Superb achievements that were drowned in a muddle of scandals
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Superb achievements that were drowned in a muddle of scandals

Delhi Games gave everyone a chance to flaunt patriotism and wear their hearts on their sleeves, writes Pradeep Magazine.

india Updated: Oct 23, 2010 00:32 IST
Pradeep Magazine
Pradeep Magazine
Hindustan Times

One of the most innocent and harmless acts in this world is to indulge in sports and create new peaks of physical endurance and master skills beyond the reach of the majority. That it gets tarred by scams reflects a society for whom selling and profits have greater meaning than celebration of life in one of its purest forms.

The glitter of gold that dazzled us for a fortnight when we celebrated Indian medal winners and thumped our chests with pride, seems to have lost much of its sheen, as the scale of corruption and loot of the public exchequer, which the media is reporting every day, makes us recoil with revulsion and dismay.

We all flaunt our “National pride” in our daily utterances as if it is a badge without which we will lose our identity and right to exist. For the past week or so, I have not met a single person who has not felt a surge of pride at India showing the world what “we” are capable of.

The beatific look when the word pride is expressed is of a person who has just about experienced the first orgasm of his life. How sad and even tragic when the realisation dawns that the cost at which this pride has been bought is something to feel embarrassed about and does not speak well about us as a people.

Like the gold, which we so intensely desired from our sportspersons while the Games were on, today we are demanding the blood of those who may have looted us.

The questions being raised are many. How much did the Delhi state actually spend out of the R 16,000 crore being shown as expenditure to make our city “world class”? How much did the organising committee siphon off from their budget of around R 2, 500 crore? And was R 11,000 crore which the central government sanctioned actually spent for the purpose it was meant?

Each day brings forth a fresh set of scandalous allegations. Nothing seems to have been done right and the atmosphere is so polluted with the stink of corruption that, even if the investigations prove no wrong was done, no one is going to believe them.

All those involved with the conduct of the Games already stand condemned in the eyes of the people. We believe what the media is feeding us because when we look at the mirror we see a face that reflects our true story.

That sport had to be a catalyst and an instrument for us to discover our real face is sad. Sad for those who toil in hard conditions to achieve sporting perfection, struggle against heavy odds and overcome many hurdles before passing the finish line.

For the sake of all those who gave us orgiastic pleasure each time they won a medal, one hopes that the probe will satisfy our thirst for hanging the guilty.

And for the sake of all sportspersons and their well-wishers, the well-meaning sports minister, MS Gill, should not forget his unfinished agenda. He had embarked on a path to give a new direction for governance of sports in the country.

If ever there was a time to implement those guidelines, it is now.

First Published: Oct 23, 2010 00:29 IST