Do We Really Need Common Wealth Games?

August 9, 2010
Personally speaking, I never liked games.  Never watched any match, the only exception being India-Pakistan cricket match years back! But we know why we like to watch it, totally a non-game reason!

I never understood why so much hype about people playing with a bat and a ball, or a hockey or a foot ball or ....  But, I have due respect for the players, as they work hard for a cause, they feel right about.  But, what about the viewers, the cheerers, the supporters and the fans?? Apart from supporting their favourite players/teams, if they had themselves taken care to take up a sport as a hobby or worked towards making themselves healthier and fitter, I think we would be a physically healthy nation. 

I see only one good thing about the big sporting events - people enjoy themselves (entertainment), and there is bonding amongst supporters of a team.  Recently, during FIFA World Cup, I read how football has become a religion of the game lovers all over the world. People felt that bond, that common thread across the Continents. That was a heartening news! I liked that.

image courtesy : www.bharatchronicle.com
But, don't you think that joy, that enthusiasm is marred many a times, as sports are not being taken as sports any more.  They have become a battle somewhere, they have become a big money spinner somewhere, and somewhere sports and the victory has become a prestige issue for the teams and for the countries.

A Game is a game is a game.  Some one will lose it. What's so shameful about it? In principle, there is nothing wrong about losing a game.  The spirit of sportsmanship is the most important thing.  Why this basic value about sport is forgotten when a team loses?  I read in newspaper sometime back that the coach of a team is having a threat to his life because his team lost a match?  Isn't it ridiculous? Are we not stretching games too far?  Were the games not meant to entertain us?  From where this issue of prestige came in?

Now about the fan's anger over "decided non-performance" (match fixing); "ill performance" (read fun n frolic at night parties) and "no-motivation to perform" performances (when a few seconds in Ads get me money, then why slog).  This anger is understandable.  I don't know, hence I won't comment on how far all that is true about the sports persons.  If anybody knows better, please add it as a comment.

Coming back to, should sports be given so much importance? Now, if you are a die hard cricket fan, or any sport for that matter, you will say, why do we watch movies then? Are we not mere spectators there and what do we learn from movies.(I have heard this argument from people earlier, so thought of adding it here). I would say that movies are a form of art, it portrays lives of people, it has a reflection of the society - sometimes imagined.  It is art, and we watch a form of art - enjoy it , criticize it and reflect about it.  Movies touch us in some way (I am only talking about meaningful movies here, rest I don't watch).

I would once again say, that I have all the due regards for the great sports persons who have worked all their lives and wondered the whole world with their talent and magic.  Its commendable.  Their efforts should be, must be recognized and rewarded.

Having said that, I would say that, ultimately, its a sport, and ultimately, movies are another form of art.  We live in a country where people slog to get just two meagre meals.  They allow themselves to live a life of a housefly - living on and eating dirt and die like dirt.  They are caught in a cycle of poverty.  Poverty means no education, which means no or unskilled job which again means poverty.  Its quite hard for them to break this cycle on their own, of course there are exceptions, but we know mostly the State has to support them, uplift them.

This picture is much more gloomy with caste system still in place at many places and gets worsened because of corruption, which seeps down to the roots of the smallest unit of governance of the country, the village level.  We should be working towards that direction, but we idolise sports - sports persons, (and movie actors also).  We are ready to fight for them, we are ready to spend crores and  crores of money for hoisting sporting events.  It disgusts me! 

image courtesy : www.geotauaisay.com
We, a developing country, with dreamy eyes, have to set our priorities right.  We cannot spend our hard earned money on decorating the terrace, the exterior of our house, when we don't have money or will to feed the people in the house.  The decision to hold the Common Wealth Games was correct at this juncture? I have doubts.   The thought behind it, as I have understood, was to showcase the country to the world, and generating employment and revenue for the country.  Noble thoughts, really good.

But, why do we need the scrutinizing eyes of our neighbours (read other countries) to set our house in order (read better public transport system, infrastructure, better aesthetics, better heritage management ). Just why do we need an even to better our country? I fail to understand, why do I need an International Event to be hoisted in my city to see it in a better position, to have a better place to live in?

I have failed... completely!

A Restless Mind With
A Sensitive Heart

24 comments:

Nithin R S said...

Well you tried to touch many aspects with this article. Well i would like to say, people who who farm on facebook might never dare to dirt their hands doing real farming. So, there is no point in crying about absolute fanatism towards a sport and teams. Well, i used to play alot earlier. But where are the playgrounds to play for the new generation.Look around, you will find more flats and other buildings, but no playgrounds. Well, a big international sporting event is beneficial to the hosting nation, as it brings visitors,thats a commercial opportunity. Many new foreign companies will sponsor and they eventually will do business. Above all atleast one city gets better infrastructure. Leaving aside the positive sides, as a nation we have worthless politicians donning the top posts in sporting organisations and organising committees who really don't know what is sport or what sportpersons wish or fans wish. When some third class politicians run such events, its utter foolishness to expect it to be run efficiently. In any case, there is much prestige left in cwg as its just a games to mark the glorious past of british empire. We are a 60 year old independent country and it's time to say good bye to colonialist symbols. Regarding poverty alleviation, unfortunately we know the people who are struggling and we have funds for them too. But, it never reaches them, the leeches working in the system, sucks all the funds and get fat, while poor struggles to move forward. unless more educated people gets into the governance, our country will remain like this.

Niket said...

I agree that the Organising Committee has messed it up and there are a whole a lot of issues haunting our country. But tell me one thing, if the CWG 2010 would have been taint-free (I know, it's a dream come true in India) and successfully hosted, would anyone have cropped up poverty, hunger, & caste issues then? It would have been the other way round. It would have been a matter of National Pride!
True, that corruption exists from the grass root levels and it is a very very critical issue to be solved.
But as far as comparing movies and sports are concerned I may not agree with you, because I think both are an equally important source of Entertainment; and if crores are being spent for cricket, the same applies for the movies and in both the forms, ultimately the common man ends up paying from his own pockets.
Liked the post!

Vee... said...

i may not completely agree with you on 'why games?'. But I do share your opinion on CWG. it may be a good thing to do for developing our country in some ways, but we are not yet ready for hosting. what troubles me the most is the number of scams that are surfacing recently. that indicates how much money was eaten up by these hungry politicians. 30K Crores INR is the budget allocated to this. Why not put it in education sector? Why not in eliminating poverty?! I don't feel good.

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

@ Nithin R S - welcome to my world my perception! First I must thank u for sharing such straight forward thoughts with me and everyone here. You have siad a lot of things in your comments.

I agree with u that Govt for the sake of International repute ( or even filling their pockets) have decided to host the games, but nurturing of talent, providing infrastructure of youngsters is absolutely missing. I am going to write about it too.

Of course, its the greed and meanness of ppl in power who have sacrificed the image of the country and put us to shame in front of the world by not preparing the city for the event and eating up all the money.

The same happens to the funds for the poor.

cud not understand this " So, there is no point in crying about absolute fanatism towards a sport and teams." cud u pls tell what did u really mean by it?

I appreciate ur efforts to write a feedback on my blog. thanks nithin!

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Niket, I like u frankness, keep it up!

hmm about the comment, what i have tried to say in the post that we have DISPLACED ENTHUSIASM, we should be worrying more about development than hosting games. True, I would not be cribbing about povery if the games went on well, because, proper event management means, more employment, more revenue and better reputation in the world, it would have helped us in some way, helped the society at large. No I would not have cribbed,if they had worked in the fixed budget, if they didnot loot our money, money of the poor, for the poor.

About movies and sports, i think u confused it, i said spending too much money on entertainment of any type, be it movies be it sports is not really called for, as we should have our priorities clear being a developing nation. So none of these are more important than the poor and hungry of the nation.

thanks a ton for your honest opinion Niket, i value it.

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Hi Vee!

My opinion about games is my personal disconnect with games ( its bad too). And I knew many ppl won't like it, still wanted to speak my mind!

Yes, thatis the crux that, cwg and the corrpution has left all of us shocked and angry, it upsets me too, badly, i think the guilty shuld be hanged. Why don't we all write about it? won't that be a good idea? do let me know.

Thanks Vee,

Vee... said...

Restless -
That will be wonderful. People will definitely come forward to share their ideas. Nithin and Niket had a lot to say, so will many others!

Vee... said...

Dude, how do you find time and motivation to write so many posts! And that too you present your ideas in a wonderful manner. :)

About the CWG, as you said we can do a chain of posts linking each other. And to attract more users to write on this issue, we can start a topic in Indiblogger forum and invite others to write as well. What say?

Hari said...

As a sporting event this is a complete waste of time. But I support government spending (although there is corruption involved). It means jobs for the poor people.

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

@ HARI - WELCOME! A well planned show with little corruption ( we cant finish it completely) would have been beneficial for the country, but notdeveloping the sportsperson and spending money on stadiums makes little sense.
Thanks for commenting!

@ Vee - Vee I am addicted to Blogging!!!!!always bursting with ideas to write!

or we could put a link of other bloggers who are writing about it. Like in my post, i put a link to ur post,a and further it goes like that.

Writing on Indiblogger,mmmm, unless there is a contest, i dont think i will work there. Like Blogaton, everyone write and all read. so not sure about it.

Our idea is great but execution, i am not sure Vee, to be honest.

RESTLESS

Vee... said...

As you say! In case I try to come up with something, I'll link your post in that and leave a note requesting/encouraging others to write on this.

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Hey Vee absolutely, i think this should work. take care!

Aashish Sood said...

Wrote very well... couldnt agree with you more... I wrote a piece on the same topic some time back! Do go through it

http://aashishsood.blogspot.com/2010/03/commonwealth-games-2010-will-they.html

And I do believe that the money spent in organizing these games would have been well spent in setting up infra in rural areas. Some people say that such an event of international repute will bring FDI in India and it is helping develop infra in India... but I say that the infra is getting developed in Delhi or adjacent areas only; areas which anyhow get ample attention anyway!!! For the development of entire country, it is important that equal focus be dealt to the rest of the rural people as well!!! And lets just not talk about corruption in CWG... That would be too much to be dealt in one blog, let alone one comment :D

What Say!!!

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Absolutely Ashish! lets leave corruption, i did so intentionally, what we do ranting about it, though it boils our blood, and new taxes are also waiting, let not forget that!

surely, will read ur article.

True, why concentrate on one part, and that too when some ppl have to visit u, otherwise, r we not supposed to have better infrastructure?!

thanks and welcome to My World, My Perception.

RESTLESS

Vee... said...

did you see the thread on CWG at indiblogger's forum. just in case you didn't know. i wanted you not to miss that. i've been putting off writing on that topic. wish to do that soon though.

may be i'm the introvert types. although i've lot to express on various things, i wouldn't do that until it builds the rage inside me and bursts at once. and that's partially the reason for writing haikus, so that i can get away with expressing things only in an abstract way! :D

Minstrel Incognito said...

I would have to disagree with your comments about the importance of games. Firstly, coz seen through that lens half the things in the world would be unnecessary...And secondly, apart from being entertainment, it is also a means of livelihood for many sportspersons in our country...and a lot of them come from homes that cannot even afford a square meal and playing is what keeps their families going.

But yes, the corruption that has pervaded CWG is a shame. I would say that hosting the CWG was an unnecessary thing at this pint of time. It was ill-timed and we are ill-prepared. The necessary infrastructure is not present. the money that went into these games could have been used for genuine development and for a lot better causes than being drained this way.
The money that went into making Volunteers ID's and uniforms and the CWG Anthem and all is atrocious! It's shameless misuse of the taxpayer's money. Eventually if the Games fail to gather revenue, it will be the taxpayer's neck that will be wrung for the deficit.
My grouse also emerges from the utter disregard for the citizens, the way rules have been formulated and modus operandi decided, there has been no concern for the citizens whose lives shall not stop for those two weeks. It's a shame really.. Total BS!

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

@ MI - My dislike for games is my personal choice.

You are almost saying what I said. Games are OK, but when more important issues like poverty and education are waiting for our attention, then why have big gaming events, was my question.

tc

RESTLESS

Minstrel Incognito said...

Yes Restless, i agree with what you said.. But the only part I had a problem with was your statement that sports themselves are unnecessary...while i feel that India is not financially and in terms of infrastructure not timing this hosting the Games thing right.. Games are not unnecessary..but hosting the CWG now at this pt of time was..

NeoTheHack said...

No...I cant possibly agree with any of you... Sports is a great leveler... Sports bridges gaps... but ya... the timing...as also.. the placing was wrong. The only consideration for organizing games in Delhi was to make money. What administrators could have done was to conduct games in a smaller city so that the sports infrastructure there is improved, and at the same time, wont cause much trouble to its crowded citizenry. At the same time,it would have allowed the rural folk to throng to the venues and thereby bettering their sports skills and facilities... so both condemning the sports ..and hailing it is both wrong. what is needed is level headedness. and regarding RM's suggestion that hunger and poverty has to be given a lookahead is misconceived. actually, it does goes its due. and sports need to have its due. last sixty years since independence we have been trying to eliminate hunger and poverty...and it will continue. but in the sixty years we should have one regular gold medals too...which we are not doing...ya.. in that way.. may be.. we could have not hosted these games and instead spent these 30 thousand crores on training athletes..so that at last by 2020 Olympics.. we can raise our heads high... but who cares.. the democracy that India is..

Vee... said...

i did my take on the CWG. at last!
read it here: http://psychesvisage.blogspot.com/2010/09/will-father-fail.html

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Neo,

I will say that again, my lack of interst in games is my personal choice or liking, nothing to do with my opinion on games.

You know, MI and you and me, we are saying the same thing. You gave another good idea, hold it in some small town, i think that would have made more sense.

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Vee,

ah! i was thinking to remind you on this topic... to write about it... sure will read it!

Btw, ABC contest is cool, why don't you also join it? the J post which i did... let me know what u think about the contest.

RESTLESS

NeoTheHack said...

True. BY Holding the games in some small town, we would have given both the games and the infrastructure an impetus, at the same time, encouraging talented sportsmen from rural areas to come up.

Anyways, by holding it in a metropolis, and that too.. the way it was going.. it only succeeded in showing the dirty underbelly of corruption that is inherent in our political and social class. India was not shining 10 years before when BJP went to polls, but India is truly shining now, if only we didnt have this commonwealth sham.

NeoTheHack said...

and one more thing... sorry for being cynical... contrary to what you said that proper event management means more employment, more revenue, and more reputation.. is a fallacy. proper event management means less pay to the laborers brought from far flung areas... proper event management means more revenue to the city bred ..and not villages. proper event management means more reputation on world stage..true but reputation of what..? that we can stage such pomp games in 5 star environments 40% of the people are below poverty line,a and it is 40% only because the govt has fudged the figures and it could have been more...?? Development only aides the rich getting richer, it displaces a lot of the poor. that is what is happening in central india, mainly, orissa and Jharkhand

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