The priceless possession
September 21, 2010 Leave a comment
It isn’t too difficult to figure out why ‘irony’ has such an important place in our life. The day when a report jointly issued by the National Intelligence Council (NIC) of the US and the European Union’s Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) lists India as the “third most powerful nation” in the world, in our own backyard, we are busy making a laughing stock of ourselves.
The “success” of Commonwealth Games awarded in 2003 (phew!) now hinges upon what will happen over the next 12 days. Just to give you the magnitude of the timelines, what couldn’t happen in 2543 days or 61032 hours should now be accomplished in 12 days or 288 hours.
It is only a powerful nation such as ours which would have the dare to achieve the impossible in 0.47% of the time originally available.
The most amazing aspect of this fiasco is the way that we have chosen ‘rhetorical, official, typical babudom’ response to any crisis or criticism that has been levied. Our urge to be so daringly different must certainly cause the delegates of various nations to be sweating.
Be it the “serious issues” of incomplete stadia or poor quality equipments or “minor issues” such as stray dogs found in the games village or an over-bridge that collapsed, it is incredible that the powers that be keep their chin up.
As I reflect about the secret of this invincible attitude of us, Indians, to be so “super confident” about any adversity, I can only come up with this answer.
We have a prized possession that no one else in this world seem to be having : We Indians cannot be shamed.
Yes, it may sound harsh or funny as your point of view may be, but I think the basic ingredient of the Indian psyche is that we have no sense of shame.
Nothing in this world can ever shame us.
Be it the fact that we have surplus food grains and starving people or be it facing floods and drought at the same time or be it “ensuring” a return of plague or be it offering dust-bowls as pitches for playing cricket or be it the utter lack of civic sense that we all seem to be gifted with : Nothing can really shame us.
To overcome any grief or profound sadness, we often believe in the fact that time will be the healer, the provider of the soothing touch. For those who believe in a God, the meta-physical view often is that our fading memory is to be counted as a blessing. While that may be true for the entire human race, only for us the Indians, the utter lack of shame is the redeeming facet of our existence.
With some certainty, at the back of our minds, we all know that even Afghanistan could have come up with a better show in hosting the CWG. Except that the Taliban may have preferred a different kind of disciplines, I think that the games could have still gone ahead.
But the third most powerful country in the world, so we are told, is clueless about how the games will still go ahead with merely 12 days to go. But nothing can deter us.
Especially when the Prime Minister himself gets into the act. How : By asking for “daily reports” for the next 12 days.
So the officials who would have otherwise done some work at least would now be busy writing or faxing reports to the Lt. Governor of Delhi to be forwarded to the PMO.
I don’t think any country in this world could have come up with a better mechanism to ensure successful conduct of the games with just 12 days to go.
Even with the collapse of an over-bridge that connects a parking lot to the main stadium which supposedly would host the opening ceremony, our chin is still up.
Minister Jaipal Reddy beamingly telling the world that we will be having “world class games”. Ofcourse we will have, who will deny.
I mean, even with what we have got now, wouldn’t these games be better than what Zimbabwe would have managed ?
If the games are provenly better than what Zimbabwe could have come up with, isn’t that the proof of the pudding that the games are indeed world class ?
The successful conduct of these ‘world class games’ should surely belong to Suresh Kalmadi, the man who has shamelessly, Er…, tirelessly worked for CWG 2010.
All the allegations of misappropriation and embezzlement should certainly hold no water before any commission of enquiry. And in true Indian spirit, the outcome could easily wait for 30 years or so. And in the meanwhile, Kalmadi and his coterie could get elected to the Parliament many times and may even be made a Minister.
With the priceless possession of “No Shame” at his disposal, the future for Kalmadi must be as bright as it is for the rest of us.