Sab Ka Dhan Se Khel—Commonwealth Games

I just do not understand, like Shekhar Gupta here, why everyone has their IOC thongs in a bunch about the CommonWealth Games. I just do not get it.

The essential mistake that people are making is that they see the CWG in terms of rupees and paise, profit and loss. Which is why they are rolling their eyes at the hundreds of crores (or is it thousands—-I guess in my excitement I forgot) that has been siphoned off by various principals. What these ignoramuses should realize is that hosting the CWG is an expression of national pride. I mean honestly what could be a greater statement of pure  “We have arrived”  Chak-De-Indianess than hosting the Commonwealth Games, an event that dwarfs the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup in terms of international significance, second only in prestige to perhaps the SAAF Games, the Afro-Asian Games and the Sanjay Gandhi Khokho Championship. Come on, people, this is the friggin Commonwealth we are taking about, the world’s most premier club of nations defined as a fellowship formed by the colonies of a country which is now a colony of Bangladesh and all you care about is whether proper procedures for tenders were followed and whether crores have vanished.

If we even put aside the national pride thing, let us just spend a moment on the so-called outrages that has consumed so much print in the last few weeks. As an example, let us consider the 43 lacs pots bought by the CWG committee for 30 crores. What a marvelous idea sirji it would be to recreate that song from Himmatwala, the one where Jeetendra and Sridevi danced in front of a Dalian landscape of thousands and thousands of earthen pots, at the CWG venue where athletes in white shoes ala Jeetendra would do a hop-skip-and-jump (again ala Jeetendra) to the tune of “Ta Thaiyya Ta Thaiyya Ho….Dhum tana tana……”  while Jyoti Devi, the irate MP, would faces like Sridevi. Thirty crores for this delight? You betcha.

Or let us look at the whole AC/treadmill thing. The CWG paid a trifling 4 lacs per AC and 9 lacs per treadmill, to rent them at many many times the cost it would have taken to buy them outright. There was of course a perfectly innocent explanation as to why these things were so darn expensive. [Link]

The Chairman of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, Kalmadi told NDTV that the money spent on overlays is lower than what the FIFA world cup spent on the same costs.

“The overlays are under reasonable limits. Off hand, I can tell you, the costs which you are referring to are of bedroom-size air conditioners. These are much bigger ACs. Also, the treadmills are all imported from Germany. They come with a technician and two months of service, so all those costs are included,” says Kalmadi.

Bed-room sized ACs. But of course ! They can double up as bedrooms too. And did you see the treadmill deal?  It is expensive because it comes with a German technician (since treadmills cannot be fixed by Indians—-again a national pride issue here and because every treadmill needs its own German technician huddled up near the motor). This is exactly why the pots were so expensive also since each came with its own Harry Potter.

I don’t want to get into details here (just like Kalmadi) but every supposed act of omission and  most importantly commission that has been pinned on him and his cronies, like hiring a posse of luxury vehicles even Puff Daddy would find extravagant, has a perfectly honest rationale. Unfortunately people tend to misconstrue these explanations which is why the Delhi government, in their sagacity, back in 2006 had asked for a pre-emptive exemption from a CVC probe—-since nothing slows down work more than accountability and transparency.

And what amazing work it has been—–the swimming pools dont have water, the places that are supposed to be dry are overflowing, the games are a few orders of magnitude over budget and nothing has been finished. Perfect.

Have some people made some money here and there? Perhaps. But again as Sekhar Gupta said in IE, “bade bade games main aise chote chote baatein hote hi rahete hai Senorita” and so there is no need for this Munni badnaam hui insanity that has gripped the nation.

As a tier one nation we need to have a more holistic approach towards extra-legal gratification.We need to understand that honorary appointees of sports boards deserve their honorariums. Expecting the standards of the 70s and the 80s when  incentives were limited to foreign junkets and study-tours in which wives and children would be accommodated as delegates would be naive and unfair.  Remember there was a time when a scandal like Bofors could make a government fall. Now the Kodas and the Reddys and the Telgis have raised our collective standard of corruption tolerance so much that if you cannot steal a crore a day, you are an idiot.

Given that, one should not grudge these dedicated lovers-of-sport, who fight elections to sports-bodies like dogs for bones, their crumbs of the pie.

Or at the very least a roll of 89 dollars toiletpaper

43 thoughts on “Sab Ka Dhan Se Khel—Commonwealth Games

  1. Nicee post but rather A very unique take I must say !

  2. Dumdum_er_Aantel August 9, 2010 — 8:48 pm

    I dont need a ipod…

  3. As our previous Kangressi PM, Rajiv Gandhiji once said, “Corruption happens all over the world”.

    Now stop fretting and let the games begin.

  4. Nice take on the Corrupt Wealth Generation (CWG).

  5. 5th …. missed it by a long shot!

  6. Nice one Arnab… $89 for a toilet roll is not expensive… Bcoz it also comes with some technician to do it for the users 🙂

  7. btw, it is nice to see Jyoti Devi in action 😀 :D, I was born and raised in Bokaro Steel City and happened to live in the same building as her.

  8. Jyoti Devi looks like Sridevi’s identical twin!!

  9. Kalmadi has been at the helm of affairs for IOC for quite a long time…his colleagues might boast him to be a good convener, but as a sports management organizer, every Indian knows of our medal tally in Asian and Olympics.Probably SAF games is the only grace we can boast off. SK always accompanies the Indian contingent to all foreign locals and ends up increasing his shopping baggage manifold rather than the medals tally. Delhi 2010 CWG should have been a India’s announcement party for coming of age in the sports arena, but is shaping like Kalmadi’s baby shower bash! For God’s sake India is big enough country to at least appoint one strong able handed administrator to manage this colonial legacy event, even at this eleventh hour.

    Expenditure incurred is another big issue. Country which still struggles with price rise and poverty… seems like the birth pangs of this 60+ old democracy will never go(Amlasol still exists in our country)…can we afford to spend or allocate budget on sports infrastructure development alone like this. Even if the answer is yes, what happens to this ‘state of art’ Delhi stadium post CWG, Kalmadi renting it out Fairs and Salman Khan dance show rather than creating training and sports academy! I wonder.

  10. Some Nostalgic Moments August 10, 2010 — 4:52 am


  11. Anindya Chatterjee August 10, 2010 — 5:01 am

    This is exactly why the pots were so expensive also since each came with its own Harry Potter.

  12. I urge everyone of you to go through Kalmadi’s site –

    For those of you who don’t have the time, I reproduce this gem here:

    As IOA President, got the country the 1st ever gold medal in individual event at the Beijing Olympic 2008.

  13. In last week’s Aap ki adalat hosted by the great Rajat Sharma, Kalmadi mentioned that AR Rahman would be performing at the opening ceremony of CWG, the same Rahman who won the “Nobel” prize recently. How good is that !!

  14. Some Nostalgic Moments August 10, 2010 — 5:25 am

    The issue can be argued both ways…..definately so many ghotalas have taken place in the CWG and no doubt with as many ghotalas before no result is going to come out with these Chakram Jasoos bureau of Investigators…..still ther is no doubt that delhi and NCR have benefitted from the CWG in terms of infrastructure and other facilities……so as is said lets forget the differences for the time being and put our best foot together to salvage whatever little pride we as a nation have…….

  15. CWG is a wake-up call for us. We must fight corruption. It’s now or never. Here are five ways to stop corruption :
    Vote: Voting is your constitutional right so get informed, take responsibility and cast your vote. It’s one way of ensuring your voice is heard.
    Demand Accountability: In a democracy like India, the Government is responsible & accountable to its citizens. So more power to Right to Information Act, ask questions!
    Be The Change You Want To See: Want to curb corruption? Keep yourself updated about political, social & economical developments & better your sense of right and wrong.
    Educate: Fight corruption by creating awareness & educating people about their rights. If you know something isn’t the way it should be, protest!
    Participate: Live you beliefs and be an active voice in society. Gather the courage to fight and remedy the situation. Remember, each voice matters!

  16. Love that the dripping sarcasm is back! 🙂

  17. Well is there a tender going on to clean the capital (ref shekar G – n his point that regardless of the corruption we will have a developed clean capital).
    I would merely like to throw my hat in the ring and UNDERCUT da KALLU-MON.
    I am willing to do it for half of whatever Kallu n his ilk charged the Exchequer.
    Indians pl let me know.
    plus guaranteed return-gift to the Tenderers…

  18. GB,

    May we request you to not be so sarcastic. Please wait till Chameli BaI, oops, I mean CBI, dances to the tune of the government and declares us not guilty. However, not everything is rotten in the CWG purchases.

    All expenses are on cost + basis which is perfectly all right. Let me illustrate:

    Treadmill @ 9 lakh rental for two months. Lets see the break up-

    Cost of renting a treadmill for two months =
    Rs 57560.00

    Cost of peon at OC office ensuring the quotation is delivered to the right desk =
    Rs 500.00

    Cost of clerk not burning / loosing / peeping into your quotation =
    Rs 20,360.00

    Cost of clerk burning / loosing / peeping into other quotations =
    Rs 62,965.00

    Cost of OC Secretaries building retirement corpus =
    Rs 127,000.00

    Cost of Mr Kalmadi not hearing about it (but still approving it) =
    Rs 160,000.00

    Cost of others (ministers) not knowing a thing about it =
    Rs 180,000.00

    Cost of Shiela Dixit acting as your grandmother =
    Rs 100,000.00

    Cost of Congress giving clean chit to all =
    Rs 200,000.00

    Total =
    Rs 908,185.00

    Discount negotiated with the German supplier =
    (Rs 8185.00) “a whooping 0.8%”

    Cost to CWG OC =
    Rs 900,000.00

    PS: Services of technicians are free with the treadmill. Since athletes are not turning up they will be housed in the games village.

    PSS: When the German rep was given the break up he fainted. His thumb impression was taken on the agreement.

    Hope this is enough to silence critics like you.

    CWG – OC

    “We also play games”

    “If dengue doesn’t get you, falling roofs will”

  19. @ AlphaQ

    haha loved your bit better than GB’s…no offence….
    loved the line…we also play games…hahhhaha

  20. The treadmills are not the ones which you wouldnot find in even the swankiest of gyms These are the anti-gravity treadmills used by NASA for training astronauts and which is used by Usain Bolt for training (courtesy PUMA) There are many details that media people have ignored in the tamassha

  21. ” if you cannot steal a crore a day, you are an idiot.”
    –good one!!

  22. i live in ghaziabad and belive me GZB administration is more happy then CWG OC about the games(Begabi shadi main abdulla deewana). everyday there is a headline that we will do this, we will do this before the games. there are new hotel, new guest house, new police chowki is coming up for imaginary tourist. my god they are dame sure that lakhs of tourist will come to the game. i think they will be more dissapointed after the games then kalmadi(because kalmadi’s bank balance has been already multiplied few times.)

  23. One wonders if a prominent Kaangress gasbag is pissed at being denied a share of the CWG loot and suffered from a mild case of “sourgrapesitis” when he blurted “Personally, I will be unhappy if the Commonwealth Games are successful“.

  24. Hahaha….”Sab Ka Dhan Se Khel” is the apt translation of “Common Wealth Games”. 🙂

    Its not just Indians and Germans who have treadmill-related issues. Our friendly neighbours in “The Land of the Pure” have even more basic problems with the treadmill.

    Check out this hilarious video…Towards the end, it gets really funny when you watch his feet fly. Had he run on solid ground at this pace, he would have easily reached Kabul:

  25. The Munni Badnaam Hui video is no longer available. Alternate link please

  26. @ AlphaQ

    Very creative. Enjoyed your illustration thoroughly 🙂

  27. Funny post..really had me going there before I realized whose blog I was reading…

    Love Kalmadi’s expression of “relief” in the he passed something…

  28. GB, Superb ! make sure Kale-madi uncle doesnt read it, he may actually read out word by word from it in his next press Conference !

    Alphaq – We also Play Games ! ha ha ha …Kudos 🙂

  29. So true… This incident make me remember one song

    “Ramchandra keh gaye siyaa se aisa kaliyg aayega…….”

    sad but true.

  30. Now come on, you know Kalmadi did not actually mean bed-room size ACs. He referred to the regular ACs as meant to cool bed-rooms while the ones he has bought are big enough for entire stadiums. Great post by the way. As usual, of course.

  31. ahahahahaha…lol…rotfl…i guess indians get what they richly deserve…these are our elected why the surprise

  32. Neither caustic nor vitriolic enough, GB may be mellowing down with age. And when is GB doing a piece on the almost-there 10USD “laptop” for starving village kids from Kapil Sibal?

  33. Read “It’s Common v/s Wealth” by kapil mishra i.e.@Youth4justice exposing commonwealth games 2010

  34. saurabh goswami August 19, 2010 — 6:38 pm

    I think in all we are missing a point. We in delhi know that the corruption has been happening for years. Be it the roads that are dug up thrice or the pavements that are relaid in a span of 3-4 months, HOWEVER our “Free Media” came to this “party” of exposure pretty late. I for one am not ready to believe that folks in the media didn’t know this massive corruption or maybe they all wanted a piece of the Common Wealth when it was being distributed but in order to show their “media” credentials they decided they would blow the lid off just a few months before the games when it would be presented as a fait accompli. That way everyone is happy – Kalmadi & Co. keep the money and share the real estate with the fourth estate and our peepli tv folks can dance in front of people to show how much of corrpution they have exposed.

  35. Think of it this way; we can use all these mobile toilets in the next kumbh mela

  36. An inquiry after the games will declare that few officers were found corrupt and dismissed. Jai ho soniya mata and rahul baba…

  37. Loved the sarcasm running thru and oh wow – tht last report on $89 for the toilet roll – priceless I say!

  38. good saying all are currepted

  39. all are froudfull why we

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