Monday, 9 August 2010

Shoot yourself in the foot...?!

I am bemused. Over these last few weeks the hot topic has been the mismanagement of the Commonwealth Games. But quiet frankly even a die hard optimist like myself was pretty darn certain that the only outcome that we could possibly expect from the organisers, is the chaos and disaster that it has proved to be! What we just don't ever stop to consider is that all our towns and cities and villages are riddled with substandard infra-structures, and that each day normal life in India is tormentingly difficult because nothing is done to stem this rot at it's very root.

Go to any municipal office, telephone department, post office, railway station, police station, courts, civil hospital, etc. and you will understand in an instant that the disorder of functioning is pandemic. Firstly you will be assaulted by the stench of urine. This has become the official welcome of all public offices to it's citizens. If you dare to object to the delays, the chaos, the dirt, the crude behaviour or the general apathy of one and all who are actually paid by your taxes, you will be tersely reminded that this is India. We are so proud of the rubbish that litters our streets and the garbage that piles up to decay like huge sculptural installations from an art show with no closing date!!!

If every road (except those that lead to Rashtrapati bhavan and the special house at Janpath!) has pot holes in it, and if water is not a common commodity for every citizen of this country, if farmers die of starvation whilst granaries and other stock houses have surplus food that lies wasted: what does this all add up to? Of course the Commonwealth Games was going to be a farce. Aunty Sheila Dixit and Uncle Kalmadi need to get a little oriented to the reality of their own offices and the bungling ways of their fraternity and stop behaving affronted by the basic questions posed to them that comes from the evidence of shoddy work, money scams and nothing complete as the big D day looms threateningly on our doorstep.

TV show after TV show has squabbling panelists and aggressive hosts screeching out predictions of doom or defence with equal gusto. Either which way the fact of the matter is we are, as the saying goes, "in deep shit baby", and whatever mantras we chant we are nonetheless going to be the laughing stock of the world very soon. I am sure a thousand voices will chant in unison and condemn me as being "anti-national", because this is the great defence that is always used against any honest critique. Also, be forewarned, the other option for the "anti-national" is you get bumped off if you challenge the system and demand a better functioning. Staged encounters or the convenient blame assigned on some lobby or the other will put a muffled on your vocal cords (quite literally, because voices that expose the dirt in India are generally silenced "in a democratic" way such as this these days!!!! Shining India we truly are!!!

Oh be quiet! I haven't grown cynical; just weary of hoping that the elected members of governance can sometimes do us proud. But that's like wishing that ice cream won't melt when left out in the sun! The greed that corrupts almost all who serve our country whilst in political office has become the down fall of our nation. I wish I had been proved wrong this time. I wish the organisers of the Commonwealth Games had done a spanking good job, where I could have jeered at my own doubts and felt silly at not believing that my country has the potential to be truly one amongst the best!

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