I have a deep fear that Commonwealth Games will turn out to be a disaster. That it will be so for our sportspersons is reasonably known. We will win under 10 gold medals and will finish 4th - as always. We are unlikely to do any better; though chances of finishing lower always exist.
It is the organizing of the game that I am worried about the most. Newspapers talk about every conceivable problem. A stadium leaking rain water minutes after it was opened by two senior ministers in the Indian Government, a temporary roof at a table tennis court collapsing, Chairman of the organizing committee Suresh Kalmadi unable to pull his foot out of his mouth, BCCI refusing to accede to the 'donation' request of Rs 100 crores, allegations of corruption, Indian High Commissioner in UK suggesting that a letter shown by Kalmadi may be a fake, Kalmadi's own party members attacking him... the list is endless.
Amidst the usual chaos that is so natural to India, Delhi is witness to a lot of structures coming up. How many of them will be finished on time, how many of them will be safe for the athletes and the spectators and how many of them will be useful to the people afterward?
During the World Classical Tamil Conference in Coimbatore in June 2010, Coimbatore airport was to sport a new look as thousands were expected to come from all over the world, including the President of India, Pratibha Patil. But we could see unfinished concrete blocks, jutting iron rods and an unfinished pathway through which buses full of passengers were driven through. One month after the event, the situation was still the same. Likewise, much of Coimbatore saw superficial improvements probably incapable of withstanding a few spells of rain.
Will it be the same in Delhi too?
Will it offer anything of lasting value to the residents of Delhi? Will we ensure that we will not be a laughing stock in front of the world, when the games start?