Much has been said about what has been done or what has not been done for Commonwealth Games - 2010. This has been dissected in great detail and the potrayals have been overly negative.
Our "free" and often "irresponsible" media went berserk and every invective in the dictionary was hurled at the organisers and the Games. Some even went to the extent of criticising the decision to accept these Games in the first place. There were veiled suggestions that we bribed many nations to get the Games awarded to India.
The hype was so great that the foreign press just had to add their bit and the impressions were of a disaster waiting to happen. Many athletes probably dropped out reading this stuff.
One minister Mr. Mani Shankar Iyer went to the extent of calling this a colonial relic and a waste of money. Every attempt made was to scuttle the whole event from taking place. An open and blatant attempt at self-destruction.
I am sure the then NDA government never imagined that we would live to see a day like this, when they went all out to get the Games to India.
It was an effort to project to the world about a young and modern India, a resurgent and confident India, an emerging heavy weight in the world hierarchy. It was also an exercise that would have inspired us Indians to excel in our pursuits and break those limiting shackles that time and our weak minds have imposed on ourselves. An opportunity to mobilise all Indians to come together and create something outstanding.
We were ready to
junk our image to mud.
believe that all these efforts are way beyond us.
believe that we did not deserve the glory that is rightly ours.
It would have been tragic if all these had come true. What surprises me is inspite of our manifold strengths, we repeatedly fall into that same trap and believe that we are so fallible.
The inaugural extravaganza was stunning and I was definitely very impressed with the effort. Coming on the back of very low expectations, the impact may have been higher. This, however, does not dilute any credit that the programme deserves. I am sure the rest of the Games would stick to high standards.
I remember Swami Vivekananda's words and wonder what the result would have been had we remembered his words:
"Man has infinite power within himself, and he can realise it. Arise, awake,sleep no more;within each of you there is the power............"
"March on! Anything that makes you weak physically, intellectually and spiritually, reject as poison"
Let these words inspire us to our best and not our media and TV channels who happen to believe only in our worst.