Mail Today Editor Bharat Bhushan on CWG

first_imgConnect with EditorThe run-up may have been tardy but anyone who went to witness a sports event would tell you that the actual conduct of the Commonwealth Games was superb. That itself is proof enough of the power of public criticism and the vibrancy of Indian democracy.The international media hailed the high-tech opening and closing ceremonies as wonderfully warm and colourful and the Games themselves were quite enthralling. The great Indian wedding has taken place and how.We saw India break into non-traditional sports – especially field events, gymnastics and aquatics. The achievements of sportspersons from small towns and villages showed what India is capable of. They showed how sport can be a great equaliser. Our women sportspersons – some managing a family and children along with their arduous training – did us especially proud by winning a surprisingly large number of medals. New sporting icons were created and hopefully they will inspire many more to emulate them in the villages, towns and cities of this country.In the process of organising the Games, Delhi as a city itself has gained a lot. It has got a brand new airport. The Metro network has expanded to the National Capital Region at a furious pace fuelled by the Commonwealth Games deadlines. The city has suddenly got better roads, better sidewalks, new flyovers and underpasses. The signage on Delhi’s roads suddenly makes sense. There has been a quantum jump in the quality of public transport in the capital with new low-floor buses being introduced in time for the Games. Another 2,000 air-conditioned buses, used for ferrying players and officials of the Games, will be added to the city’s transport fleet.Almost every sports stadium has been rebuilt or overhauled beyond recognition in the NCR. In addition, Delhi has a brand new sports injury facility. A sports infrastructure has been created which with proper legacy planning can give fillip to sports in the country. Apparently plans are in place to put these sports facilities to optimum use with the help of public-private partnership. The thousands of school children who watched the games with rapt attention in the stadia and in front of TV should now be encouraged to get out and play and make use of these facilities through their schools as well as individually.The organisation of the Commonwealth Games has also shown our civic bodies what cleanliness means and what is possible to do with concerted effort. Suddenly, our traffic policemen know that there is no substitute for physical presence in directing traffic rather than following a strategy of “chase and challan”. Delhi Police has learnt to be exceptionally polite as have ordinary Delhiites. The fear of how the world will view us has created a new sense of responsibility. Will it last beyond the Games? One hopes that we will be able to live up to the hospitable and polite image that we have been able to convey to the visiting players and officials from the Commonwealth countries.However, one should not forget that a lot of negativity was associated with the preparations for the Games. The Comptroller and Auditor General’s office, the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation must be allowed to probe the mess. Heads must roll and responsibility assigned for the mess that the Delhi government, the Lt. Governor, the Urban Development and Sports ministries and the organising committee of the Commonwealth Games created. Already there is scramble to apportion blame. It should not happen that some hapless bureaucrats are sacrificed to save the bigwigs. The aim in any case should not be witch-hunting but of making our public institutions and people who head them accountable.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *