ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Delusions of Grandeur

Corruption and incompetence have made a mockery of the Commonwealth Games.

India bid for and set about preparing for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi to showcase its so-called emergence as a global power. What we have had on the way is large-scale eviction of the poor from sites on the Yamuna that were chosen for the Games, a trampling on the rights of tens of thousands of workers engaged in construction of the facilities, a destruction of the surrounding environment, a judiciary insensitive to the rights of labour and the environment and now revelations of large-scale corruption.

This journal has argued before that mistaken notions of “national prestige” have driven the desire to host the Games (“Commonwealth Games: Wrong Priorities”, 5 December 2009). Civil rights groups have exposed, in considerable detail, the extent to which basic rights of workers are neglected, often with fatal consequences, in this rush to build by way of glass and concrete (“Violation of Workers’ Rights at the Commonwealth Games Construction Site”, 13 June 2009). Now a different, yet familiar, face of official India has again been revealed – rapacious and incompetent in equal measure.

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