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Sunday 03 Jul 2022 | 09:50 | SYDNEY

Commonwealth games linkage


Rory Medcalf


15 September 2010 15:25

The Commonwealth Games are due to begin in New Delhi in just 18 days. But from infrastructure to terrorism, from corruption to health, the headlines surrounding the preparations are negative more often than not. Here are a few pieces worth a look for those trying to make sense of it all.

  • On the security front, the Games organisers insist all is under control: venues secured, massive numbers of police to be deployed, paramilitaries and troops on alert. 
  • Having lived for three years in New Delhi, I can attest that the Indian approach to security lockdowns at mass events is not especially pleasant for the spectators, who should expect all sorts of things to be confiscated. The good news is that it tends to work.
  • The Australian Government's travel advice for the Games warns of a 'high risk' of terrorist attack in New Delhi, yet ranks the city a careful three ('high degree of caution') on its five-point scale of alert. Some athletes are getting frustrated with mixed messages. 
  • Tourists and prospective spectators are getting cool if not cold feet. If the Games bring a tourism boost, it looks like the rest of India, not Delhi, will be the winner.
  • After initially leading the criticism of the Games' organisers for delayed, inept and allegedly corruption-riddled preparations, some in the Indian media are beginning to have second thoughts – and calling for the Indian public to join a salvage mission for the nation's honour. Maybe one reason for this change of heart is that the international media has so enthusiastically joined the frenzy of criticism
  • Finally – and if the whole thing wasn't so serious it might be kind of amusing – there is this extraordinary outburst from a former Australian diplomat of Indian origin. The author argues – bravely – that New Delhi should postpone the Games for its own self-respect. Indeed, he suggests that a courageous decision now to delay the show until it can be done properly would also be a turning point in India's internal struggles against corruption and complacency.