F**K CWG.” These words about the Commonwealth Games (CWG) that Delhi is taking great pains to host, adorns the boundary wall of Delhi School of Economics. Students were walking past the graffiti, unconcernedly.
“I will never approve of this at all,” said Naman Gupta, a first year student of Ramjas College, about the graffiti. “While there are ugly things happening in the name of Commonwealth Games, that have left me disgusted, I feel the Games are very, very important to Delhi.”
We pointed out the graffiti to another student. “I think this is over-the-top,” said Esther Moraes, a first year student from St Stephen’s. “But I understand the sentiments behind this graffiti. People are disgruntled about the the Games. Students have been chucked out of hostels (to make way for CWG tourists). The construction projects are missing deadlines.”
HT City, however came across several Delhiites, who are hopeful about CWG. “The Games are making Delhi a top city,” says Satyavrat Mohanty, a cashier in a Hauz Khas Village restaurant. “Players and tourists from all over the world will be coming to Delhi. Our city will get big publicity.” This is a feeling shared by Arman Ali, a 11th standard student in Mother’s International School.
He says, “When a foreigner thinks of India, he sees Bollywood, Taj Mahal and snake charmers. The Games, with even the bad publicity surrounding it, has put Delhi in the spotlight.” A cynical newspaper reader may find the optimism unrealistic; but foreigners in the city are noticing the difference. “I see lot of improvements,” says Jospeh Freeman, a London-based teacher, currently visiting Delhi.
“Roads in Paharganj have been resurfaced and the encroaching stalls have been pushed back. Unlike my trip last year, I don’t have to haggle with autowallas. The meter fare has been increased, but at least, that saves us from being cheated by drivers wanting to make more money.”
While believing in the spirit of Delhi
, author Advaita Kala says, “The F-word graffiti in DU is crude, but it does reflect the current frustration of many Delhiites.”