma everytime one talks about CMG or if there is another major event to come to India.
It is a pity as "Incredible India' has so much to offer. Its multi-ethnicity that provides the multi-dressing with multi-colours, its multi-culture with multi-culinary dishes combined with multi-language and multi-religion brings out the kaleidoscope that is India. The combination of tradition and modernity with English predominantly spoken provides everyone with something to enjoy and slowly people grow fond of India. It is this attachment that brings back the people to India. I am sure the athletes from the 76 countries participating in the CWG would share the emotions of the wonderful memories of India when the curtains come down at the end of the Games.
Mind you, one would have thought the only challenge India would have to face in this CWG is the aspect of security. Troubled by multi-layers of threats from Assam to Kashmir, Maoist to Nazalites, Hindu to Islamic fundamentalists, it literally keeps India's law enforcement both at national and state level extremely busy. Indeed this is one area that had usually troubled visiting sporting teams prior to their visit to India but the successful hosting of the World Cup hockey early this year has shown that India can get on top of the situation. There is no doubt the security services would be on full alert, which itself may be inconvenience to people but such inconvenience is needed as a sacrifice for public safety and peace.
It is not easy for India to organise the CWG when the country has its fair share of natural to man made challenges to face. It took on the challenge 7 years ago with its economy prospering and having a wealth of human resources, it is "dumb founding" how India got entangled in such a scenario before the Games. There would be numerous post-mortems, many finger pointing, scapegoats and above all people who would want to benefit from such disasters. End of the day is whether India would do enough in the future to assure the world that such things would not reoccur. This is something that is important for India and its people.
Good Luck India for the Commonwealth Games.