Category Archives: games

The Role of Media vis-a-vis the Commonwealth Games

The world witnessed an incredible India with the XIX Commonwealth Games—a country of incredible extremes.  The country that has charmed the world with its rich cultural and heritage treasures stunned the world by goofing up the preparations for the XIX Commonwealth Games currently being hosted in Delhi. It is a huge honor and privilege to be able to win the bid for the hosting of this game but a lot of things went wrong down the seven years given for preparation. Media all over the world went berserk with criticism and slur. Indian media too was not far behind. This is what brings us to the strangeness of the situation, the position of media and its role in perspective of our Commonwealth Games.
Indian media surfaced with its stories of horrid corruption and lousy preparation just a couple of months to the Games. The point here is what were they following since the day Delhi was awarded the Games’ hosting?  Today we have more than a dozen channels fore bearing the news front but sadly they seem to follow the wrong news more often. It’s not the authorities that have woken up late for the preparation but the media itself was sleeping over it. Neither did the media pose questions to the newly formed government over the Commonwealth Games when they came into power, nor did it book Delhi Prime Minister Sheila Dikshit, OC Chairman Suresh Kalmadi or Sports Minister MS Gill well in time. True, the perpetrators were busy hauling gold rather than creating infrastructure but media is equally to be blamed for missing it altogether until India as a country was neck deep in trouble. What came out as flashing news and to the dismay and heartbreak of Indians just a couple of months before the Games did help  to salvage the situation but that was about it—it did nothing better than “salvaging”. Had the seven years gone into the preparation within the hawk eye of media of course, India would have prevented the muck that was thrown into its face  internationally.
Media indeed played the big daddy through out the Commonwealth controversy bullying the authorities for their shortfalls and corruption, but somewhere they went too far with it. With just a week left to the Commonwealth Games, media was all over the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium pulling out pictures of live reptiles habituating the host stadium. It went overboard with these stories and forgot its responsibility as an Indian media. What was needed at this hour was stories that encouraged the world of Indian capabilities rather of its eminent struggle to pull up an act.  The over proportionate stories of Indian handicap resulted in leading athletes of the world pulling out of the Games sighting security as concern. Countries like Australia threatened to boycott the Games completely. Unfortunately Indian media never realized that responsible reporting is the hour of the need rather bullying and bashing their own country’s pride.
Today, as we are past through a “spectacular” opening ceremony and into the second week of the Games with more than forty medals in Indian kitty including twenty four gold and several silver, media is yet again going overboard with the way we as an India have managed to place ourselves back into the good books of the sporting arena. I believe, caution should be the need of the hour, and reporting keeping in mind the fact that any bridge, any  pedestal can collapse anytime, coz at the end of the day XIX Commonwealth Games is a pulled up act rather a well planned event. Sigh!

It’s raining gold, silver (?), and bronze

No, I am not a sports freak and I am nowhere into sports except the daily running around my son and occasional “catch-catch” and other little activity of holding the plastic bat or kicking the football or balloon with him. But that doesn’t make me oblivious to what’s happening in the sports world, and no wonder I am ecstatic to India’s national anthem playing at the Beijing Olympics.

It was indeed exuberating to hear Sushil Kumar win bronze in 66 Kg Freestyle wrestling and even more thrilling to see Vijender Kumar hurling punches on Ecuador’s Carlos Goncora in the quarter-finals of 75kg Middleweight Boxing on Wednesday with continued lead and overpowering him ultimately to win the bout 9-7. Pessimist that I am, I was just waiting for Goncora to hit back and turn the score board around but Vijender was good throughout. Now waiting for Friday to arrive when he will meet Cuba’s Emilio Correa to define the colour of the medal he’s gonna bring back home. After Abhinav Bindra’s surprise gold hunt in 10 meter air rifle event in the Beijing Olympics I think we Indians are hungry for more.

Surprisingly, everybody is gung-ho about boxing, wrestling and shooting and Cricket is coming as an afterthought. The Indian Cricket team won over their opponent Sri Lanka, yesterday by three wickets in the second one day of the five matches one day series. I use to be a cricket buff some time ago but with the flooding of Leagues and the added “zings” which make it look like all those noisy American games, Cricket somehow grew nauseating. Certainly those new rules are taking cricket away from the game and are not helping the viewers either.

Coming back to Olympics, have to commend all those who went to Beijing coz its just not their talent for the sports that has taken them there but also their grit and determination to fight a system that hardly takes a note of their presence. Have to congratulate all those who haven’t won medals, but succeeded in making their presence felt. Apart from the known faces of Rajyavardhan Rathore – Shooting, Anju Bobby George – Long Jump, Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupati and Sania Mirza – Tennis, Sania Nehwal – Badminton, we are looking forward to performances of so many new names like Akhil Kumar, Jitendra Kumar and Dinesh Kumar – Boxing, Anup Sridhar – Badminton (and many more coz the Olympics are not over as yet).

If it isn’t raining in Beijing it will in London