CW GAMES FINAL WATCH: Closure pales before opener, Delhi wants to party more – *?!!, India satisfied with just ‘second class’ and gloating over it, can’t do any better, needs to change mindset from the social corruption culture – Games Corruption Scandals (GCS) lash-back awaited or to be conveniently swept under the carpet like the Pawar Food Corruption & Apathy Scandal by the Powers that be ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY SUJAN DUTTA
New Delhi, Oct. 14: Pop patriotism gift-wrapped in bursts of laser lights and a promise to rock the world marked party time for Delhi as it gave itself full marks tonight in the test that was the 19th Commonwealth Games.
If the CWG organisers were trying to rival China in a “coming-out” party, they were beaten by themselves. The Games’ closure did not touch the heights that the opener scaled.
Delhi turned out in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium tonight to celebrate itself in the closing ceremony. But every time the performances and the music and the lights raised expectations, the mood fell short of the magical.
Its guests for two weeks — some 5,000 athletes and officials from 71 countries — joined in the fun, many of them by now knowing “we are like this only”. But before the music ended many of them were leaving.
“We are like this only” was the theme of the opening ceremony that made the UPA government’s “aam aadmi” telegenic on the Incredible India train. In tonight’s festivities, there was little novelty barring the medley of martial arts with which it opened.
The rousing moment really was when the martial music played by the armed forces’ bands struck “Saare jahaan se achcha” as they marched out of the venue.
In the galleries, the red-and-white-shirted army of some 20,000 volunteers danced and 60,000 spectators cheered and applauded — and booed Suresh Kalmadi — but the sense of elation that the opening ceremony created was missing.
“Mesmerising,” said Anupama Kanwar, a north Delhi resident. “Lekin thoda party aur hona chahiye (but I wanted to party more),” she said even as she left before it ended, fearing a crush in the Metro train.
The finale of the Commonwealth Games was more relaxed and, yes, joyous too, but it surprised with too little. Expectations were high after the opener.
In the closure, the organisers fell back on Bollywood with oft-heard numbers belted out by top singers lapsing into the kitschy.
On the ground, where the athletes were seated, however, they didn’t seem to mind. Many of them danced. The parade of the athletes is less spectacular in the stadium than it is on television. Spectators looked up to the giant screens to identify the heroes and heroines.
From the galleries it was the medley of eight Indian martial arts with which tonight’s ceremony opened that was the most spectacular.
At once fiery and passionate, the martial arts performers of eight different styles from Gujarat to Nagaland and Kerala to Punjab did their routine to the same beat. Tens of thousands clapped rhythmically to the accompanying percussion.
Delhi is ready to forget its lapses tonight. “It’s over,” said 35-year-old Raveen Verma from his seat in a stand where the spectators were mostly recipients of complimentary passes. “We have to celebrate without a glitch tonight and we have got more than 100 medals,” he added as spectators around him nodded.
Verma’s wife works with a unit of the CWG organising committee. Most entrants through Gate 14 to Section B of the stands have a relative directly or indirectly involved with the organisation of the Games.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was loudly applauded — louder even than Sonia Gandhi — and competed with Sheila Dikshit for the cheers.
Suresh Kalmadi was roundly booed — first, when he gave away the medals for marathon and later, when he gave his speech, taking care to lavish praise on all the bosses from the Prime Minister to Rahul and Sonia Gandhi (for buying tickets and sitting in the galleries instead of heading for the VIP section to watch events) to P. Chidambaram and the cabinet secretary.
When Shaan belted out “we will we will rock you”, the second stanza of the Queen song probably got drowned in the overloud music that accompanied it but Delhi was saying it aloud: “You got mud on yo’ face/ You big disgrace/ Kickin’ your can all over the place/ We will we will rock you/ We will we will rock you.”
Scotland’s tartan-kilted dancers and bagpipers put up a tightly knit performance after the CWG flag was handed over for the 2014 Glasgow Games. The Scots had flown in more than 400 performers and tonnes of equipment, including props that ballooned to create the huge arcs that distinguish a bridge over Clyde river.
In the end, however, the razzle-dazzle of the ceremony dissipated in a flash of laser lights and overloud Bollywood numbers. Delhi found itself. Party time but euphoria wanting. It’s only like this.
Martial arts beat movie music’ PC cheers but work not over yet – how can Homeland and National security ever be over when the all India urge is to be the very best ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY NISHIT DHOLABHAI
New Delhi, Oct. 14: When Saina Nehwal won gold and took India to second spot in the medals tally, P. Chidambaram was cheering in the stands, the joy no doubt mixed with relief that the Games had been safe.
The home minister had paid half-a-dozen visits to all the venues to oversee security arrangements in the run-up. “They were all surprise visits. Minutes before his visit, venue commanders would be told he was arriving. No one in the ministry was told,” an aide said.
Chidambaram and his security team cannot relax just yet: although the Games are over, most foreign teams won’t leave until Saturday and the Games Village will close only on October 20.
The threat perception to the Games was high as the CIA and European intelligence agencies feared attacks from the Lashkar-e-Toiba and even Sikh militants. On top of that, the organising committee was “disorganised and untidy” and had failed to integrate with the security apparatus till the last minute.
Anticipating problems, the ministry in May 2009 set up an international security liaison group — a first at any Games — which included representatives from the organising committee and the intelligence agencies RAW, Intelligence Bureau and the National Technical Research Organisation, as well as the joint secretaries of the ministries of home, defence and external affairs. Delhi police were represented by a joint commissioner in charge of Commonwealth Games security.
The liaison group kept security officials from all participating nations in the loop. “It remained a 24×7 single-window mechanism to keep people informed. The security liaison officials were apprehensive but at least assured there was a mechanism for dialogue,” a source said.
In addition, as the Intelligence Bureau’s Multi-Agency Centre in Delhi and its subsidiaries in the states specifically discussed Games security, any relevant intelligence inputs were shared.
With intelligence pouring in from all the states, the liaison group was the central agency that handled security for the event.
A 1-lakh-plus force of police, paramilitary and intelligence officials worked to beat the threat to the Games. Gun-toting policemen were posted all over the city. The 2,500 personnel of the CRPF and more than 4,000 of the CISF were especially trained to be polite but the sight of AK-47s cannot be unobtrusive. Army commandos and Indian Air Force technology, too, were at hand to secure the event.
“The organising committee and its unprofessional lot only added to the confusion, very unlike how professionals in Vancouver or London would perform,” a senior government official said. The job was difficult in “such a vitiated environment”, the official added.
That foreign teams, especially New Zealand, Canada, Australia and Britain, had made a lot of noise over security could not have made things easier.
Soldier firepower at Games – the winners of the Games, but the brave Indian Gorkha Soldiers not acknowledged nor mentioned, goes against the CWG Theme of Humanity, Equality and Destiny ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
New Delhi, Oct 11: The Indian soldier is the biggest winner for the country in the Commonwealth Games. (The bravest of the brave Indian Gorkha soldiers still thought of as mercenaries from Nepal ?!!)
Indian Army soldiers and Indian Navy sailors have won 23 medals between them so far. They are all havildars, subedars, petty officers and cadets — called PBOR for “Personnel Below Officer Rank”. None of the medal winners is a commissioned officer.
Rajyavardhan Rathore, who had brought laurels for the country in shooting, is a colonel in the army. He has not qualified to be part of the Indian shooting contingent in the CWG this time.
Staff of the Indian Railways has also won 17 medals between them in the CWG.
Chief petty officer Omkar Singh of the navy has won three golds and a silver in different categories of air pistol shooting. Subedar Vijay Kumar has won three golds and a silver in different categories of rifle shooting.
The soldiers and sailors have won medals in five disciplines: shooting, weightlifting, wrestling, archery and athletics (20km walk).
A total of 41 soldiers are part of the 600-plus strong Indian contingent at the CWG. The army began a “Mission Olympics” programme in 2001 aiming at podium finish at the world-level in select disciplines.
If soldiers must necessarily be good marksmen, India’s armed forces have reason to be proud. In shooting alone, the soldiers and sailors have won 15 medals — 11 golds, two silvers and two bronze.
K. Ravi Kumar, Sukhan Dey and V.S. Rao — all havildars in the army — have won three medals in weightlifting. Master chief petty officer-II Sudhir Kumar of the navy took the bronze in 77kg weightlifting.
The sportsmen were trained in the Army Sports Institute, Pune, and the Army Marksmen Unit in Mhow.
Even off the field, the armed forces are being applauded for their contribution to the CWG. Army engineers put up a foot overbridge in four days after the one built by a Chandigarh-based company collapsed, injuring 23 workmen 12 days before the Games were to begin. The bridge is connected to the main venue in Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Gale force hope on girls – 0-8 says something, the past sins of apathy catching up ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY G.S. MUDUR
New Delhi, Oct. 14: The presence of the most powerful woman and man in the country could not turn the tide in favour of the Indian men’s hockey team which lost to Australia 0-8.
However, as the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi watched the hockey team settle for silver, Manmohan Singh’s wife Gursharan Kaur chose wisely and turned up for the women’s badminton events in which Saina Nehwal won the singles gold, while Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa picked up the doubles gold.
Gursharan is not alone. Sociologists too are betting on the legion of Indian girls who shone at the Commonwealth Games to generate a long-lasting ripple effect across sections of society, touching domains outside of sports.
The riveting images of the women and girls beaming, tightly clutching medals and savouring the adulation could turn them into agents of change.
“I think these Games will have some unintentional but positive consequences,” said Rajesh Gill, chairperson of the Centre for Women’s Studies at Panjab University, Chandigarh.
“These medals are reinforcing the message that parents can take pride in their daughters. That’s something very significant for India,” she said.
Over the past 11 days, Indian women have bagged medals in archery, badminton, the discus, the 400x4m relay, shooting and wrestling.
Some of these winners are from small towns and low or middle-income households. Archery gold winner Deepika Mahato’s father drives an auto-rickshaw in Ranchi while the father of Prajusha Maliakaal, who took the long jump silver, is a cook. Kavita Raut, who grabbed a bronze in the 10,000m run, once used to fetch water from a river in her village in Maharashtra.
“It would have been a long, difficult struggle for such girls to defy traditional pressures and take up sports,” Gill said. “But having taken that path, to come out victorious would be much more important to such girls than it would be for Indian men in sports. After fighting social norms, women would be likely to struggle extra hard to secure respectability for themselves,” Gill toldThe Telegraph.
A veteran sports medicine specialist who has observed Indian men and women playing in international tournaments since the 1980s said the women appear willing to put in extra effort.
“They’re more sincere during their training periods —they appear willing to take up greater training load,” said Ashok Ahuja, former head of sports medicine at the National Institute of Sports, Patiala. “They deliver sustained efforts lasting years — sometimes longer than men,” he said.
But, according to Ahuja, the recent trend of exposing both men and women from India to even the smaller international tournaments may also have contributed to the tally of medals.
In a nation where female foeticide is rampant, where girls are encouraged to take up certain career options but discouraged from others, where the pursuit of sport for girls is still a struggle, such medals turn into strong symbols of change, the sociologists said.
“Medals mean pride and prestige — not just for their families but for the nation. This may change people’s perceptions of what women can achieve,” said Medha Nanivadekar, director of the Centre for Women’s Studies at Shivaji University in Kolhapur, Maharashtra.
The medals, Nanivadekar said, will accelerate and expand a process that began in India decades ago in other fields. “We have had women role models in the film industry, in police, in medicine, in politics. These medals may now stir parents into encouraging their daughters to take up sports.”
Hills hail hockey hero – Bharat, India triumph – Darjeeling has more potential and talent than one can dream of, if only the rest of India would recognize it and give it due status ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Kalimpong, Oct. 13: The hill town is basking in the glory of Team India’s hockey goalie, a day after the nation toasted Bharat Chhetri’s match-winning save that helped the country reach the Commonwealth Games final for the first time.
Bharat was born in Upper Payung at 16 Mile, about 10km from here, on December 21, 1981.
India sealed a berth in the Games final after an exciting semi-final match last night. India and England were locked 3-3 in the regulation 70-minute play plus the extra time. Then Bharat came up with a brilliant save to foil England’s Glen Kirkham’s shot in the penalty shoot-out that followed.
The hill boy’s birth as a hockey player took place in Danapur, a town in Bihar, 12 summers after his birth. That was the time his mother Parvati put him under the tutelage of a distant relative Rana, a hockey coach based in Danapur.
Till then, Bharat was a student at St George’s High School in Pedong, 22km from here.
“After he finished his Class VIII, I sent him to Danapur and put him under the tutelage of my relative. He stayed with him for two years and got initiated into hockey,” said Parvati, who now lives with her husband, K.B. Dahal, in Methibari near Siliguri.
The Chhetris, quite expectedly, were overjoyed at the exploits of their son.
“I didn’t have the heart to watch the penalty shoot-out. I, instead, turned to god and kept praying. We have been following every hockey game featuring India in the Commonwealth Games. We are so proud of our son,” said Parvati on the phone from Methibari.
Bharat’s teachers at St Geroge’s School, however, have little memory of the boy, which suggests that he was average both in studies and extracurricular activities.
“I can’t put him in place. I think I must have taught him for a year. Most of the teachers from his time in the school have retired,” said Ashok Tamang, a senior teacher of the school.
The hills are hailing Bharat as the hero, even though hockey as a sport is not played generally by the local people.
“Bharat has done the entire hills proud. We had wanted to invite him when the Queen’s Baton relay passed through the hills, but we dropped the idea as he was then playing for a club in Germany. Our best wishes are with him,” said Urgen Mini Lama, the president of the Kalimpong Sports Association.
This is the best match of my career: Bharat Chhetri – but what a letdown from the rest of the Indian team for the finals, no match fixing involved ?!!
From The Times of India
NEW DELHI, Oct 12, 2010, 11.03pm IST (PTI): Indian goalkeeper Bharat Chhetri termed his brilliant save in the penalty shootout as the best moment of his career.
“This is the best match of my career. I knew when it boiled down to penalty stroke, I had to put my hand up and do something for my country. The crowd was behind me and so were my teammates,” said Chhetri who hails from Makaibari in Darjeeling.
“We were down 1-3 and we did brilliantly to come back and level the scores. We should have won the match in the regulation time itself had we not missed so many chances. As far as tension is concerned, I was too focussed to be tense,” said the smiling goalie.
Senior pro Tushar Khandekar was too emotional to react. “Yeh toh khushi ke aansoo hain (These are tears of joy),” said a teary-eyed Khandekar.
For Shivendra Singh, who took the winning stroke, it was a completely different feeling.
“If the match goes into penalty shootout, obviously you get tense. But we were confident that Bharat (Chhetri) would at least save one and that was all we needed.”
Both Bharat and Shivendra along with their skipper Rajpal Singh said the turning point of the match was when England’s fourth penalty corner hit the post.
“If that would have gone in, things would have been really difficult. But suddenly, we went all out in attack and that also suited our style of play,” said the Indian skipper.
If Indian captain feels that taking one match at a time has helped the team, coach Jose Brasa feels that it is still a long way to go.
“Ric Charlesworth said in 2006 that you need four years to build a champion side. I have been here for 17 months. It is a process where you take two years to reach top six and the next two years to come for a medal contention in the big events,” Brasa said.
“I believe we played well as a team during the World Cup. We were unlucky that we couldn’t convert the chances,” the Spaniard said.
He however backed drag-flicker Sandeep Singh who failed to convert most of the short corners.
“I have maintained he is the best. He has been the best in training and he is trying to repeat that show in matches also,” the coach said.
Skipper Rajpal feels the key to India’s success is the ability of the team to make a comeback when the chips are down.
Gold that added more to Puja shine – just a thin veneer of cheer in the turmoil within its political evolvement ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Siliguri, Oct. 14: The telephone at the Saha household had rung non-stop last night. It had started ringing since the time Yang Zi hit the ball into the net on match point and the televisions beamed the giant screens at a stadium in New Delhi displaying the gigantic visuals of Subhajit Saha and Sharath Kamal.
The joy is not limited to the Saha household or to Sanghati More where the family lives. It is as one Siliguri resident put it: “Subhajit is our pride. His gold has added the extra glow to the pandal lightings in town.”
Most people felt like Tanmoy Goswami, who lives in Pankurtala More, a kilometre from Sanghati More.
Subhajit and Sarath earned India’s gold in table tennis winning the men’s doubles in five tough games, 9-11, 12-10, 11-4, 5-11 and 11-8, beating Singapore’s Yang and Gao Ning.
“Since yesterday evening, ever since the match ended at Yamuna Sports Complex and my son and his mate secured the win, the telephone has hardly stopped ringing,” said Ajoy Saha, Subhajit’s father, last night. “Several friends and relatives have turned up to congratulate us for his feat and we feel that by securing a win at a mega international event like the Commonwealth Games, he has made us all proud.”
However, later this morning, the Saha house was locked. Subhajit’s parents had gone to meet some relatives. But that did not stop the town from celebrating. This year, Biley’s (as Subhajit is known) success is the talk of every adda rather than the pandals.
“We consider his win as a unique and appreciable gift for Siliguri residents before Durga Puja. Once he returns here after the event, we plan to felicitate him,” said Nantu Paul, the deputy mayor of Siliguri Municipal Corporation and secretary of Siliguri Mahakuma Krira Parishad. “His win, we feel, will attract more boys and girls to table tennis.”
Subhajit’s wife Nandita, a paddler who could not make it to the national team at the Commonwealth Games this time, had accompanied him to Delhi.
For Subhajit, 24, it is not time for rest yet because of the Asian Games in China next month.
“While he was in Siliguri last time, he had mentioned some back problem. When he returns here, I would insist him to take rest and get himself cured before he readies himself for the Asian Games,” said Amit Dam, the coach who nurtured Subhajit in the early days of his career.
State urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya also appreciated Subhajit’s accomplishment at the CWG.
“We are proud to say that Darjeeling district is fast emerging as a hub of sports talents in various fields. Over the years, the district has bred several players who could carve a niche in the sports arena. Now in the CWG, we have Bharat Chhetri, who made us proud as the Indian hockey team goalkeeper and now Subhajit, who secured the win at the men’s doubles,” he said.
MEN WOMEN MIXED TOTAL
COUNTRY G S B T G S B T GSB T G S B T
|IND – India||25||15||24||64||13||11||12||36||1||1||38||27||36||101|
|ENG – England||22||37||20||79||14||21||22||57||1||1||4||6||37||59||46||142|
|CAN – Canada||12||7||11||30||14||10||21||45||26||17||32||75|
|RSA – South Africa||7||9||9||25||5||2||1||8||12||11||10||33|
|KEN – Kenya||6||7||6||19||6||4||3||13||12||11||9||32|
|MAS – Malaysia||5||5||6||16||5||5||6||16||2||1||3||12||10||13||35|
|SIN – Singapore||5||4||6||15||5||6||2||13||1||1||1||3||11||11||9||31|
|NGR – Nigeria||4||3||6||13||7||7||8||22||11||10||14||35|
|SCO – Scotland||5||6||4||15||3||3||3||9||1||1||2||9||10||7||26|
|NZL – New Zealand||1||12||5||18||4||9||3||16||1||1||2||6||22||8||36|
|CYP – Cyprus||2||1||2||5||2||2||3||7||4||3||5||12|
|NIR – Northern Ireland||3||2||3||8||1||1||1||1||3||3||4||10|
|SAM – Samoa||2||2||1||1||2||3||1||4|
|WAL – Wales||2||1||4||7||6||6||12||2||7||10||19|
|JAM – Jamaica||1||3||4||1||1||1||3||2||4||1||7|
|PAK – Pakistan||2||1||2||5||2||1||2||5|
|UGA – Uganda||2||2||2||2|
|BAH – Bahamas||1||1||3||5||1||1||3||5|
|SRI – Sri Lanka||1||1||1||3||1||1||1||3|
|NRU – Nauru||1||1||2||1||1||2|
|BOT – Botswana||3||3||1||1||1||3||4|
|SVG – St. Vincent & The Grenadines||1||1||1||1|
|CAY – Cayman Islands||1||1||1||1|
|TRI – Trinidad and Tobago||2||2||4||2||2||4||2||6|
|CMR – Cameroon||1||2||3||1||2||3||2||4||6|
|GHA – Ghana||2||2||1||1||2||1||3||4|
|NAM – Namibia||1||1||2||2||1||2||3|
|PNG – Papua New Guinea||1||1||1||1|
|SEY – Seychelles||1||1||1||1|
|IOM – Isle of Man||2||2||2||2|
|TON – Tonga||2||2||2||2|
|MRI – Mauritius||2||2||2||2|
|LCA – Saint Lucia||1||1||1||1|
|GUY – Guyana||1||1||1||1|
|BAN – Bangladesh||1||1||1||1|