Don’t be surprised if every little thing that goes wrong in Delhi over next 12 days and beyond is willy nilly perceived as being caused by the dreaded Commonwealth Games. Gunmen opening fire in the Jama Masjid area of Old Delhi may have been, as in the past, a case of extreme lawlessness for which restaurants in the city put up signs telling customers to leave their firearms outside. But with the two gunmen going on a ‘shooting spree’ that injured two Taiwanese tourists boarding a bus, people — goaded by the ever-hyperbolic media — are already convinced that the ‘terror-mongers’ (if not ‘terrorists’) are using Delhi’s spotlight as an international sporting venue to have their proverbial 15 minutes of fame.
That may well be the case. The supposed mail claiming the attack to have been carried out by the very poor man’s Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, the Indian Mujahideen, doesn’t discount an ‘anti-State’ attack. But even the pelting rains, in the hysterical minds of many, seem to have been ordered by the likes of anti-sports renegade Congressman Mani Shankar Aiyar.
In all the chhappar phar ke situation, genuine grievances like traffic pile-ups caused by the forever-being-constructed Commonwealth Games projects are being mixed and mashed with ‘problems’ that range from rains and the outbreak of dengue to robberies and migraines.
Lest we forget, things were not hunky-dory before the Commonwealth Games and its ancilliary effects kicked in. But then, after the Games are done and the medals lost and won, the perception may well be that Delhi, with the Games behind it, is the finest city that the world has ever seen — the occasional shootings notwithstanding.