Friday, September 9, 2011

Common Wealth Games

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Fifty Days to Go!
Common Wealth Games, - A Big Question Mark?


Common Wealth Games were conceived in the year 2003 when NDA Govt. was in power. It was a big achievement for the country and the IOA, and Suresh Kalmadi in particular to have won the bid for such an event. It was a no mean achievement.

There was a big task to erect renovate, modernize 13 stadium in Delhi. Capital city had to gear up with suitable roads, flyovers, metro connectivity and on top of that the internal security imperatives. There were nearly 22 agencies involved to see through all these activities. Throughout this period of 6 and half to 7 years it appears that Suresh Kalmadi the IOA president and designated CWG chairman was the sole individual responsible. Knowing Suresh Kalmadi for last 46 years I have no doubt he liked to hog, the limelight for the successful culmination of this mega sporting event in the country since independence.

Where did we go wrong-from the very beginning there were three main areas (a) infrastructure development not related to the games i.e. roads, flyovers, metro connectivity and such preparations. (b) Construction, renovation, modernization of 13 stadium (c) Actual conduct of the games and other event management. For all these activities separate high level committees should have been formed who should have separately conducted the media briefings as and when required. The role of chairman OCCWG should have been only providing specialists and professional advice for readying the stadiums. The likely delays, trials and gestation period should have been perceived keeping the expected rainy season from June to mid Sept. The expected leak and seepages is nothing new and should have been anticipated. I am of the strong opinion the time of the games should have been 1st fortnight of Nov, anticipating rains and likely hazards that would have given additional 30 dry days to the organizers.

The Criticism

Broadly it is of political nature, what Suresh Kalmadi is doing couldn’t have been done by many of his critics. Our politics is destructive in nature and not constructive. We want to see the individual being pulled down and not to succeed (an other example is Omar Abdullah Chief Minister of J & K)

Rajdeep Sardesai in his article in Hindustan Times, has very forthrightly stated that the corruption is nothing new in the system. The parliament debate on 9th Aug. saw 3 yadavs (Lalu, Mulayam and Sharad) heavyweight politicians, have a lot to answer to the nation on this account. But since they are heavyweight politicians, hence have skipped the wrath of the law. Some of the very close friends of Suresh Kalmadi’s cocktail circuit (and many of them I have met at Suresh Kalmadi’s luxurious parties at 3 kamraj lane) today are his biggest critics (from political, as well as media.) The way various contracts or deals have been made, reflects (through media if correct) high level irregularities. May be at every stage somebody or the other has tried to make a fast buck, since this opportunity may not come again.

Where Suresh Kalmadi went wrong

No doubt every agreement and deal on personnel management procurement etc. must had Suresh Kalmadi’s approval or stamp. He wanted to project himself as a hero and finally may land up zero in the political environment and media. His media management seem to has been disjointed as he wanted to project himself as the sole, individual responsible. One can draw a parallel between Lalit Modi of IPL fame. He (Lalit Modi) brought an event of unique standard and completed 3 seasons of IPL and finally landed up in a mess. Friend SK might land up in the same manner at the end of the CWG. He did not want really honest and transparent seniors to manage his affairs.

Mr. Jaipal Reddy the chairman of GOM for Common Wealth Games was very confident in his address to parliament on 9th Aug. The games would be conducted in the most befitting manner, and shall be the best organized Common Wealth Game so far.

Good luck to friend Suresh Kalmadi.

Random Thoughts

Fourth world military games were organized during Oct 2007 at Hyderabad & Mumbai. 102 countries participated. No. of participants was 4200. Cost was not even 1/100 of the Common Wealth Games. No show man ship or shoo-shaw.

Milkha singh stated the responsibility of Common Wealth Games should have been entrusted to the Armed Forces (Army in particular)

Lalit Bhanot – 2nd most powerful person in the OCCWG, an arrogant rustic Kabaddi player of yesteryears, He wields authority and displays adequately. Reliably learnt one day he threw a file on a senior army officer while interacting, thoroughly entrenched in all possible blame worthy activities of the OCCWG.

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