Monday, September 27, 2010

Common Wealth

The proverbial Pandora’s box finds a new synonym in the Commonwealth Games, 2010…hosted by our nation’s capital.  Though I am apprehensive that after this fiasco of ‘the games’ it would be called the ‘Sham Capital’. Not to mention the ignominy of the continuously accruing ‘shame quotient’. God only knows what else will tumble out of the ‘sham closet’…the Commonwealth Village. It really seems that we are going back to our roots, with the hissing of the snake taking us back… to the village!

I do not wish to give the details of such undesirable incidents for the reasons:
(i)                  I do not have the statistical corroboration…in the form of the exact data.
(ii)                Already people are having to endure enough shame…with the details being covered by both the print and electronic media…and for that I congratulate them. Otherwise we would have been kept in the dark… about the irremovable dark clouds of corruption—yet again—with dignity of the nation being held as a ‘hostage’.
(iii)               Such incidents are likely to pile on, to ultimately reach infinite proportions.
(iv)              I wanted to shed some light from a different context…though the fact that ‘shams’ always lead to ‘shame’, remains irrefutable.

I really ponder as to how are we going to redeem and salvage the respect and dignity of the nation. Through the ‘bribing lure’ of a progressively manipulated economy and an infinite market for ‘what not’s’? Well under the circumstances it would be barter… of our self-respect.

The question arises: Is self-respect…including that of the nation… a commodity?

At least not to a common man/woman. Even though wealth is not common…rather most uncommon possession of a common man/woman. And in this regard Mr. Azim Premzi’s article in the TOI, dt. 28.08.10, sums it up best.

Ambition is justified and a natural reflection of an intention for progression. But when this intention leads to regression…that too knowingly…it becomes ‘hypocrisy’.  That is where this progression has led…to regression. The infrastructure building measures are detectable by only infrared rays! And we have not been able to even preserve the facilities…whatever little…of the yore.

World’s largest democracy’s craving to host the CW games…otherwise would be deemed natural…but not when that democracy is India. India ranks amongst the world’s 10 most poor countries. The majority of the population finds it impossible to fulfill their basic needs…because wealth (?!) is uncommon to common people. Still we want to hold the Commonwealth Games…that too with misdirected intentions.

So echoing what Mr. Premzi has done…and what I am sure 95% of the citizens agree with…did India need to hold the Commonwealth Games? And most important, could we hold an event of such a magnitude when intentions of the people involved, is very common (something at last!)…of not intending to do the needful?

I do not know the real reason behind this decision to hold the games…and more so when the efficient inefficiency of the executive machinery was assured. But I can speculate on the probable consequences…a couple of them, out of the possible many… of the Commonwealth Games.

(i) We Indians are going to feel a burning pinch on our pockets, in the form of further (?!) price hike on the goods of our daily needs.
(ii) And part of the deficit incurred by the games would be levied on us with an increment in ‘taxes’…equivalent to being punished without committing a crime.
(iii) While the culprits…the elite class…including some of our Most Precious (MP’s) citizens would remain unaffected…and if are affected that would be for the better (for them, of course).

So in the very near future, we Indians…reeling from the after effects of the Commonwealth Games…are likely to shout at the top of our voices… C’mon Wealth!

Sushmita Mukherjee,
27th September 2010.