So finally the moment has arrived. The widely criticized (rather than anticipated) XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 is about to start. Everyone has had their say. Ministers of various commonwealth nations, CWG officials, the Olympic Games Committee folks, most importantly ‘The Media’ and even this 16 year old who has never come close to anything known as ‘Sports’ (if only ‘hide-and-seek’ belonged to this category!)
I’m not going to write about all that has been much said and hyped about by the Media. I’m not going to point out the “unpreparedness” of the games nor would I say anything about the foot bridge collapse, the sanity of the CWG village, the incident at the weight-lifting arena, pulling out of (over the) top athletes, the dumb reasons given by our sincere officials ( not to mention the dog’s dump on the athletes’ bed!!).
“Seeing is Believing” they say, which is just another way of saying “Hearing is not believing” But we saw the pictures of filthy village in the papers and they do sound right, right? Come on, it’s like believing our on-screen divas look as beautiful off the screen too. So now seeing is not believing either.
Let’s take that I’m going to host a large party tomorrow. Will I ever go today and spread news that the food I’d be serving at the party will be grouse? That’s what our media has been doing. They had been so busy mocking the Games that they forgot all about the floods that caused havoc in the north recently. Thank God! There was an Ayodhya verdict to shift their attention (well, that’s another story).
Look what our good man, Somnath Chatterjeeji had to say about this “The games have been dubbed a failure even before they’ve begun”. That’s quite true. The outcome wasn’t childish. Certain high ranked athletes opted out citing “security” and “health” concerns. The thing is, Indians are known to be kings of the last minute. We can surely pull it off with some luck provided. But alas! Indians are also pessimistic blokes!
The Foreign media, taking a lead from ours’, could be even worse. There’s one Nik Gowing in BBC. He hosts a show called “The Hub” on week nights (he's been at it since 1996). A few weeks back, he interviewed our External Affairs Minister, S.M.Krishna. The black haired hosts of our news channels (with the exception of Mr.Rajdeep Sardesai. He doesn’t quite seem to dye his hair) would generally address someone of his stature like “Sir, it’s an honour to have you on our show……..”, “We have the honourable …… with us..” or something like “Thanks for sparing your time for us…”, “Inspite of your busy schedule..” and blah,blah,blah..
But the Gowing guy didn’t share our gift of “giving due respect.” He didn’t say a “Mr.” even. After showering him with accusations of the corruption levels involved in the games at around 9.30 pm, he wasn’t content with the usual external-affairs-ministerish answer of “The matters will be dealt with, seriously after the games are over.” I doubt whether the guy even said “Thank you” when he ended the Interview.
All I hope is that our media shows a little sunshine on the CWG. They can shred it into pieces and expose every nook and corner of the village when the games are over, I will not be complaining then (as if someone gives a damn for them now). So as for the present, Cheer on the Commonwealth games!!