Quick to parse and even quicker to praise, the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi has seen the media do a 180-degree turn. Months of corruption, inefficiency and ineptitude of the Suresh Kalmadi-led organising committee has been brushed aside by three hours of light, sound, colour, fireworks and techno-tamasha.
What seemed like a complete disaster in the making, with stadium roofs and athletes’ beds collapsing, is now being decreed even by the foreign media as “world-class”. Sheila Dikshit, who was staring down the barrel, is now preening on television, giving herself marks and lamenting Mani Shankar Aiyar‘s early departure from “hell”.
Commentators have raised jugaad to an Indian virtue, and already there is talk that India has showcased its best and beaten Beijing at its own game, etc. All of which begs the question, should India bid for the Olympic Games at this rate? Or are we being blinded by the ephemeral razzle-dazzle?