05 March, 2021

Bakul’s Delusions

Superpower dreams? Race with China? The CWG reality check.

Illustration by Sorit
Bakul’s Delusions
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Someone forgot to tell the organisers of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) that in sport a suspense-filled photofinish is not always good. Regardless of whether the Games are held without further embarrassment, they are already a failure. The plan to host the CWG was a reactive response to Beijing’s successful bid in 2000 for the 2008 Olympics. From the outset, the idea was ill-conceived. The Olympics and the World Cup in football are bona fide global events. The CWG is like a geographical Trivial Pursuit. (Do the Falklands qualify? Does Hong Kong?)

The shambolic preparations for the Games have at least pole-vaulted the event onto the global stage, meriting stories in the China Daily and the US-owned International Herald Tribune. This uniformly bad publicity is good for India if it deflates the giant hot-air balloon that our government and business elite have been floating in the past few years, posing as a competitor to China one moment, arguing that we are poised to take over from the US the next. A few years ago,...

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