Commonwealth games: India not in big league…

Ensuring Socio-economic Justice

Editor

Shawwal 22, 1431 2010-10-01

Editor's Desk

by Editor (Editor's Desk, Crescent International Vol. 39, No. 8, Shawwal, 1431)

Sport has become a popular means to project a country’s image. Wannabes are quick to jump on the opportunity. India is one of the emerging wannabes but as its lack of preparation for the Commonwealth games shows, it does not belong in the big leagues.

From the Editor’s desk...

Sport has become a popular means to project a country’s image. Wannabes are quick to jump on the opportunity. India is one of the emerging wannabes but as its lack of preparation for the Commonwealth games shows, it does not belong in the big leagues.

Indians, of course, would take offense at such comments but facts are stubborn things. They cannot be swept under the rug. The games’ site, not ready yet, is expected to polish up a third-world image. But wait: a bridge collapsed last month, and much to the embarrassment of the Indian government child workers have been shown on construction sites working in the most appalling conditions. It does not wash for Indian officials to say Western reporters are biased. They are, but in this case, they have a point. India is not ready for the games. Not surprisingly, many athletes have pulled out for lack of security as well as lack of proper facilities at the games’ site.

True, India has several million millionaires but they also have several hundred million who barely have access to one square meal al day. They live off garbage dumps and sleep in the streets or in sewers. India cannot hide this image behind the façade of its hi-tech industry that has undoubtedly brought it much-needed foreign exchange. Then there is the ubiquitous caste system — religiously sanctioned apartheid — that cannot be legislated away because it is ingrained in the social system of society.

Sorry, but India does not make it or get it.

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