Friday, August 6, 2010

Corruption-wealth Games

Once again, the powers-that-be of my beloved country leave me surprised. The good part is, I am left pleasantly surprised.
Two top aides of the Corruption-in-Chief, Suresh Kalmadi, were sacked today post the findings of an investigation committee. This leads the already much-beleaguered Commonwealth Games further into a morass. Maybe not. After all the mess that these fellows have created, what worse could they have done? But no, thanks. They have been sacked.
Firstly, why am I surprised? Simply because while I have followed the media hollering about the malpractices going on in the preparations leading upto the CWG, I had always feared that all this will be pushed under the carpet. It is easy to play emotional blackmail with us Indians. All that one has to say is - "You see, the Games are just two months away. Why don't we all join hands (Ahem!) and make the Games successful. Our country's prestige and image depends on that. Once the Games are over, we will surely investigate all matters and all those guilty will be punished." In fact, they already had said something to the similar effect. It is another matter that some cynical Indians (me included, of course) never believe such lip service.
After all, the Commonwealth Youth Games held in Pune last year were a disaster. Did anyone get punished? No. The main road that is close to where I stay is STILL BEING BUILT AFTER THREE YEARS!!!!!!! The stadiums are still in a pathetic conditions. They WERE pathetic even when the Youth Games were on. So how do you expect anything different to happen in the BIG Commonwealth Games? All the more, when the man behind these two events is the same? Kalmadi, of course.
Now now now. There are some little glitches in the whole thing, isn't it? The so-called "investigation committee" was ordered by none other than Suresh Kalmadi himself. Which is like the robber cleaning up the safe, then borrowing the whistle from a cop and blowing it hard, yelling, "THIEVES, THIEVES, THIEVES. Help, Help, HEEEEEEELLLPPP!"
Anyways, now that someone has been sacked, what are the possible scenarios?

1. Someone who can crack the whip will be in command. He/She will confess to all the participating countries by saying, "OK, we admit we goofed up. But we will try our level best to make the Games a success. I hope you will all cooperate." The Games will have glitches, but will certainly happen.
2. The Games will actually end up being a fiasco and Indian inefficiency will be out in the open for everyone to see.
3. The Games will happen with much fanfare. The glitches will be effectively covered up. Kalmadi will smile on the front pages of all the newspapers and give brave interviews to all channels. And then all will be forgotten.
In all likelihood, I fear that scenario no. 3 will happen. Still, I just wish that my country surprises me again.
In all this mayhem, I heard the news that Kalmadi actually asked the Cabinet to sanction 55 crores (or some such equally preposterous sum of money) to kick-start the country's bid to host the 2019 Asian Games! That, according to me, is a new definition of brazen-ness and sheer shameless
audacity. Thankfully, the Cabinet had the sense to say "first manage the mess of CWG that you have already created, then we can think of other things".
It seems to be a season of surprises.


Anonymous said...

Kalmadi managed to make it through the CYG, so I'm sure they'll make this one work too. I think with enough money (which surely is not lacking here) you can always cover it up in the last moment, can't you? :D

If he does become the fall guy though, what I AM worried about the possiblity of Pune moving away from Congress rule. I can't imagine Shiv Sena/ BJP - I'd rather choke on my tongue!

Pushkaraj said...

@ Truehorizon - Thanks for the comment. I think your apprehension about Pune not being ruled by Congress are rather unfounded. One, there can be some other Congressman representing Pune, other than Kalmadi. (Although I admit that I can't see who that can be.) Two, what has kalmadi ANYWAY done for Pune? So maybe it will be a case of an unknown devil being better than a known one.
Maybe Pune-ites need to stop worrying about the Central Govt. and start thinking local. This might come to you as a surprise, but I got an interesting insight during the last elections from my friend Sumita Kale. She actually studied the manifesto of each candidate and found that the only one who promised to focus on LOCAL issues was, hold your breath.... MNS!
I hasten to add that I am no fan of MNS, but I thought Sumita had a point there.

Anonymous said...

I agree on two points. If not Kalmadi, who? That's a question of ideology, of course. I'd rather vote for Congress than BJP and other shades of saffron.

I had this debate with a friend of mine here. He belongs to the school who says the MP should pay more attention to the local issues, and therefore the priority while voting should be to vote that person who promises local solutions. My approach is admittedly centre-biased : The MP is possibly a part of a party that will rule at the centre. That should play an equal role in deciding whom to vote is what I think. Some idiot from BJP may give me local solutions, but I surely do not want BJP at the Centre - would give rise to bigger issues.

As to the MNS, I think keeping aside the sons of the soil issues, the party has maneouvred pretty as far as agenda is concerned. It is not shocking therefore that it has the greatest focus on local issues. Anyway, it is only a local party. What national issue are they supposed to address, I cannot fathom.

Pushkaraj said...

@ Truehorizon - Well said. I think a lot of Indian voters actually do that. I don't know why psephologists keep wondering why one party wins the Lok Sabha seat but loses the local elections. It has a perfectly logical explanation.
As for me, I would still vote for Congress, even if they field some rank outsider the next time around. But if they still field Kalmadi, I will give in to anti-incumbency factor!
On that topic, can you tell me how we can get Congress to come to power without needing help from Mamtas, Karats and Laloos of the world? THAT would be the best solution.

Uttara said...

there is a comment for you on my blog re Gori tere Sajal Naina here:

Pushkaraj said...

@ Uttara - Thanks - I had quite forgotten all about this matter! I remember waiting for an answer for some days and then going ahead with publishing a post about what I thought nevertheless! That post is at