Is India really ready for the Commonwealth Games?

October 1, 2009

While travelling to work in an auto rickshaw, the driver asked me, “Madam aap TV dekhte ho kya?” (Madam, do you watch TV?)Wondering what would come next, I replied with a nod.“Hamare desh mein agle saal khel hone vale hain, mehmaan ayenge magar mehmaano ke liye humne kya kiya? (We are going to have games in our country next year, guests will come but what have we done for our guests?),” he asked. With a very miserable expression he further said, “Padhe-likhe log bhi sadak pe kachra aur thook fekte hain.” (Even educated people spit and litter the streets) The auto driver is not the only one concerned about this issue.Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram remarked recently that people should learn to behave like citizens of an international city.“We want to encourage people to change their mindset,” he said. The Indian Olympic Association has expressed its concern over the logistical preparations for the event, but who is going to check on how the people behave?Beggars in the national capital are also looking forward to the Games. A large number of tourists would be a windfall and beggars are leaving no stone unturned to be prepared.An informal academy has been set up in New Delhi’s Rohini area where children are taught to beg in different foreign languages.Countries like Germany and China had taken the initiative to train their citizens to behave properly when they hosted the football World Cup and the Olympics. Should India also start a similar training program or is it too late?The Indian Tourism’s tagline reads – ‘Atithi Devo Bhavah’. (Our guest is blessed and our visitor is God)Do you think people will adopt this tagline in the months to come? Are we really ready for a global event like the Games?


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haha. did anyone notice that the word incredible is derived from the fact that something is NOT credible? Isnt it ironic that India has launched a global campaign welcoming the world to the ‘land of no crediblity’.anyway, im bracing myself for the spate of molestations, eve teasings and rapes one can expect when so many unsuspecting atheletes, media-persons and officials turn up in Delhi. we havent done zilch for the safety of women. and in this city, even diplomatic officials are not safe!

Posted by tadasmi | Report as abusive

A great one again Raashi.Definitely an important issue.Keep writing. :)

Posted by Shubhi | Report as abusive

offcourse we are ready.we indians, hwever we are, are known for our culture. we might b d country of beggars but once it cm to the pride of the nation…history is d witness that we have worked together forgetting all diff to achieve our goal thereby keeping the national flag flying high always

Posted by vinod | Report as abusive

What? They are training kids to beg in different languages! Some training! I say we are definitely headed in the right direction. So what if the athletes don’t have a stadium or a place to stay. We will make sure they are fleeced in various languages!

Posted by Bini | Report as abusive

That very true of this article, Govt is not at all serious about reputation of nation and politician are busy in making money out of this huge expenditure..But from our side at least we can give good impression by behaving in good manners..ThanksAmit Chandra

Posted by Amit | Report as abusive

Behavioral programs will not help. Indians are incorrigible. The govt. should make its laws effective and penalize people for spitting and littering at places other than the garbage bins. But for that, the cities need to have more visible presence of bins so that people don’t find excuses not to use them.

Posted by Singh | Report as abusive

good job Raash…it seems almost impossible to host the games in a decent manner taking in account the current scenario…i am all for india n patriotic and all but just that wont help concreteness in action is need of the hour..

Posted by manveen | Report as abusive

Good point Raashi. I hope our govt wakes up to his fact as well as about the safety of female atheletes.

Posted by hanit | Report as abusive

A good way to perpetuate the myth of India as a nation of beggars: train the kids to beg in a plethora of languages.Globalization at its best!

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive

We are prepared for anything with shortcuts and we believe in finding problems to solutions. The not to forget the Blame Game for any mishaps or failures.These qualities add up to one conclusion”sitting on the fence” we know who gets hurt and where!!

Posted by ali shahanshah | Report as abusive

very true……..indeed…we as southasians should be behave in a good manner…since we had a civilized history in past.arent we?

Posted by anushka | Report as abusive

Why does the symbol APPEAR TO BE countless people, emerging from nowhere, with begging hands, looking forward for some alms?

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive

Just stop complaining about the gov. and think what we as citizens of India can do to promote our nation’s demeanour

Posted by Harish | Report as abusive

Today I was watching a news channel with the same big Issue. Is India can make it out in 365 days????????. First of all I dont understand why we behave like a Tortoise. After Melbourne Our country is going to host the CW Games. This we know from 2006.. India is a great country actually this world is great but some place are not so develpoed due to many reasons like EDUCATION & POPULATION. Our Place comes FIRST, sometimes it hurts that why people react like a cheap dogs. Basically they dont care whats going on, in another word they are the BIGGEST SELFISH living thing in this World.Its your place….. Try to do something that people from other place say some good words about you & about ur Place..

Posted by Deepak Singh. | Report as abusive

Lot of people talk about “we are known for culture” . Want to know what is this culture ? Rich getting away from crimes, delayed justice system , caste seggregation (Racism ?), corruption, Regionalism, Religious issues ??

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

They should have given all this to the private sector to manage, then only things would get moving. the government is terribly slow.

Posted by a.c | Report as abusive

SOS to Indian Govt.1. Send some good people (not bureaucrats) to China to learn the Best practices around the world and then try to bench mark2. Send both people and beggers to jail(nothing less will do) who may misbehave. Take lesson from China – How it managed amid so many problemsCheers,Lucky

Posted by Lehana | Report as abusive aspx?clubid=359

Posted by Amanda Hirsch | Report as abusive

My Point of view is something different.Last year there were Commonwealth Youth games in Pune, but still here government managed some how to completed the target but with some Loop=holes. Like we were also required Road infrastructure in Pune but it was not well prepared and the same case is bound to happen with CommonWealth-2010 in Delhi next year.We do not only good stadium to play but Road infrastructure should also be good at the same time and even the great Success of this game will decide India Future for Bidding of Olympic Games-2020. The Bidding process will start in 2011 and i think India can participate in Voting also but that require perfect planning, but what is happening these days in Delhi for CommonWealth games is open to everyone, even International Olympic committee is also having aa watch on this, which can make India chances to participate in Voting process tougher.

Posted by Sourabh Mittal | Report as abusive

India will organize its mini olympic games without investment in infrastructure-road, railway, accommodation etc. Western contries is pressing India to match and ape China. However there is big gap between reality and Bollywood.

Posted by Willy Vee | Report as abusive

According to Sepp Blater India is not even in a position to host a world junior tournament due to lack of investment in infrastructure and incapacity to mobilize its people. Moreso much of India’s money is going for the purchase of future US military equipment. What people is seeing in Bollywood films are far from Indian reality.

Posted by Willy | Report as abusive

Don’t lose hope , India alway a last moment guy to get into train … forget blame business rather create awareness of the improtance of the games . India needs to work 24/7 to meet the deadline of games else tagged as Slumdog Millionaire.

Posted by Sahid | Report as abusive

No government program can teach civility to people. Educated people should be setting examples. But if educated people are setting bad examples then what to do?Making laws and penalizing people for littering etc… is going to create few more departments in the government, increase taxes, increase corruption etc… Yes, Hawaldars will be able to make more pocket money.Installing bins is a good idea. Atleast it gives people an option. An option to litter the waste or dispose it.P.S: It better be concrete dustbins.

Posted by Sujay | Report as abusive

delhi commonwealth games 2010 is luxury on indian govt.

Posted by kota srinivasarao | Report as abusive

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Posted by neha | Report as abusive

A possible Solution:Give this task to BOLLYWOOD.All Indians get inspired from Bollywood very quickly.OR Let cricketers do those commercials to alter ‘the mindset’ of Indians so that Indians(even the educated ones) behave like ‘civilized beings’.Even if a fraction of 1 billion people change, behave like responsible citizens, the idea would prove its worth.Someone said that Govt. should not be blamed and we citizens should ‘act’…Lets consider you , I and 75000 others acted. What about the other 1250000000000 people. Not all speak the same language. Thanks to India’s diversity, we would need 100s of leaders to influence their respective followers (citizens)What I think is…we Indians have always looked upon someone to administer us…manage /govern us. we have never, ever learnt to act ourselves(be responsible).We are like buffaloes, we need someone to show the way.In other words, most of us are followers rather than leaders.There is no denying of the fact that India has a great history of Leaders, BUT that era is long gone.All the great leaders are dead .The people or citizens who have the potential of a LEADER will never get the opportunity or the medium to become one. Thanks to corruption, beauracracy, Red Tapism etc.Another solution, I love the most( and I am sure no one would like) is to invite Germans to our country and give them all the power and freedom to change us.Govern us. No interference from the Govt. They should be allowed to do whatever they want. Hard to imagine for some..I know…but the quickest solution for someone interested in quick and great results.So, you see all the problems are interconnected. So, its no wonder to imagine that the Commonwealth Games would be a disaster .

Posted by An Indian | Report as abusive

To WillyI really do not believe the West cares to expect India to match China’s performance on Beijing Olympics or to compare it to any other nation(s). Every International Sports committee expects adequate facilities and hospitality by the people hosting the events. Indians should not feel or think of insecurity. Any nation or peoples must simply galvanize their population & focus on the tasks that need to be completed. Many other people have hosted major sporting events: Russians, Japanese, Germans, Brits,… the list goes on. The Chinese were very determined to show off to the world. They have self-confidence and are looking towards the future. Btw some of the English used in the comments by folks is absolutely terrible.

Posted by Rick | Report as abusive

Don’t drink milk with closed eyes… a request to Indian Authorities.. World is watching us. However, there is no need to panic, nobody is fool to kick start the games unless everything is complete.

Posted by Bhushan | Report as abusive

I don’t think India has the adequate infrastructure and facilities to host the biggest international sports event of the world. If the Indian Olympic Association and the Govt. are really doing something, its neither sufficient nor satisfactory. Besides it is too late now. The Govt. and IOA have condemned India to international ridicule by their lethargy and corruption.

Posted by mridul | Report as abusive

A lot of pessimism is oozing out here.Willy:@Indian vs China.@India will organize its mini olympic games without investment in infrastructure-road, railway, accommodation etc. Western contries is pressing India to match and ape China. However there is big gap between reality and Bollywood.”- Posted by Willy Vee—I do not think the West is pressing India to match China given the fact that China managed Olymics like no one else did before and the London must be under pressure to match the Chinese. Is that not understandable? The gap is due to the Indian democracy vs Chinese communism which translates into efficiency.But nothing at all will explain poor management of the games.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

the NCR is in such a shabby state, incomplete venues, poor roads, idiot drivers and garbage everywhere. the governor wants the denizens of the capital to acquire manners and politeness in 200 days. they have not done so in the last 200 years!! we will be mocked and derided for the next 100 years at least for our shocking incompetence and poor performance. and this when we had 8 years to organise ONE city!! this is india, friends. public urinating and spitting on walls, even in government offices and banks, the walls are smeared red and malodorous because men are not tpoilet-trained here. what will the visitors see when they want to travel by train to agra, jaipur, udaipur, mathura, banaras? filthy platforms, even filthier facilities, unruly crowds at ticket counters. what does the government think? that the visitors will be forced to stick to venue-hotel-venue? how will the businessmen make money if the visitors are not allowed to sample what this lovely country has to offer? there is still time – hand over the games to another country better equipped. all they have to do is a little sprucing up of their stadiums, that is all.

Posted by ms | Report as abusive

There is nothing between sports Ministry and federations.Their fight is not for promoting sports in India and how Indian reach on top of the world but for the SHARE distribution of the CWG Delhi money.
Sports ministry created and share the money from the federations which not exists in International sports.Any one can make Federation wether itis of Kanchey, Guli Danda, stapoo, ludo,snake and ladder sorry for Carrom it is already made or any home made game you know.The upcoming federations are Video/Computer Games.Many media personalties are also involved with them.Its a pure game of WINE,WOMEN,WEALTH. is really Maharashtiyan specially PUNE/Mumbians have experience to get jobs in CWG Delhi where others can work at the half the cost and better then a dozen of those. The rest are the relatives of the politicians and Federations members.Is really there is need of so much staff.
IF really Govt wants then check the expenditures of YCWG Pune of Transpotation,Hotels,Accredition Cards which were not more then a normal peace of paper as there were no scanning machines to check accredition cards.Ticketing,kit etc.
Most of the tenders of CWG Delhi are given to the Agencies which are of the heads of Sports Federations or of their relatives.
Transperacy what transperancy Sports Ministry is Partner and its a dispute of Money.

Posted by sportsdaku | Report as abusive