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India Ahoy! (The Tale of a Developing Nation)

BY: Arathi B Narayan | Category: Others | Submitted: 2011-06-29 05:13:55
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Article Summary: "About how developing countries are treated when something goes wrong. Commonwealth Games 2010 hosted by India is a huge example. This article revolves around the shame and blame that India as a nation had to take due to mistakes by certain individuals with vested interests..."


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Rich hopes are pinned around fat uncles. But without a rich heart, wealth is an ugly beggar. If hosting Commonwealth Games speaks any measure of a country's capability, India ought to be right on top. Sad that trivial glitches were blown out of proportion to show India in poor light. Sadder still that a section of Indians residing outside the country partnered the bandwagon of critics to downplay the extraordinary efforts that went behind organizing CWG at Delhi. These Indians 'belonged' here not too long ago, but left the country in pursuit of higher education or better employment opportunities, whatever they meant!

Blaming Indian politics, population, or the society at large seems to be a new fad among anti-Indians. But our message to them stands loud and clear. We are a proud nation, proud of our abilities, heritage, and hospitality. We are also proud of our tolerance levels for constructive criticism, not claptrap. Beware - if anyone thinks of us as under-dogs, we can bite as much as we can bark.

So what exactly is the pet peeve around CWG? Remember, an event as sizeable as this can or could never be conducted without a hiccup. No host country in the past offered perfect rooms, perfect cots, perfect food, perfect streets, perfect stadiums or perfect sanitation. But the errors were pardoned and kept low-key. It is unfortunate that the media (over)did their job of portraying certain facts this time around. There was no need to read too much into it. In our own experience, even a carefully planned family function exposes so many shortcomings. And we are talking about an event like CWG. Isn't it naïve to even speak about small mistakes bound to happen anyway? Please move on, folks. Let bygones be bygones.

Australians jumped high and low over security threats at the games venue. How did they forget the racial attacks that hundreds of Indians faced and continue to face in Australia? Before pointing fingers at the Indian contingent, did Americans take a step back and count the number of participants they lost to doping? Several foreign sportsmen are caught shouting slangs and meting physical abuse at opponents, all so detrimental to the spirit of the event. Indians on the other hand have been rapt on the task, letting their actions speak. After all, they know their priorities.

Realms of paper and reels of camera films screamed that the Games village was ill equipped. Let us for a moment think outside of games. How much media coverage went into to the success stories of Dr. Abdul Kalam who scripted India's Space Odyssey single-handedly? How many times has N R Narayana Murthy hit headlines as opposed to Bill Gates? Both are legends in their own rights. What about Sunil Mittal, Sachin Tendulkar, Aravind Adiga, or Amitabh Bachchan who put India high on the World map? How much time has the world spent discussing their feats? Credit should be given wherever it is due.

Discrimination is the biggest pain point. All countries have varying magnitudes of strengths and weaknesses. But if an Indian makes a mistake (who does not err by the way?), it is magnified into a sin before being trumpeted. The news also manages to remain in focus forever. When Ramalinga Raju swindled Satyam's accounts, he remained the black sheep for ages. Did Lehman brothers draw equal flak if not higher, for their misdeeds?

The thumb rule seems to be that when a so-called 'Developed' country falters, there is neither noise nor news. But we don't care. These countries may not like to live with us, but they cannot leave us either. India's phenomenal industrial, intellectual, technological, social, spiritual, medical, cultural, and economic growth draws everyone's attention. This growth is a testimony to our success especially over the last two decades. We think, plan, and stay ahead of most countries, much to our competitors' dismay. If anyone chooses to ignore us, we know who is at loss.

As we watch Indians winning medal after medal at CWG, we get reasons to bask in higher glory. Let us stay in the right perspective and focus on all the positivity around. It is time to challenge the world that we are the best and say Chak de, O Chak de India.... We sing this because in India, All Is Well...Arre Bhaiyya All Is Well!

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