Sunday, November 7, 2010

Politically incorrect-India vs China

A few days back, our papers’ headlines shouted: “P.M. steps in, sets 24 hours deadline to fix games. Delhi hangs its head in shame. Almost every thing that can go wrong has gone wrong.”

This only eleven days before the games (CWG) started and seven years after India got the games in 2003. No surprises here. What can one expect when outdated, over aged, outlasted persons like Sheila Dikshit. Suresh Kalmadi, Lalit Bhanot and M.S.Gill are given responsibilities of such a huge adventure. Even our P.M. (with due respect to him), is not familiar with workings of the games. All the people mentioned above are useless if you look at the answers they gave to the public outcry. They are all, without exception, past their prime. Kalmadi, in particular, kept saying everything would be fine but did not bother to explain how. Whatever little success the game had seen was because of the efforts of people other than this foursome and a little bit of luck. About participants’ facilities and hygiene, the less said the better. And Kalmadi is totally silent about half the money spent on CWG either gone down the drain or into the pockets of various officials and that too without doing their job. Dollar ninety a piece toilet paper is just but one glaring example.

One of my friends, who is a student of China and Chinese culture for years, has some interesting comparisons to offer:

• India was offered CWG in 2003 and set on files for four years. Work started only in 2007. China, on the other hand, had all files cleared in first thirty days for their 2008 Olympic Games.

• In India organizing Committee had to run after different departments to clear their files and getting various permits. In China, the concerned department is answerable to the government if the files are not cleared in stipulated time.

• In China, work started immediately upon receiving various clearances. They worked at steady and constant pace, verifying the quality of work every now and then. India, on the other hand, started actual work four years too late, at an unsteady pace, never bothered to question or verify the quality of work by their contractors.

• China too had its share of mishaps and delays, but they had ample time to rectify their mistakes and faults. India always worked on war footing, compromising on quality and time.

• China was ready for the games much before the scheduled date (six months according to some), had rigorous trials of venues. India had to be ordered by the PM, no less, to step up our speed when the games were a week away.

• Last and most interesting, guilty are taken to task immediately in China, no delay there. Action against guilty is prompt and severe. India promises to take action after the games are over and that too, at the pace at which preparations of the games progressed.

However, there is one major benefit in India which China cannot match. Quite a few people connected with the games have become rich overnight. No small feat t

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Header image credit: adapted from David Niblack

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