Games of the non-commonwealth has lessons for Sri Lanka
Posted on October 10th, 2010
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Another episode of the farce known as the Commonwealth Games started on October 3 in Delhi, following high drama created by the western corporate media. The people of India however, could not care less about the circus, and they kept away in droves while the contests were taking place in empty venues.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The obvious, justifiable frustration of the ordinary Indians was exemplified by Asamanja Ghose, a writer to the Times of India online, who posed some extremely pertinent questions: ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“We shouldn’t have organised the Games at all. The country which in 63 years of independence hasn’t been able to provide proper living houses, clean drinking water, uninterrupted electricity, full time jobs, healthy food, clean air and free education to all its citizens despite spending trillions of dollars is sinking into the slime and grime of corruption and bad governance trying to pull off an international sporting eventÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â There are lessons for Sri Lanka here, if we are seriously ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œbiddingÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ to host this farce. The obvious questions are, can the country justify the enormous cost (billions of dollars) of staging the ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œGamesÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ and are there better uses the money could be put to? The objective of this posting is to pose these questions in the light of the totally ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œdeadÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ nature of the so-called Commonwealth and the Indian experience.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Firstly about the Commonwealth: the collective histories of the 54 nations that form the membership of this body with its benefactor Britain makes it an anomaly of enormous proportions: it is an ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œon-goingÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢, illegitimate ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œpartnershipÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ between the British, who had been committing unspeakable crimes of genocide, rape, and plunder of riches until the uppity adventures of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Emperor Hirohito upset the apple cart, and the victims of their crimes!
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The increasing irrelevance of the Commonwealth to the people in the former colonies is evidenced by a Royal Commonwealth Society-RCS (formerly known as the Royal Empire Society) report titled ‘An Uncommon Association, A Wealth of Potential’; following its largest-ever public consultation on the future of the Commonwealth across seven countries, the RCS reported that only one-third of the people knew what it was! It is gasping for breath and is being kept alive only through a biennial holiday to member country leaders, packaged as a Heads of Government Meeting, and the ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œCommonwealthÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ Games, held every four years.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Now we come to the Games and the events leading to the current Delhi Games. Due to the vain Anglo-Saxon (talk of a mixed breed!) efforts to rival the Olympics as the prime international sports meeting, the British and their cousins (Canada, Australia and New Zealand) do not like to grant the Games to developing countries: these four countries have hosted the event 13 times between them, with the gloss taken away of the 1986 Games when 32 nations boycotted because of then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s objections to sanctions against apartheid. MalaysiaÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s bid and successful hosting in 1998 was considered an aberration! It is against this background the extraordinary western media attack on the integrity, pride and capabilities of the Indian nation during the two week period leading up to the current Games need to be considered.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The farcical Games were scheduled to start on October 3, but the media contingents from Australia, Canada and New Zealand descended in Delhi at least two weeks prior to the opening and started a vile campaign based on a chorus of ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œlack of preparationÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ on the part of the organisers.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â In order to let facts not stand in the way of this vicious and most uncivil onslaught, they chose to ignore the fully completed facilities such as the swimming pools, the velodrome, and the running tracks, and concentrated on the Games Village, that was on the way to completion during the 12 period preceding the opening : they complained of dirty rooms, stained beds, and filthy toilets as well as rogue dogs and vandal construction workers.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Of course, according to Indian thinking and approach to things, the cleaning of the newly constructed building was always going to be completed by the date of the opening of the games, but reporting such Indian confidence was not helpful to the message the western corporate media had in mind! This is why it was ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œmanna from heavenÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ when a foot over-bridge near the main Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium collapsed!
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Interestingly, the adverse propaganda campaign led to the colonial boot licking president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, a Jamaican named Michael Fennell, to almost ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œorderÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ the Indian government to take steps to immediately ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œfixÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ the problems. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh obliged by holding a meeting with union ministers and the organising committee!
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Few of the participants, such as the Australian heifer named Dani Samuels, a supposed ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œworld championÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ in that most elegant of the sports (not!), the discus throw, pulled out of the games, due apparently to ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œfilthyÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ accommodation and security fears. The fading Australian sporting ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œsuperstarÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ named Jane Fleming (who gained national notoriety for faking a leg injury at the Barcelona Olympics!) added her ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œtwo cents worthÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ by announcing in disjointed English that: ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“The fact that someone of Dani’s stature has withdrawn I’m sure is making a whole lot of others question their attendanceÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The subtext of all the media reports was that: it’s a sign that India is not ready for the Games and the infrastructure here is not “world class”. More explicitly, the reports made the ridiculous suggestion that India had hoped to use the Games to display its growing global economic and political influence rivaling neighbour China which put on a spectacular 2008 Beijing Olympics and they failed spectacularly, damaging the countryÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s reputation! Moody’s Analytics, a unit of the Moody’s rating agency (who gave Lehman BrotherÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œjunk bondsÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ that caused the American Financial Crisis of 2008 an ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œAAAÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ rating!) said investment in India could be damaged as a result.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â All this while the event cost the Indians an more than US$6 billion: significant money was spent to beat the other bidder, the Canadian city Hamilton; at the in the final poll held in Jamaica in 2003, India offered all member nations $US100,000 each for their vote, outbidding the Hamilton offer of $70,000 each. There were other costs such as those of keeping the chief executive, New Zealander Mike Hooper, for two years in Delhi to supervise progress, in a mansion rented at US$36000 a month; it is easy to understand as to why he described the accommodation at the Games village as ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“filthyÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â and ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“uninhabitableÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â!
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â What this types of behaviour proves is that the creation of a so-called ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œCommonwealth of nationsÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ by the British at the winding-up of the empire was perhaps an atrocity as evil as the crimes they committed the world over for over a 200 year period. This illogical and irrelevant fraud (the British wealth is not ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œcommonÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ at all!) has now seen its days.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The unbelievably shameless adverse propaganda perpetrated by the un-commonwealth officials, the media and someÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â non-entity athletes of Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand against IndiaÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s organising of the ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œGamesÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ should convince the developing world to put an end to this farce and get on with their nationsÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ development.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Any planned expenses for the Games bid and its conduct could better be spent to provide health and education for the poor in Sri Lanka who are not going to be benefited by keeping the Commonwealth alive. So the bid needs to be abandoned.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The British Empire, whatever name it is hidden under, is a stinking memory of our own experiences as well as Indian events such as the Amritsar massacre and the stealing of the Koh-i-Noor, the largest diamond then known to the world, by (Lord!) Dalhousie of the East India Company.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The Koh-i-Noor symbolises the unashamed plunder of Indian riches by the British: it was later handed over to Queen Victoria by Dalhousie in 1877 when she declared herself Empress of India, and was set in the crown of the so-called Queen Consort, with the ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œQueen MotherÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ who died in 2002, ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¹Ã…â€œinheritingÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ the stolen property. It is kept in the Buckingham Palace Art Gallery.
ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â When Elizabeth II made a state visit to India in 1997 to mark the 50th anniversary of Independence, several Sikh MPs demanded the return of the diamond. Keeping true to form, she declared that “the multiplicity of competing claims makes it impossible to establish the gem’s former ownership”. In an interview July this year, the new Prime Minister, David Cameron, stated that the gem could not be returned to India as the move would set an unworkable precedent: “If you say yes to one you suddenly find the British Museum would be empty.”Sir Humphrey Appleby (of Yes, Minister) would have been proud of that line!
LetÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s can the Games.