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Delhi focus turns to security

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David Bond | 11:08 UK time, Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Having faced the prospect of a walk-out by some of the biggest nations in the Commonwealth last week, organisers here in Delhi are hopeful that the storm of negative publicity is passing, along with the late monsoon.

Delhi 2010 still has plenty of problems but competitors are moving in to an athletes' village which was last week described as unfit for human habitation. By Thursday the majority of British athletes will have arrived, and apart from a few gripes, the feedback from team leaders is that they are now satisfied with what they are finding.

Even the pedestrian bridge next to the showpiece Nehru Stadium looks to have been patched up after it collapsed last week.

There is still a high level of nervousness among Indian officials and Commonwealth Games Federation leaders. Both sides have been falling out publicly in recent days with the CGF chief executive Mike Hooper now public enemy number one among the Indian media for comments he apparently made about the traffic during a meeting earlier this week.

The sensitivity is such that both Hooper and the CGF president Mike Fennell have gone to ground, refusing to speak to journalists in the run-up to this Games, which should have been a turning point for an event already fighting for its long-term place on the sporting landscape.

With four days to go to the opening ceremony, the biggest concern is now security. With the Mumbai terror attacks still fresh in the memory, a Commonwealth Games in India was always going to present a significant security challenge.

Security at the athletes village

But security officials both here and around the world are extending their advice ahead of Thursday's long-awaited verdict on the religious dispute centred on the sacred site of Ayodhya in the north of the country. The Indian government yesterday named 470 places across the country which should be avoided by travellers and put the Indian air force on high alert.

Ayodhya has been the subject of a 60-year legal battle between Hindus and Muslims who both lay claim to the site. Believed to be the birthplace of the Hindu God Ram, in 1992 extremists tore down a mosque, vowing to build a temple there instead.

On Thursday, the Indian High Court will finally rule on the dispute and the Indian Prime Minister Manhoman Singh yesterday issued an appeal for calm.

"Whatever be the nature of judgement, I think everyone should make every effort to maintain peace, harmony and tranquillity in the country," Mr Singh said.

To say the court's ruling is bad timing for the Commonwealth Games is quite an understatement. But the court has made it clear it is vital nothing interferes with the country's constitution - even if the global spotlight is on India.

The fear is that any images of religious rioting or violence will spread quickly via India's highly competitive media - which has eagerly adopted the west's 24-hour rolling news culture - sparking even more trouble. This would quickly be picked up by the rest of the world, which is already on alert for any problems linked to the Games.

For a country eager to show the world it has moved on from the religious problems which saw more than 2000 people killed in 1992 and now emerging as one of the world's great economic forces, even minor trouble could be a major setback.

A number of athletes have, of course, already highlighted security as a reason for not travelling to Delhi. And to try and calm those fears security had already been stepped up to extremely high levels.

There are 155,000 police and security officials on duty in Delhi and in more than a decade of covering these sorts of events, I cannot remember seeing such a visible display of force from a host nation. To put that number into context, it is more than the entire UK police force.

The athletes village is subject to a series of checkpoints and guards armed with machine guns and AK47s are stationed behind sandbags every 100 metres or so along the road which takes athletes and media into the complex.

And yet, ordinary people I spoke to on Tuesday in the crowded chaos which is Old Delhi were warm and friendly. Despite all the problems and the national loss of face being felt by the politicians and upper echelons of Indian society, they spoke of their pride at hosting the Games and said they welcomed visitors from overseas.

There remains, however, a question mark over how many of them will actually go and watch.

Thousands of tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies remain unsold with many of the cheapest tickets - priced at 200 rupees (£2.80) - still available.

It's a similar story with the 100 metres final - the blue riband event of any major Games.
Part of that is down to the absence of the world's biggest names. South Africa's world champion Caster Semenya became the latest star to withdraw on Tuesday, citing problems with her back.

Delhi and India can still put on a show which will reflect its growing confidence as a nation and put the Commonwealth Games back on the map. But the potential for the event to backfire on them remains very real.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    The whole issue with games is whether it should have been staged be in Delhi!!

    The organising commite need to stop putting the blame in the media for spreading negativity and they need to accept that they are at fault for potentially producing the worst games ever. If India still has dreams to host the Olympics, I can´t see it happening in my lifetime and I am only 30. To have the stadiums and venues constructed so way past the deadline reflects badly on India as a whole and I am sure it is not like this in other cities such as Mumbai etc.

    I would have moved the games long before now in order to maintain the name of the Commonwealth Federation, the games and the countries the Federation represents. If I was to go I would make sure I took my tool box with me just in case I was called upon to screw my seat into the stadium as it hadn´t been finished!

    Even though London´s stadiums are half built I ma sure that they could could stage a better games right now

    I hope Delhi do pull off one of the biggest shocks in the sporting world but I cannot see it.

  • Comment number 2.

    I hate this; it is so devisive.
    The Commonwealth Games have been marred by boycotts over its entire history - largely associated with apartheid South Africa.
    Nigeria boycotted the 1978 Games in protest of New Zealand's contacts with South Africa, while 32 nations from Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean boycotted the 1986 Commonwealth Games (in Edinburgh, Scotland) due to the Thatcher government's attitude towards South African sporting contacts.
    Boycotts were also threatened in 1974 (Christchurch, New Zealand), 1982 (Brisbane, Australiaand) and 1990 (Auckland, New Zealand) – all because of South Africa.
    It seems to me that, in addition to being a sporting event, the Commonwealth Games have become a political statement. Maybe that’s good. All the turmoil about South Africa has certainly helped to change the South Arican environment.
    Still, I wish that criticism could be leveled with the left hand while the right hand remains extended in Commonwealth Unity such that Commonwealth Nations would step up – render what assistance they could, even augment security in face of past terrorist activity in India. Instead we have all these nations and individual athletes pulling out. Whatever happened to this Commonwealth of ours? When did we get so hostile to one another?
    Did you know the Commonwealth Games has an Exclusive Theme Song? “Jiyo Utho Bado Jeeto” (Live, Rise, Ascend, Win). A. R. Rahman went all out to try and better than Shakira’s football World Cup anthem “Waka Waka”.
    Did you know the Commwealth Games has a Logo? The logo is Ashoka Chakra, which stands as the symbol for freedom, unity and power. The colors of the logo symbolizes the diverse and vibrant culture of the country and its citizens.
    The rugged landscape of Delhi's prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University has been selected for the opening and closing ceremonies of Commonwealth Games.
    We all know India has problems, but if you are not part of the solution, you are definitely part of the problem that is creating an environment of hostility, complaint and negativity even before the opening cerempony. Where are ther stories about what is going well? Is nothing going well, or does bad news make better news?
    Better still: Where are the stories about how the United Kingdom is helping?

  • Comment number 3.

    These Games are just a catastroph waiting to happen, there's basically nothing right in the way it has been handled. India's government is corrupt, and this is result for trusting that bunch of moronic money-grabbing buffoons.

    Actually, if the CWG contracts for the stadia were handed out to indian PRIVATE companies, the results would have probably been a whole lot better and Delhi's claim of making the CWG better than China making the 2008 Olympics would actually sound serious, rather than an utter sick joke as it is right now.

    In response to BluesBerry, it's india which should have handled the problems/contracts/deadlines, the other countries have nothing to do about that (nor should they), actually it's more the representing comity of the CWG that would be to blame since they really should have taken more drastic action much sooner. The various delegations that are/have been helping out to finish the preparations are actually thoroughly nice and polite.

    Delhi can keep providing hollow reassurances, we only have to wait until October 3rd

  • Comment number 4.

    we all know where athletes stayed for manchester games ...

    In student digs with hot bedding etc etc where was the media at that time

    there were lots of problem...

    Competitors will be housed in accommodation normally used by students. There are concerns that the Games' organisers will be under extreme pressure to have rooms ready between the students leaving in early summer and the Games starting on 25 July. The capacity has also been questioned, as has the standard compared to previous major events.

  • Comment number 5.

    Hope we have great games in India. There has a lot of -ve publicity because of many reasons. Games are for peace, unity, sportsman spirit & hope this games prove this to all.

    Last not the least sharing a link about the so called security breach by the Australian Channel 7. Disgusting if true.

    http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s3023099.htm

  • Comment number 6.

    Blame British media for reporting and spreading only negativity... I am sure there must be some good things happening in Delhi..I have read Indian newspaper about glowing feedback from British and Australian atheletes about the facilities esp the food.

    "This is my first visit to India. I was very keen to come here as I have heard so many good things about this country. Earlier I have represented England in various tournaments in other countries like South Africa and Italy. If I compare the security arrangements and other things then India is at par with them; in fact better in many areas," Jocelyn Hunt, 15, member of the five-member British women gynmastic team.
    "I am very satisfied, in fact more than satisfied with the arrangements. Here we have world class arrangements of accommodation, food and other facilities. Yes, there were so much of negative stories about India's failure in meeting the deadlines, collapse of bridge but I do not know the reasons behind this. My experience so far is simply amazing." Imoga Cairns, 20, who had won a gold in gymnastics at Melbourne CWG in 2006.

  • Comment number 7.

    Welcome to the land called INDIA.
    Indeed there are many shortcoming with games preparation and I won't really argue against that. The last minute fillers are going to cover up all major shortcomings but yes this is not the right way.

    But this is how it goes here in all spheres. This is not about India demonstrating her on World stage and I really doubt Commonwealth games fit in to support any such purpose. Just because this time it is in India this much media coverage is there, otherwise you can no way compare these games with Olympics.

    Whenever any event is organized for the first time in a nation shortcoming are going to be a part of it(not supporting it). Having potential and skills is not the only requirement we lack adequate experience for that.

    I can bet that no City in West matching Delhi's population density can support a mega event like she is doing. We the inhabitants of Delhi have chose to welcome everyone amidst so much chaos it is going to create in our daily lives for these 12 days. I have to commute 90 km every day for work and now due to the games will have to go in a crowded metro instead of cab, but still I would ensure that no visitor coming here takes home bad experience. And not only me millions have chosen to do so.

    Focus from all corners should be on ensuring that an event is not hijacked by just stories of goof ups surrounding it. Feature not only shortcomings but do bring into light the good part as well. The lopsided coverage is against the media ethics.

    Corrective measure were not taken in right time which has lead to this situation and the media didn't gave it much needed attention then. What media is doing now is nothing but acting as tabloid going for cheap readership/viewership by blaming Delhi.

    Games are always guided by sportsmanship and this is one quality we should learn from the people who are contender for the glory. It's time that the organizing committee, officials and media should learn this from the athletes and people of Delhi.

    P.S. This is the first article/blog I have come across from international media which is more guided toward providing information instead of selling a scandal.

  • Comment number 8.

    I do agree with #6 and #7.

    From day one, many newspapers and websites (including BBC) highlighted only the negative part of CWG. I do agree that they should, but they did not feed us anything related to actual sports in CWG till now -- I don't believe that it is complete shambles there. Why such negativity? BBC acquired some photographs of some filthy rooms and bath rooms and then went on to put it up on the main page. Yes they achieved the right purpose of drawing attention of the world and perhps putting pressure on the officials to improve the conditions. But even after a week, they still hang on to those pictures without giving much substantial focus to sports or other positive events happening there.

    They show pictures of construction and "filthiness" together --- obviously in which part of the world do you see construction without filth around? I'm not condoning the delay on Indian organizing committee here, but the media should have some proper perspective of what is to be criticised and what is not. Because of such media bias, some atheletes who were not informed well and go through media must have dropped out.

    Go to CWG main page on BBC, you will find the same articles repeating the same information of "filthy" and "uninhabitable" many times? Why create a separate page when you have nothing much worth to write except repetition?

    Also I think India is perceived differently from say Great Britain where some lapses are allowed (Mancehster comes to mind) -- that is becuse India has to prove a point that it can provide the infrastructure so any small lapse will be highlighted while many Western nations are not under that pressure/glare.

    In conclusion, I do hope CWG organizers, Indian government learn from this chaos. But I also hope that the media from other countries and India also, also learn to report the events in a balanced manner.

  • Comment number 9.

    #5

    That link has the actual link referenced: [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]
    While I agree that (if it is true) it is scary, but the Indian government has said that the whole area was not sanitized yet.

    I don't know how timer devices work, I always feared that if the complex has not been locked down early, then someone can set an explosive off for a week from now. If that is possible, yes it is worrying. If that is not, then it does not make a difference.

    Yes the delay in construction has compounded security issues. It would have been much safer if they had completed the facilities earlier.

  • Comment number 10.

    LOL! It's quite amusing to see media reporting negative things all the time and certain people buying into it big time. Mostly those who can't handle the rising power that is India. For such people my only message is that we stand for peace and friendship and will always greet guests with love and affection (even though we have suffered in the past because of this nature).
    Its good to see glowing reviews and hear about the amazing experience on ground from atheletes who are actually there and have been allocated accomodation. Media can go on with the negativity. The only people who matter are the real participants in these games. The athletes.

  • Comment number 11.

    I have to agree with #5 and #6. Why so much negativity in BBC and other western media? Is that because it is India? Where did all these media go during Manchester 2002? Although, now it's becoming clear that these media reports were just to sell the news! Why don't the same media print the positive views of the western athletes staying the village as pointed out by #6. I agree that the organizers of CWG should have finished the work much earlier than this but the attitude of the western media is not acceptable.

  • Comment number 12.

    The British are complaining about corruption in India. They should look at their own corrupt system and comment. First, the monarchy concept is a corrupt practice. People are not born to automacially rule a country. This concept has been out of fashion for a long time. Second, the corruption in England is institutionalized. You pay for things that you do not need to. These are called unnecessary taxes. The British are taxed to their noses. The tax money goes to fund the lavish lifestyles of the lords and the monarchy. The British do not have any rights to question this. Third, If the good old USA does not bankroll the British economy, the British would be very poor. Fourth, there is a distinct class system in England. You cannot understand the accent of the players on the Football team. Because, they come from the underclass. But, all the movies are made for the upper classes. This is the English Accent that is recognized all over the world. Fifth, the British Upperclass control the media like the BBC and does not allow conflicting opinions. The BBC contains silly media folk who just do not know how to report in a mature way. Showing dogs and filth in the games village is one such way to control the thought process of the British underclass. India is a free country. The poor people and dogs are not held away by a tryannical regime and just moved to improve an image. This is how a free country should operated. This sort of situation is not possible in England. A homeless person is arrested by the police and sent away to an institution. The dogs are just killed by the dog police in England. The underclass in England is held to ransom by the media censorship of the upperclass.

  • Comment number 13.

    As a New Yorker I might have a bit to add.

    In a way this might be a good thing since it is all out in the open and can not be just hidden away. Something India’s politicians are probably only now understanding.

    Yes things here in the good old USA are a bit better organizationally than in many countries in the world today.

    That does not mean that things were always in the state they are now.
    (not that they are perfect)

    Party politics and GRAFT a America word I believe were every where to see.

    Construction projects public especially were unbelievably over budget.

    The City of New York through the Tammany Hall Administration of Boss Tweed paid more for a office Building down town than the US Government paid the King of Russia for all of Alaska.

    Talking Late ish 1800’s the Brooklyn Bridge was built with the best designer available as a front man so that the City politicians could cheat and substitute cheap materials for good.

    Whether the Bridge stayed up or not was of no concern of the politicians of the time only the amount of money taken.

    When it was discovered that steel wire already put into the bridge to hold it up was faulty another source of wire was found but the City politicians did not let the original firm running the design to supply the steel even though that company had the best product then available. Why? GRAFT.

    As a final sample of Gall the politicians overseeing the project explained that the reason for this was the possibility that the Roblings Firm would then be in a position to cheat the City.

    This is how the world is for now China, India and others are just now entering the modern world with modern ideas like Quality Control and Quality Assurance.

    That is a real learning experience not just for india but all countries starting to move up.

  • Comment number 14.

    As a member of the Indian diaspora in NZ I was initially very disappointed with the Indian games organisers. But the more I follow the media reports I feel that it is an orchestrated effort to discredit India and to ensure any possible bid by India to host the Olympics in future fails. Yes, some key athletes have decided not to attend; but these, in my humble opinion, are commercial decisions. They would rather go to a world champs meet and make some money (take for example cyclists from NZ and other countries: couple of days after announcing they will avoid Delhi, they are already at some world meet!! As a famous NZ billboard goes "They didn't have this pre-planned. Yeah right!!!". My main issue is about the timing of the games at Delhi. It is the fag-end of the monsoons and there will be the inevitable puddles, meaning mosquitos, meaning malaria / dengue. If there is any security incident, I am sure the Indian security forces will take care of the terrorirst and their backers beyond India's borders.

  • Comment number 15.

    i think it is great that a country rather than the 'tradtional' hosts such as the UK, Canada, Australia etc have a chance to stage the CWG. it was ridiculous to expect that these games would be the same as previously run games. India is India and while devloping rapidly is not at the level of other "1st world" nations in the Commonwealth - yet, but no doubt will be before too long.

    " Mostly those who can't handle the rising power that is India." - this statement is ridiculous and re-inforces the chip-on-the-shoulder mentality that many people seem to have. I would say that the majority of people in the worldwide community would be gald to see India 'rise in power'. statements like this show the rest of the world community that, as a country, India has a lot of growing up to do.

    ithink the 300 tonnes of explosives that went missing in India last month is more of a concern than whether things will get finished or the state of the athletes village etc. hardly any mention of this has been made anywhere.
    http://www.smh.com.au/commonwealth-games-2010/comm-games-news/delhi-is-a-city-crippled-by-fear-20100929-15wn2.html

  • Comment number 16.

    I really just wanted to add from an Australians' perspective. What gives the "Western Commonwealth countries" the right to criticise Delhi ? I just don't really understand it. Is it "our" right to insist that all Games, be they Commonwealth or Olympic be staged in the same spotlessly clean and modern environments that they enjoyed in Auckland, Manchester and Melbourne ? Delhi is Delhi. It is chaotic, unorganised, busy and polluted. But it also happens to be a magical, mystic, entertaining, colourful and wonderful city that deserves the Games as much as anywhere else. Do not forget that 1.2 BILLION people - 10 times more than Australia, the UK, New Zealand and South Africa put together - live in India. Who are we to say that they don't deserve the Games ?

    In terms of facilities not being up to standard - again by our western standards maybe not but get over it !! (mind you - the plumbing should have been done :) )

    Security - I challenge any city the size of Delhi, in its proximity to Pakistan and Afghanistan with all of their internal problems to be 100% secure. It is just not possible. Mind you, would Los Angeles, New York or even London in 2 years time be any different ? I think not.

    To all involved in Delhi who will be there to witness the Games - go and enjoy them. Be proud of your nation and your city and do your country proud.

  • Comment number 17.

    Delhi has world class facilities: British athletes

    Even as their media nitpicked and wrote damning reports about the state of preparations for Commonwealth Games, some British athletes who are here found the facilities "world class", "simply amazing" and with "foolproof security".

    "This is my first visit to India. I was very keen to come here as I have heard so many good things about this country. Earlier I have represented England in various tournaments in other countries like South Africa and Italy.
    If I compare the security arrangements and other things then India is at par with them; in fact better in many areas," Jocelyn Hunt, 15, member of the five-member British women gynmastic team, said Hunt, 15, is visiting India
    for the first time and for 18-year-old Becky Wing this is her first Commonwealth Games appearance.

    "I am really liking the spicy Indian food and warm hospitality. Here people are very friendly and responsive. We are not feeling that we are away from home, in fact it seems that we are sitting in some part of London itself," she said.
    Becky said "This is my first commonwealth games and I am very excited about it. Though I have seen so much on television and read in newspapers about the security concerns and other issues but I am not at all bothered about
    them. I have found everything in place and there is a foolproof security cover," she said.

    "The environment here is very thrilling and I do not find much difference if I compare the arrangements with Beijing. Moreover, we are not thinking about anything else except winning medals. My aim is to figure in top three in the
    medal tally," said Wing, who is studying Mathematics at a college in London.

    Imoga Cairns, 20, who had won a gold in gymnastics at Melbourne CWG in 2006, said "I am very satisfied, in fact more than satisfied with the arrangements. Here we have world class arrangements of accommodation, food and other facilities,"

    She added, "Yes, there were so much of negative stories about India's failure in meeting the deadlines, collapse of bridge but I do not know the reasons behind this. My experience so far is simply amazing," she said.

  • Comment number 18.

    "" Mostly those who can't handle the rising power that is India." - this statement is ridiculous and re-inforces the chip-on-the-shoulder mentality that many people seem to have."

    No. Your statement reinforces the prejudice that some people have.

    Its your shoulder which is bogged down by the chips.

  • Comment number 19.

    #9
    The link I was referring to was from ABC network's Mediawatch who allege that Mark Duffy or Channel 7 (for whom Mark Duffy conducted the security breach) had actually fabricated the whole thing.

    Quote - 'Hello I'm Paul Barry, welcome to Media Watch.

    Channel Seven's explosive investigation into Commonwealth Games security, broadcast last Monday, sent shockwaves around the world.


    Tonight we're going to spend the entire program examining that Channel Seven report because we believe it's a shocking beat up. '


    Sharing one more link -
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6xk-Tm_1y4

  • Comment number 20.

    Host nations are ususally ready before the event not after.

  • Comment number 21.

    #10
    "Mostly those who can't handle the rising power that is India.", if you are refering to the insane degree of corruption present throughout your country's administration, then yeah, you're probably so high up there no other country will reach your standards any time soon.

    Hats off to men like Ratan Tata and Laxmi Mittal for being so successful in their respective businesses, people like them are actually driving your economy forward, and in the right way, but India's still pretty far off China's level, and there are too many things wrong still to be corrected (not that China's perfect either).

    Back to the Games, Delhi might just force the clean-up to look good just about in time, but that's what it'll be : just _looking_ good. The fact remains that the schedules were never met and that plenty of architectural incidents have already occured for the neutrals to rightly question the security levels in the stadia.

  • Comment number 22.

    Perhaps Westerns should read this also,not just the negative reports!
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/johnbeattie/2010/09/india_the_perfect_location_for.html

  • Comment number 23.

    @ britinspain2010, get a grip of yourself. How can people proclaim the worst Games ever, even before they have started? And, Delhi is the ONLY city in India capable of hosting events of this magnitude. Mumbai or Calcutta just do not have the adequate infrastructure or space to do so, although they'll be equally worthy host cities just based on their size and passion.

    There are many reasons why India should and should not host the games, but this continuous barage of whipped up media frenzy is completely uncalled for. The fact that people reading about it get so influenced by negative reports (positive reports are there as well, but never get as much publicity) is even more disturbing.

    The reasons for India to not host the games come down to one thing: should a country spend so much money and resources on an event where elite athletes compete at the expense of millions of under-privileged folk, disaplacing people from their homes and streets? The corruption scandals and displacement drives are unpardonable, but poor nations also have the right to host international events. India has always been a country of extremes: high-tech space programmes and millions of malnourished children. I do not think these are mutually exclusive. With good governance, one can tackle the problems AND host the Commonwealth Games.

    As far as the other excuses being used by the West, namely security and safety, the less said the better. 2 people got injured after they were shot outside the Jama Masjid and the whole world went bonkers! Whereas people are getting shot and killed every day in all the world's big cities and no one stops visiting them! The level of disproportionate media propaganda is unbelievable. Regardless of what people say and feel, Indian cities continue to be some of the safest on Earth, and you are much less likely to be killed/shot in Delhi than in New York or London or Johannesburg.

  • Comment number 24.

    I am sick on hearing about how well India is doing. They should be ashamed that they have still not gotten things sorted out yet and the games are starting. They have had so long to get ready for this the planning and schedule has been a complete joke. Don't make it worse by blaming the weather. The country had years, yes years to get things sorted out. The next joke is that they have monkeys dealing with the security. I just hope that any people take advantage of what will be poor security at the games. I know what the reply will be. The country has thousands of army and security with AK47s on site. You can have all the guns and people in the world there but if they are set up as badly as the games, I just hope the athletes and locals don't get hurt.

  • Comment number 25.

    @standupforquality: I think you have misunderstood the reason for roping in monkeys at the games. Where did you read that they are there for security? Only a fool would do that!!!! Before you comment on anything, do read properly.

  • Comment number 26.

    Nice blog. Still, I am optimistic that India can pull it off. When everyone loses hope in it, India somehow pulls it off.

    All sports (except Cricket) are rarely followed in India. Its growing though & this games will further create that interest. So, less ticket sell is not really a shock i feel.

    @ standupforquality: Games could be joke, if it fails, but you just made one of yourself. As Jack said, those trained monkeys(langurs) are trained to scare off other monkeys which creates nuisance there.

    Let us hope and work for the best. Let us be positive in our approach.

  • Comment number 27.

    First, some facts:
    1) The lowest priced ticket for the opening ceremony is not Rs 200 but Rs 1,000 (14 pounds) and goes up to Rs 50,000 (708 pounds).
    2) All the Rs 1,000 tickets have been sold out since a long time.
    Now,my opinion.
    Indians in general have been angry at the blatant corruption among some politicians here and yes, the sense of urgency to finish work was missing until the media spotlight was on them. But reading some of the comments above I don't know whether to laugh at the typical fear psychosis of the 'developed' nations or to explain the real situation in New Delhi.
    1) The monkey story has been BBC's 2nd or 3rd lead in the CWG page and undoubtedly must have shocked the sensibilities of the readers. OMG! More monkeys to protect from monkeys?! Yes, that's how it is here, an eco-friendly, fool-proof, traditional solution! And no #24, the monkeys are not advanced enough to take care of security measures, we have soldiers for that. Soldiers who fight terrorists on a day to day basis, which is a sad reality for us.
    2) India with its billion-plus population is an integral part of the Commonwealth and surely deserves to host the Games. Corruption was there and the concerned authorities must be charged. But there were a lot of other factors which affected the construction. Extended monsoons are a reality, not an excuse. And it's not some gloomy drizzle like in London folks. Torrential rains every single day and then massive floods. If hurricanes and floods wipe away cities in the so-called developed nations, how do you expect India's infrastructure to stand the might of nature?
    3) So I request everyone, especially the international media, to get off your high horse. There were problems, some were our faults, some not. But please show some respect to the thousands of labourers who worked day and night in the balzing heat, rains to bring to you the Games.
    Because of the one-sided reportage, unnecessary hype was created and even now not a single positive photo is here in the website. Players were pleasntly surprised when they reached the venue and the Village. It might not be the best Games, but we will give our best.
    Bet India will surprise all of you.

  • Comment number 28.

    well said pathofclouds. What can I say, whatever western media reported about these games sounds like a conspiracy to me. I do agree there were some faults on our side but media made a mountain out of a molehill!

  • Comment number 29.

    I hate to read the comments here. See channel "abc" where they have clearly shown the propaganda of channels 7 against India. The game is not even started and you guys are pouring bad impression without any study. Athens olympics, previous CWG games, etc.. all had problems. No one was so much interested in those cases than humiliating India now. I agree Indian media played a big role in this by assisting Australians junk. As me and many Indians hate to see inaugurating the game by the queen too. The game will be a success and will run smoothly. Those who backed out from the game can sit in home and ............ We just don't care

  • Comment number 30.

    @ 29 - parveen, I feel disgusted by your remarks regarding our Queen. I would hate that she would go to such a third world country where there's no respect for our Queen and that india is a corrupt country and should concentrate on it's massive poverty and human rights abuse, i.e. sikhs, low caste Dalits and Muslims. It's a huge shame that CWG are taking place in a country where international athletes are being treated like animals. Nothing has changed it's just that the CWG's Head Quarters have to carry on with the games to save themselves from sheer embarrassment and humility, but these games do show the extent of corruption and abuse of human rights taking place in a third world country india. Corruption is only prevalent in countries who are very poor and have a vast lack of education. Shame, the games are not canceled.

  • Comment number 31.

    and remember that monkeys and lagoons have been deployed around delhi to provide security... is this country (india) a country of humans or animals... shame, this sounds like a zoo to me where you appointing monkeys and lagoons for provide security... God Save Our Queen!

  • Comment number 32.

    @ 24 - standupfoquality ... salute you for your honest comments. Wish we had all British in Britain like you. Sadly, the twisted politics of our own leaders are paying no heed for the safety of our nationals. My God, monkeys are put their as security ??? Is india a country or a ZOO ???

  • Comment number 33.

    @Nigelbarret I really don't think that your renowned British media has wrongly reported about the use of monkeys to provide security during the games? It would be appalling if the media had reported like that. By the way, read #27 for explanation or read good newspapers for correct reports.

  • Comment number 34.

    Please read the story of Danielle Brown (England) and her praise for the games village. She said in this report that this games village has even made really good arrangements for disabled people, which was lacking in the world chamionships. so why all these unnecessary moaning from the western media?

    http://sports.rediff.com/slide-show/2010/oct/01/slide-show-1-cwg-2010-delhi-danielle-brown-beats-chronic-pain-to-compete-harish-kotian.htm

  • Comment number 35.

    Yes, NigelBarret. India is a zoo, and you are most welcome to stay in one of the enclosures.

  • Comment number 36.

    @Jack123, thanks. We made mistakes and we take responsibility for that. But no point using logic in front of ignorant people. The atmosphere here is of celebration and excitement, and some unknown NigelBarret's comment is not going to change that. Come out and play!!!!

  • Comment number 37.

    After watching your report about the Commonwealth Games on the 10 o'clock news it's surprising the BBC sent someone who has such a low opinion of the event. Presumably the athletes are more positive.

 

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