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Run along now

india Updated: Jan 02, 2011 22:53 IST

The naivete of most people never ceases to amaze us. For those who assumed that the tony stadiums put up at hugely inflated cost for the Commonwealth Games would be used to further sports in the country, we ask, are you for real? The venues in question are arguably the most pricey on the planet. They were meant to showcase both India's sporting prowess and organising committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi's heightened aesthetic sense. But, surely it is asking too much that all that delicate astro-turf and other fitments be subjected to athletes bouncing around them and spoiling the scenery. In fact, Mr Kalmadi is following a time-honoured tradition of erecting structures with the express purpose of keeping the hoi polloi away from them.

For those who may discern some flaws in this logic, would they like it if they had to fork out for repairs and maintenance after the masses had lumbered around in those pristine surroundings? We think not. And, further, this is one way of ensuring that our athletes don't get soft by using all that high-standard equipment. After all, they did not require all this earlier when they were left to their own devices. The Games village too is another example of Kalmadian preservation techniques. Only the discerning will be able to get their hands on these structures, namely our politicians.

The thrift aspect does not end there. Overjoyed with the success of the Games, Kalmadi and Co are fairly certain that they have a future Olympics in the bag. If the venues are kept in shape, then it would save us crores by way of new constructions, wouldn't it? This is forward planning at its best. This way, when sports officials are called into account, or accounts in the case of some of them, they will be ahead of the race.