Do We Really Need Common Wealth Games?

Commonwealth-Games_10.jpgPersonally speaking, I never liked games. Never watched any match, the only exception being India-Pakistan cricket match years back! But we know why we like to watch it, totally a non-game reason!

I never understood why so much hype about people playing with a bat and a ball, or a hockey or a foot ball or …. But, I have due respect for the players, as they work hard for a cause, they feel right about. But, what about the viewers, the cheerers, the supporters and the fans?? Apart from supporting their favourite players/teams, if they had themselves taken care to take up a sport as a hobby or worked towards making themselves healthier and fitter, I think we would be a physically healthy nation.

I see only one good thing about the big sporting events – people enjoy themselves (entertainment), and there is bonding amongst supporters of a team. Recently, during FIFA World Cup, I read how football has become a religion of the game lovers all over the world. People felt that bond, that common thread across the Continents. That was a heartening news! I liked that.

But, don’t you think that joy, that enthusiasm is marred many a times, as sports are not being taken as sports any more. They have become a battle somewhere, they have become a big money spinner somewhere, and somewhere sports and the victory has become a prestige issue for the teams and for the countries.

A Game is a game is a game. Some one will lose it. What’s so shameful about it? In principle, there is nothing wrong about losing a game. The spirit of sportsmanship is the most important thing. Why this basic value about sport is forgotton when a team loses? I read in newspaper sometime back that the coach of a team is having a threat to his life because his team lost a match? Isn’t it ridiculous? Are we not stretching games too far? Were the games not meant to entertain us? From where this issue of prestige came in?

Now about the fan’s anger over “decided non-performance” (match fixing); “ill performance” (read fun n frolic at night parties) and “no-motivation to perform” performances (when a few seconds in Ads get me money, then why slog). This anger is understandable. I don’t know, hence I won’t comment on how far all that is true about the sports persons. If anybody knows better, please add it as a comment.

Coming back to, should sports be given so much importance? Now, if you are a die hard cricket fan, or any sport for that matter, you will say, why do we watch movies then? Are we not mere spectators there and what do we learn from movies.(I have heard this arguement from people earlier, so thought of adding it here). I would say that movies are a form of art, it portrays lives of people, it has a reflection fo the society – sometimes imagined. It is art, and we watch a form of art – enjoy it , criticize it and reflect about it. Movies touch us in some way (I am only talking about meaningful movies here, rest I don’t watch).

I would once again say, that I have all the due regards for the great sports persons who have worked all thier lives and wondered the whole world with their talent and magic. Its commndable. Their efforts should be, must be recognized and rewarded.

Having said that, I would say that, ultimately, its a sport, and ultimately, movies are another form of art. We live in a country where poeple slog to get just two meagre meals. They allow themselves to live a life of a housefly – living on and eating dirt and die like dirt. They are caught in a cycle of poverty. Poverty means no education, which means no or unskilled job which again means poverty. Its quite hard for them to break this cycle on their own, of course there are exceptions, but we know mostly the State has to support them, uplift them.

This picture is much more gloomy with caste system still in place at many places and gets worsened because of corruption, which seeps down to the roots of the smallest unit of governance of the country, the village level. We should be working towards that direction, but we idolise sports – sports persons, (and movie actors also). We are ready to fight for them, we are ready to spend crores and crores of money for hoisting sporting events. It disgusts me!

We, a developing country, with dreamy eyes, have to set our priorities right. We cannot spend our hard earned money on decorating the terrace, the exterior of our house, when we don’t have money or will to feed the people in the house. The decision to hold the Common Wealth Games was correct at this juncture? I have doubts. The thought behind it, as I have understood, was to showcase the country to the world, and generating employment and revenue for the country. Noble thoughts, really good.

But, why do we need the scuritnizing eyes of our neighbours (read other countries) to set our house in order (read better public transport system, infrastructure, better aesthetics, better heritage management ). Just why do we need an even to better our country? I fail to understand, why do I need an International Event to be hoisted in my city to see it in a better position, to have a better place to live in?

I have failed… completely!

A Restless Mind

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