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What will Commonwealth legacy mean for Indian sport?

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Matthew Pinsent | 15:15 UK time, Thursday, 14 October 2010

The Commonwealth Games have come to an end and, despite the usual end-of-event tiredness, I'll be sorry to depart India. 

It has as ever been a privilege to cover a multi-sport event and it is a position and an opportunity that I don't ever want to get bored with.

I was sent out to see the very first event and was there to see India’s Saina Nehwal step off the court having won the women's singles badminton title. Fittingly, India’s final gold medal propelled them past England on the medals table - a massive achievement for the hosts.

The best realistic legacy that I can hope for is that the Commonwealth Games of 2010 mark the emergence of India as a power at future big sporting events.

On the biggest stage of all, at the London Olympics in 2012, India should contend for a top 10 finish. 

It is easy to sweep a lot of their medals under a carpet marked "it’s the Commonwealths" or "wait until Team GB are around" but India's wrestlers, shooters and boxers are of world class.

It’s an old cliche to remark that India is a country of contrasts but even inside the air-conditioned, carpeted halls of the Games there have still been huge divides. The Indian 4x400 relay team celebrates winning gold at the Commonwealth Games

The 4x400 relay team celebrate winning India's first Commonwealth track gold since 1958      Photograph: Getty 

Contrast the near disaster surrounding the start of the Games with the triumphs of the second week, or the diligence of the volunteers - sometimes hopelessly equipped for their role - with the graceless charge of the dignitaries to get close to Indian medallists. 

Put the overall safety that one of the largest armies in the world has provided up against the soul-sapping inconsistency between the paperwork required from one checkpoint to the next.

I'm not sure whether the act of hosting this has helped India's chance of hosting a future Olympic Games or not. 

Influential people within the Olympic movement will have seen some of the issues up close in the last month and yet the Indian triumphs of the last week will also have gone round the world. 

The Olympics won't have missed the idea that India has embraced a multi-sport event in a way that rivals cricket, and a 'market' of a billion people is a strong draw.  

What must change for any Olympic bid to get off the ground is a change in the way the event has been staged.

Delhi somehow managed to combine the worst inefficiencies of what has been termed "Old India" by the media here and the political machinations have begun as those in charge look to grab the glory and shed the blame. There must be a better way.

The last irony is that the Commonwealth Games organisers have apparently made no provision for sport in the future - buildings aside. 

There is no cash injection waiting to flood in to athletics, cycling or hockey. What use are some of the best facilities without droves of people to use them - that has got to be a worry.

I went to a traditional wrestling academy in Old Delhi three days ago. It was the training base for nearly 40 men and boys who wanted to become Indian stars. 

It is totally self-funded - the wrestlers take what they earn in the dirt-square competitions that India stages city-by-city and plough it into the academy. 

Some of them sleep on the wrestling mat the others on the hard concrete floor. 

Ropes hang from the trees which every wrestler is expected to climb using arms only, the dirt was dug and flattened by hand. Days started early with prayers in the on-site shrine and an hour of running the roads of the city.

All of them know India’s top wrestlers and most of the international ones. Medallists are gods. 

That's the image that I want to leave India with - the simple relationship between the champions on the television and the desire in the downtown wrestlers. In them, and thousands like them, the future of Indian sport rests.

 

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  • 1. At 6:01pm on 14 Oct 2010, maint123 wrote:

    please...overtaking england is no 'massive' achievement for India, england is a has been ,defeating the usa ,yes thats what we target.

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  • 2. At 6:10pm on 14 Oct 2010, Kris wrote:

    Yes India has some world beaters but they are more self made geniuses and not the product of a well oiled machine. In India sport training is expensive and does not pay and only a privileged minuscule attempt to make it as a career.

    Take the case of gold medal winners Saina Nehwal (Badminton) and Krishna Punia (Discus). Their parents spent their life savings to train them in support - without their sacrifice they would not be where they are today. Even now, they are only being supported by he likes of Lakshmi Mittal and not the government.

    Indian politicians such as Kalmadi will thrive in patting themselves in the back for all the achievements of the sportsmen even though their contribution was zilch. It will all be forgotten soon and the sportsmen will continue to toil literally in the local dust bowls they have access to.

    India is a huge country and having a few sports centres in Delhi is not going to help in anyway. Unless sports is institutionalised with decent facilities in every school, India will only have to content with self made sportsmen who can win a gold here and there at the world level.

    As long as Indian politicians continue to swindle India of its resources they will never catch China or any sporting power - at least not in our lifetime.

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  • 3. At 6:20pm on 14 Oct 2010, lardsinha wrote:

    Thank you for the insightful blog.

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  • 4. At 6:22pm on 14 Oct 2010, Razor wrote:


    India has done incredibly well during the games, but I dont see them doing well at London 2012. The games in Delhi though will without doubt bring on a new era of sport for India. The improvement is there for everyone to see...But it will probably take another 10 years atleast for truely World Class sportsmen and women to emerge.
    The passion and the hunger is there. The Delhi CWG is going to inspire millions of youngsters... I would expect India to do well at the 2020 Olympics and get a top 10 finish. The thing with a country like India is that once the movement starts and they begin to produce top level elite athletes and sportspeople,it will be a juggernaut. I can see them going on to do amazing things...

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  • 5. At 6:26pm on 14 Oct 2010, billion_plus wrote:

    Amazing week of sports for India!

    Winning the cricket against Australia, track and field gold medal, coming 2nd in the CWG medals tally, Sania weaving her magic on court and finally an incredible closing ceremony!

    Will take a while for all this to sink in :-)



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  • 6. At 6:44pm on 14 Oct 2010, Football Analyst wrote:

    India are a big sporting destination - for cricket. I followed English cricket team on a tour to India once and their stadiums were quite exquisite. Facilities are good for those sports that are watched by millions in that country - and it holds good for all countries.
    Their main problem is the population.
    They do try have a good public transport; like Bombay city; but due to the large population it all falls short miserably.

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  • 7. At 6:46pm on 14 Oct 2010, Sunit wrote:

    Pinsent great to hear from you I have two question from you please do reply,many other country has market with two or three pic and the security as most contravertial CWG,but it is more open to the world that it was most expensive CWG in world no country has dared to spend that much in CWG but India has done that,that to0 when recession yet to be over fully many other country may have become bankcrupt or may have delayed the hosting due to recession but no one is noticing this that India has still spend and spend well,any views on this??secondly medial saying due to security was a concern do you think there will not be secusity concern in london 2012,i can immagine it will be much more then what was in Delhi.Its realy sad from the media point of view India has produced such a wonderfull sports and venue to the world in recesion and still media is trying to pin point irrevelent stuff even now when they want to write positive they still will start with negative that most contravertial or securuty etc.But at the last no one else Media was the looser(Including those who beleived in media) and the winner was Sports and India.Well done India you are going to rock in future

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  • 8. At 6:48pm on 14 Oct 2010, Aru wrote:

    Its a great success and I agree with everyone that there was tremendous effort from all sections of India to make games a big success except media(never mind BBC,who cares BBC in India probably outside UK). Credit to all the people behind and a good lesson for some spoilsports who were trying to get out negative and depressing aspects of the games/organisation.

    There is a saying in Gita, "Intention and effort is more important than the result"

    Delhi CWG2010 games were a triumph as I can see the real effort and good intention of Delhi people and volunteers in the success.

    The real looser is BBC whose intention every second was looking at negative aspects and the effort was neither great(I mean showing trivial negative things than exposing the real so scandals in games).

    I can see some change in the tone of BBC which is good sign of balanced coverage.

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  • 9. At 6:54pm on 14 Oct 2010, Sunit wrote:

    Razor yes I do agree India may not succeed in olympic the way it has in CWG,however journey is started and people who stated this knows their destination,will keep my finger cross and will wait till London2012 get completed

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  • 10. At 7:04pm on 14 Oct 2010, kopite4life wrote:

    give india the credit they finished above england in the medals table period

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  • 11. At 7:09pm on 14 Oct 2010, FallbackAustraliaunfair wrote:

    Sure... you had one more gold, but were over 40 medals in total behind us.

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  • 12. At 7:10pm on 14 Oct 2010, Uk-teacher wrote:

    Thank you Matthew for this well balanced and thoughtful article, it makes a refreshing change from the biased, negative reporting of India .As long as there are decent, open minded people in the world like yourself the truth will always surface regardless of the lies and negativity of jealous nations fearful of India's progress.

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  • 13. At 7:23pm on 14 Oct 2010, AnfieldRocks wrote:

    A big boost for a country which worship only their cricket idols. India has arrived.

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  • 14. At 7:25pm on 14 Oct 2010, smellslikesalmon wrote:

    I wrote on another blog how positive my impression of the games was, and how much I enjoyed them. Well done again to India.

    But I have to comment on all these accusations of 'bias' and 'jealousy' in the media. First of all, I saw far more negative articles in the Indian media than in the Western media. There were serious problems, it's pointless denying that - if a bridge collapses or the accommodation is completed late in 2012 will the Indian media not mention this? If they do mention it will this make India a 'nation of whingers'?

    I think it's a credit to the volunteers and the Indian people that these problems were overcome. As you become a global power holding high-profile events you will face an increased level of scrutiny and higher expectations. It comes with the territory so get used to it. When something goes wrong in 2012 you can bet that the British media will be far harsher than anything you've seen on these games...

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  • 15. At 7:37pm on 14 Oct 2010, ph567 wrote:

    Congratulations to India for overcoming some fairly large initial problems to stage a great show. it would certainly be interesting to see how the IOC viewed it though i cant help feeling it will take a few more years cycles until India can be considered for the olympics. Incidentally, for a proper reflection of achievement the olympic table is surely the only one you can look at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/olympics/medals_table/default.stm

    Gold medals:
    United Kingdom 19
    India 1

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  • 16. At 7:48pm on 14 Oct 2010, Arulisms wrote:

    Jai Ho!

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  • 17. At 7:56pm on 14 Oct 2010, Prithvi wrote:

    Mathew, thank you for the wonderful articles, it's been a pleasure to read them, especially given the fact that you were once in the position these athletes were in giving a very unique and intimate perspective of the whole thing.

    The following has nothing to do with your blog (but is related to the CWG), it's just that I thought I had to comment on this article I came across in BBC . I have been a staunch supporter of media objectivity until now and was appalled to see some of the reactions of my compatriots which frankly speaking, bordered on asinine jingoism.

    But I do have to draw the line at the following

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11525504

    True there were many issues and it is true too that we would be blind to ignore them. Trust me, we are aware of the shortcomings of our country and and will not side with idiots blinded by nationalistic fervour when it comes to critiquing them. but this article made me wonder if there is some truth to what these people claim; that there has been some weird snooty bias on the media's part in covering this event.

    With the title reading "Delhi Commonwealth Games' top 10 memorable moments" you would have thought that there was an objective assessment of all cumulative experiences both good and bad (surely, I mean even the most pessimistic nay sayers would have to agree that there were more than enough nice things to remember too). But no, what we have here is an unabashed sneer fest only thinly veiled under the pretext of being "memorable".

    The author of this article must have some serious issues with mental well being to actually find dirty toilets 'memorable'. Unless my grasp of English is bad, memorable is a positive adjective used to evoke sentiments of things that you would like to remember, not as an excuse for tasteless sarcastic taunts.

    What is this, an exercise in showing India its place? Pardon me but I had thought better of BBC until I read such drivel. No wonder than that beebs has been at the receiving end of a veritable troll fest ( not that I support it). Sure there were many things that went wrong, and they have to be highlighted too lest we forget to learn out lessons, but surely even the most blinkered India hater would concede that there things that truly merited being memorable.

    We tried and I think we did a pretty good job despite all the setbacks so seriously beebs some credit where it's due.

    PS: Sorry Mathew for going a bit OT in your blog, once again kudos to you, hope beebs get more like you to cover such events in the future.

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  • 18. At 8:04pm on 14 Oct 2010, vpande wrote:

    No disrespect to my compatriots for improving on their medal haul over 2006, but to go from that to expecting a top 10 finish in the Olympics is ridiculously optimistic. The Commonwealth Games do not feature powerhouses like USA, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, Germany, former CIS countries or a full-strength Jamaican contingent. India will have to contend with China, Japan, South Korea as well as Iran, Kazakhstan (other Central Asian countries) and increased competition from South-East Asia at Guangzhou in less than a month at the Asian Games. How much we improve on our 10 golds and 53 medals in total from Doha in 2006 will be an indication of how much we can expect to improve on our Beijing performance of 1 gold and 3 medals in total. I don't want to knock the performance of our athletes but the Commonwealth Games are seriously slack in competition and should never fuel conjecture.

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  • 19. At 8:12pm on 14 Oct 2010, Prithvi wrote:

    Comment #18 vpande

    Spot on mate! The aussie hockey team just showed us what world class competition is and where we stand in comparison and that too in a discipline we've traditionally been good in. A couple of golds is what I will settle for in the Olympics. We've a long way to go. If we start getting our acts together now, it could be close to two decades before we are anywhere close to being competitive (forget finishing in the top ten).

    Beating China and the US Meh, sometimes I think people drink way too much jingoistic juice...

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  • 20. At 8:31pm on 14 Oct 2010, pen2epaper wrote:

    As a Brit who has worked in India and been alternately enthused and frustrated with the country, I have to agree with Prithvi (#17) that the 'Top 10' highlights post is embarrassingly negative. For me, the England v India hockey match was a spell-binding sporting highlight. Tom Daley's diving and David Miller's metronomic cycling in the individual pursuit were also great. (As a Brit I overlooked all of Australia's achievements, but there must have been more a few!) The Commonwealth Games is not the Olympics or a multiple World Championships - that is not the point. Listen to the competitors, they didn’t complain as much as the British media. Yes, venues were completed far too late in the day and some things sounded a shambles, especially early on, but there was a lot to cheer.

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  • 21. At 8:32pm on 14 Oct 2010, Kris wrote:

    Don't blame the Indian athletes but blame the system. In western countries even a local state school will have fantastic facilities like indoor courts and gymnasiums. It is that sort of facilities and access to world class training, nutrition for kids at a very young age enables them to become successful athletes that excel at a world stage.

    Indians have pretty much everything - pride, passion, hunger for success etc except the infrastructure.

    If the Indian government is honest about improving sports and creates such an infrastructure, it would only be a matter of few years before Indians can consistently excel at the world stage.

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  • 22. At 8:49pm on 14 Oct 2010, smellslikesalmon wrote:

    17 Prithvi: After my earlier post defending the media in general, I came across your post with the link to the 'memorable moments' article.

    I have to agree that this article is a disgrace and an insult. As a BBC licence-fee payer I am appalled. There were many memorable moments in these games and that article was more reminiscent of a trashy tabloid. After my earlier defense of the media I think the BBC should be ashamed in this case.

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  • 23. At 8:58pm on 14 Oct 2010, FallbackAustraliaunfair wrote:

    'No disrespect to my compatriots for improving on their medal haul over 2006, but to go from that to expecting a top 10 finish in the Olympics is ridiculously optimistic. The Commonwealth Games do not feature powerhouses like USA, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, Germany, former CIS countries or a full-strength Jamaican contingent.'

    AHEM or a united British team that finished 4th in the 2008 Olympics medal table and will be at full strength with a load of athletes back who missed the Commonwealth's for a number of reason.

    Sorry India but as GB we are going to trash you in London 2012.

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  • 24. At 9:00pm on 14 Oct 2010, mrireland wrote:

    Back when Disraeli handed India over to Victoria to colonise, India was the wealthiest country in the world.
    It is way too complex to fully understand how India is where it is today.
    There are very well educated and intelligent people plus many of the worlds richest billionaires.
    There are it seems fewer middleclass Indians , and it is through them I feel progress will be made.
    If in this world of commercialism perhaps the incentive of money into sport , as amateurism is pretty much dead , then the athletes will be encouraged to get involved.I am not certain how good that is.
    But in so many ways India has to move into the 21st century.

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  • 25. At 9:13pm on 14 Oct 2010, Jack123 wrote:

    Sorry for using your blog to write this Mathew, Delhi top 10 memorables suggests that you guys lost your brain and thinking process to come up with such an outrageous report. This shows that BBC has certainly came to these games with a "pre-mind set of anti-India". To be honest, since last week I feel like throwing up whenever I watch BBC on TV. shame on you for doing such a tasteless reports. Tell me, don't you think there were much better memorable moments from these games? If those toilets were your "memorable moment", I think you have to see a doctor.

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  • 26. At 9:23pm on 14 Oct 2010, Jack123 wrote:

    look at the crazy assusies!! ha ha ha worse than the british

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cwgarticleshow/6750851.cms

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  • 27. At 9:41pm on 14 Oct 2010, bounce bounce bounce wrote:

    India are good.

    USA are overrated. Anyone been there? Fatties everywhere.

    When India takes sport more seriously, and given that it's a country on the rise and the USA will soon be a has-been country that noone will care about, then they'll be right up there.

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  • 28. At 10:03pm on 14 Oct 2010, the-tiger wrote:

    I hope the Indian Govt and others stop aiming for hosting Olympics and purely focus on producing world class athletes who can win medals in olympics for the next 2/3 games.

    This is a very good start and lets hope their is a legacy...

    I hope cricket does not hog so much spotlight from now on and the media and others focus on other sports (same for footy in england).

    A few observations -

    The Indian govt & public sector has been pathetic in planning, execution and most importantly in savvy media mgmt.

    Whereever the India private sector was involved, everything was superb.

    Indian public has been great and so have been the hardworking & poor workers as always.

    Indian athletes have been great. The middle class needs to start sending their kids in sports and stop promoting them into becoming just Drs and Engineers. The lower middle class athelets have shown the way in these games by winning the majority of the medals.

    The security was splendid.

    The British and Aussie media have been pathetic, naive and childish until yesterday.

    The athletes who missed out shouls be ashamed of themselves.

    The future looks good for Indian sport...

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  • 29. At 10:15pm on 14 Oct 2010, Ronak Pandya wrote:

    #27 Planet Mars, I have been to America, only this summer to take the New York Bar exam...the USA will remain number one for the next 50 years at the very least, do you know why Planet Mars? They have an optimistic attitude and do not understand the word "can't" unlike this country...fat or skinny Americans have a winning mentality so the USA is truly a great nation...

    As for India, there are many positves about India's performances in the CWG. However India will be held back until the Government in all of its forms is swept clean of grafting and kickbacks. In fact if China ever thought of one good idea it was shooting anyone found guilt of receiving bribes. Indians have to demand the funding and support for these disciplines.

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  • 30. At 10:20pm on 14 Oct 2010, weldone-india wrote:

    come on BBC read this and tell the whole world what oz did in games village.. how come british media ingnore this news.. you only could see dirty toilets and i just saw on bbc you still showing those ditry toilets. i would be happy if you could show us clean toilets as well..


    NEW DELHI: At the top of the medal tally and the undisputed champions of the Commonwealth Games, the Australian team, sadly didn't show any sporting spirit when their cricket team lost the Test series to India on Wednesday.

    Enraged by the humiliating loss, some athletes, according to highly-placed sources in Delhi Police, went berserk, destroying electrical fittings and furniture in their tower in the Games Village on Tuesday and Wednesday.

    Not just that, policemen posted there say they also shouted slogans against batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, who played a pivotal role in ensuring India's victory in the Bangalore match, and flung a washing machine down from the eighth floor of their tower.

    Their hooliganism started on Tuesday when Sachin scored a double century. "The house-keeping staff tried to stop them but to no avail," said a senior police officer handling security inside the Village. Stunned by the little master's stellar performance, they first damaged electrical fittings and fixtures in their block.

    On Wednesday, when India brownwashed Australian 2-0 to keep the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, the Australian athletes reportedly threw a washing machine down from the eighth floor, said a senior officer. Mercifully, no one was injured.

    Delhi Police, which received a complaint about this vandalism, tried to downplay the incidents to prevent them from snowballing into a diplomatic embarrassment for Australia.

    On reports that some Australian athletes went berserk inside the Games Village after their cricket team lost the Test series to India, a senior officer posted there said that they have not received any complaints from Organising Committee (OC) which owns the property inside the Games Village. "Therefore, we have not registered any case," said a senior police officer.

    Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said: "No complaint has been received. We have found a broken washing machine from the block where the athletes were staying. We are trying to establish as to how the machine reached there."

    OC officials didn't pursue the matter. "We have not given any complaint and the matter has been sorted out after discussion with the Australian chef-de-mission," said an official. When asked whether the Australian athletes have tendered any apology, he declined any comment.



    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cwgarticleshow/6750851.cms

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  • 31. At 10:24pm on 14 Oct 2010, cali13 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 32. At 10:36pm on 14 Oct 2010, Arka wrote:

    As the adage goes, 'Rome was not built in a day',and neither will be the sporting fortunes of India. It takes years of dedication on part of athletes and support provided by the private sector and government to add to a countries sporting fortunes. This was glaringly missing in the past. But now things have started to change... and change for the better. This is evident from the upward curve of India's performance over the last decade or so in any international meet . If we continue in the same trajectory then it will not be wistful thinking to envision India in the Olympic top 10 as well in the next Decade or so.

    Great(?) Britain, on the other hand, is much past her prime and would be lucky to hold on to their current position at the end of the same time horizon.

    And as for the present, what a blow this day has been to the collective ego of England! To be humbled by India, a country that still evokes the images of snake charmers and lepers in their minds. May be it's time that they saw their erstwhile colony in her totality, acknowledged her capabilities and got ready to stay relevant in a future when India would have come of age. London may be your last chance to redeem your self pride... wish you the best of luck till then! ;)

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  • 33. At 10:48pm on 14 Oct 2010, Gobsmacked wrote:

    #14 I completely agree with you. However I think the lines became blurred in the few weeks before the Games and it was perceived that the Indian people were to blame. This is obviously not true the fiasco beforehand was down to the organisers.

    The people of India should make sure that Delhi 2010 marks the beginning of the end of corruption in India, that would be the best legacy of all. Once corruption is got rid of, India will be unstoppable.

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  • 34. At 10:54pm on 14 Oct 2010, Gobsmacked wrote:

    So Godiva re #11, what you are saying is that India has more winners than England but England has more losers than India ;o)

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  • 35. At 11:18pm on 14 Oct 2010, induk wrote:

    Look in to reality, it is not England or India, they are fine.
    It is a fun and pleasure what is all about.. every one enjoyed with either negative or positive mind...

    have you all forgetten the goldman sachs and lehman brothers what they did for the world countries... job losses not having money for buying a bread and milk....

    comon.. bit more broad minded

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  • 36. At 11:40pm on 14 Oct 2010, smellslikesalmon wrote:

    Arka wrote:
    "Great(?) Britain, on the other hand, is much past her prime"

    BTW, "Great" is a geographical term originally used to distinguish the British Isles from Brittany in France.

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  • 37. At 11:55pm on 14 Oct 2010, Rob wrote:

    Will people get over themselves regarding the 10 memorable moments. I think it wasn't too far from accurate. No I won't remember Tom Daley's dive, or David Miller winning in a field that wasn't exactly full strength. I'm much more likely to remember the athletics village episode. Mainly because it got so much more media coverage.

    The same goes for the bridge, and the boxing weigh-in, which was a little funny to read about. As did the missing spectators which wasn't hard to miss on a lot of the days and didn't need reporting, it was clearly visible.

    The jinx of the women's 100m definitely stood out, and most noticeably India's performance. The 4x400m women's relay was excellent. As was the opening ceremony.

    So get over the "anti India" statements, the article tells it like it was. The Commonwealth games just aren't what they used to be, and on this occasion there were more than a few serious screw ups.

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  • 38. At 01:16am on 15 Oct 2010, Batchat wrote:

    Well balanced comments from Matthew Pinsent. Your fairness, observation and hope makes me proud to be British and Indian.
    However, there are a few areas that should be borne in mind:
    - Medals tables are meaningless, it is the sportsman or woman that competes; it just happens we organise events by country and the atheletes too.
    - All nations concentrate on some events, but some richer nations have sufficient structures to be able to have a broader key events base; having spent so much relative to the rest on even their lower ranked events of course they should do well.
    - The Indians are graceful and have a longer civic and cultural tradition plus resurgent confidence, so the slating coloured by institutional bias against them is something they are used to - but dot not react to. UK and the Western dominance you may recall has only been around 2 - 3 centuries, whereas the East's prominence stretched over 50 centuries and is being restored.

    One must be clear that it is easy for nations to grow rich on the back of slavery, armed acquisition of other nations resources and policies plus strategy that would ensure continued dominance over their 'posessions' once they are liberated. This enrichment has allowed the UK to keep its masses occupied and quiet, yet as with all 'great' civilisations built on force they decay - morally and with inertia plus indolence of following generations having supped nothing but milk & honey, with no idea of hard work - no ambition amongst the masses.

    The English have always talked of great civilisations - Egyptians,Romans, Greeks, Chinese - singularly omiting India from this.
    All that happened in India started with the British is the attitude - making nothing of its contributions to mathematics and science to name a few areas. This attitude persists and was a key element in highlighting negatives - oh look we've left them over 60 years they cnnot cope.

    India is rising again by fair competition - within the parameters set by the enslavers. Sheer ambition and wish to succeed in all ways by its vast population, sports may not be the first thing on their minds. Let us see a league table of engineers, scientists etc and see how England ranks per head. The opportunities are by merit in the global world in these areas - no longer restricted by prejudice. Sports will no doubt join the areas of mainstream pursuit by Indians - and then one can make a fair comparison of the returns on a global stage.

    Or India may wish to follow England's lead find a Zola Budd, Allan Lamb, Pietersen etc to fill the golds. Pity we cannot get some of those Johnny Foreigner footballers to play for England we must be due another World Cup.


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  • 39. At 01:22am on 15 Oct 2010, Jack123 wrote:

    Rob, what makes you think that our attitude is backward? have you lived in Florida? Trust me, we are way better then these americans.

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  • 40. At 01:53am on 15 Oct 2010, ProudIndianCWG wrote:

    A good article. Yes I too hope that the whole of India breaks loose of all the unnecessary bureacracy and corruption. That is what needs to happen first for India to progress and become a world leader. Otherwise it will simply remain a land of Haves who rule the Have nots.

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  • 41. At 02:06am on 15 Oct 2010, capt ram wrote:

    Indian sports persons winning so many medals proves the oft quoted adage that in India at least God exists, because the country runs 'in spite' of her corrupt politicians and sport persons succeed against all odds 'in spite' of petty sports officials. It is a proof of their personal grit and determination and support from their families.
    Surely if the politicians and sports officials were to be removed from the equation and the administration of sports left to professionals the medal tally could well be increased multi-fold...

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  • 42. At 02:50am on 15 Oct 2010, theboganpimpernal wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 43. At 03:23am on 15 Oct 2010, VN wrote:

    I know this is not the right forum, but could not resist myself from replying to theboganpimpernal's post.

    theboganpimpernal, you clearly have no idea about economics. According to experts the best way to measure the size of a country's economy is through GDP (PPP). According to this measure, India is already the fourth largest economy in the world. India's GDP (PPP) is almost double the size of UK's.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)

    No one is denying the fact that India has got more than its share of problems in almost every field, but this is not to deny the great strides it has achieved in the past two decades.

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  • 44. At 04:04am on 15 Oct 2010, BLRBrazil wrote:

    I feel I have to add my voice to the string of comments, graciously started @ 17, complaining about the "10 memorable moments". Since such a title is evidently intended to summarize the legacy of the Games, I thought it was unbelievably distorted towards a negative view of what most people - most importantly the participants - are describing as a success. In the knowledge that the Beeb can do much better than that, can I suggest you give the article a major overhaul.

    And speaking of the legacy of the Games, I think people are placing far too much emphasis on medals. What India needs to do now (imho; and on top of weeding out the corruption that blights and holds back so many countries) is to use the inspiration of the Games to spread sport around the country, starting with schools and clubs. Getting young people involved in and enjoying sport will bring far greater benefits to the country than a few medals in future mega-events.

    Btw, for the medal obsessed, curiously Australia (74x3)+(55x2)+(48x1)= 380, while UK (51x3)+(79x2)+(69x1)= 380, so I suppose it was a tie in the end, Though i'll hand it to the Aussies that they have a stronger 'winning' mentality :o)

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  • 45. At 04:34am on 15 Oct 2010, asif islam wrote:

    INDIA has done appreciably well in the games and winning over a 100 medals is a great achievement. especially the efforts of wrestlers, atheletics team, badminton women squad and shooters have been breathtaking. Why I say that is because every one of these medals have come after an individual slugfest by each one of them. saina's father took huge loans without telling her, so that she can be one of the best, the wrestlers come from a really humble background, the women;s relay team atheletes do not even earn a feasible monthly income. Hence it is a no mean achievement to have come up with 38 golds.

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  • 46. At 05:13am on 15 Oct 2010, theboganpimpernal wrote:

    43 The right game
    actually I think I do know a little about economics (if such a thing is possible ) ..for certain matters PPP GDP is a more sensible measure eg local living standards but for other purposes eg the ability to write a cheque in hard currency for say building infrastructure or funding international travel or coaching for sporting purposes then exchange rate GDP is more apposite . But I do acknowledge people will have different views on this topic and that this blog may not be the most appropriate forum for this discussion

    44 BLR Brazil
    A curious points system you have.. a gold medal is worth one and a half times a silver medal but a silver medal is worth twice a bronze medal.. amazing !! Your "analysis " reminds me of those articles that appear after each Olympics about how the EU "won" more medals than the USA.....you can only compare one team against one team ( I'm surprised that doesn't occur to you but I can't be bothered explaining it )

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  • 47. At 06:51am on 15 Oct 2010, anmol wrote:

    well i think even if some ppl will say that media's coverage ws negative for d games but i do feel that if india strive to become a future superpower.. we should admit our mistakes and shortfalls. we know these games were costliest games ever then we should have taken care of small things that gave us a bad name. when someone tries to rise above normal others will try to pull them back but we should not get disheartened..success is all about learning from ur mistakes and bouncing back with a better performance.. i don't think india should think of hosting olympics in near future coz i think its all false pride.what do we want to show to the world?? we should try to get our basics right..
    poor ppl of india don't even know what commonwealth is leave alone cwg.. we should look forward for inclusive growth and development instead of exclusive development.. i know games are important but whats the point of these spectacular games and expenditure when some ppl are dying of hunger, sm villages don't have power supply , schools , primary health centers. its not dat india doesn't have talent its just lack of opportunities dats why india despite all the corruption and problems is the second fastest growing economy after china!!!

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  • 48. At 07:01am on 15 Oct 2010, avocadoflavourman wrote:

    The games per se were a success, I do agree with that. A brilliant opening ceremony and equally brilliant closing ceremony and for India a very good week or two in the middle. The wrestlers and the boxers are world class no doubt about that and the likes of Sushil Kumar and Vijender Singh are deserved poster boys for the new found Indian sports culture.
    About finishing ahead of England this in these games though, I wouldn't get too carried away by, England's strongest team in a multi-sports event is its cycling team and most of them gave it a miss costing a few golds. I certainly hope though for london 2012 that India will win more than just the 1 gold.

    As an Indian though what bothered me the most was the way that the issues of the labour force which was deprived of any minute rights that it had was just swept under the rug. The same thing happened in Beijing and South Africa, it was only because at some stage these games were under threat that people did take notice of all issues.

    A fairly large sports complex was built for the commonwealth youth games in Pune last year and now all it hosts are Indian football friendlies and some regional tournaments. The costs of those games certainly didn't get recouped and certainly neither will the cost of these. Wouldn't it be better for India as a country to spend the money on improving youth facilities in the countries(there is so much potential especially in rural India) and become a proper force in international sport before hosting these events.

    To #43, I have been to rural India and the GDP does nothing there. The people there barely eke out a meal a day. Let us not forget that we officially have 40% poverty and 20% population living just above that. So while the cream of urban India has been developing rapidly most of India is very comparable to sub-Saharan African economies.

    My hope though from these games is that somehow the money spent will encourage major private companies to invest in youth sport and the support of government and foreign investment if possible.

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  • 49. At 07:58am on 15 Oct 2010, Gabbagod wrote:

    Congratulations to India for a wonderful CWG. If it encourages only 1% of the Indian public to get involved in some of the sports on display then that is over 12 million people - that's a massive win !! It is about time the three traditional "owners" of all things Commonwealth - namely Australia, Great Britain and Canada - allowed the CWG into what is essentially a Third World country (and I mean that with the greatest respect). India have shown with flying colours that such events can be held brilliantly in such places. The lack of certain organisational issues is replaced instead with one of the greatest cultural experiences these athletes would have ever had.

    As far as the medal tally goes - the only ones who cared were the media surely. Is that what the CWG is all about ? Give me the stories about the athletes from St Helena, or Moses Kipsiro, or the Diamonds v Silver Fern classic anytime. Sure India wanted to win more "golds" than England, but ultimately does that make India a better sporting nation than England ? Or vice versa ?

    Finally to the people of Glasgow - caber toss, haggis throwing, sheaf tossing and maide leisg are NOT medal events. Don't even think of putting those on.

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  • 50. At 08:19am on 15 Oct 2010, Prithvi wrote:

    #37. Rob

    "Will people get over themselves regarding the 10 memorable moments. I think it wasn't too far from accurate. No I won't remember Tom Daley's dive, or David Miller winning in a field that wasn't exactly full strength. I'm much more likely to remember the athletics village episode. Mainly because it got so much more media coverage.

    The same goes for the bridge, and the boxing weigh-in, which was a little funny to read about. As did the missing spectators which wasn't hard to miss on a lot of the days and didn't need reporting, it was clearly visible."

    Wonderful so the next time the UK hosts a major event, media from around the world should "only" focus on English Hooligans, racists, bland food (shhh don't tell anyone, but you've a stereotype to live upto), the major verbal faux pas of the royals, the dodgy weather and other such wonders of England as being "memorable".

    You seem to fail to get the point here. Beebs is not some trashy tabloid to indulge in such tasteless reporting. I would have forgiven the article if it was an attempt at satire, but unfortunately there was nothing remotely funny about it. If you are going to report the facts, you might as well do a complete job of it, instead of blinkered bull****.

    "So get over the "anti India" statements, the article tells it like it was. The Commonwealth games just aren't what they used to be, and on this occasion there were more than a few serious screw ups."

    We know that, hell I've been shouting myself hoarse about how people here seem to easily forget all these things after the opening ceremony and this would've been a valid comment if this was the only state of affairs that transpired. Since it wasn't and since BBC apparently prides itself on its editorial objectivity (I should know, I on its viewer feedback panel), I think it's more than fair dinkum to draw attention to such reporting.

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  • 51. At 08:20am on 15 Oct 2010, frankopinions wrote:

    Hi All

    India is a civilization dating back 5000 years. Betterment of all and the concept of the world (not just humans, but also animals and plantation) as a family is the back bone of the religion followed the majority - Hinduism.
    Despite this India is where it is because of two things. India is divided into two. A set of people who care only for themselves and others who are a result of the rich civilization and culture. The tragic part is that the latter is group that is not in places of power which a stronghold of the former.

    Commonwealth is an example that highlights this divide. The former created a mess in spite of having more than the required resources, and then the latter were called to fire fight. The games were a success not by magic but the dedication and the toil of thousands of anonymous.

    So is India.

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  • 52. At 08:26am on 15 Oct 2010, Angrymamma wrote:

    Interested in reading your comments on visiting the Indian wrestling club. I'm sure I saw you and your crew outside the wrestling venue in the Indira Ghandi Complex on Sunday at the Men's Freestyle Wrestling. I am keen for your comments on the atmosphere inside the stadium and your thoughts on the experience of watching the athletes, in particular those of the home nations.

    I found the atmosphere inside the stadium on Saturday and Sunday amazing! It was full of spectators who were in the mood to party! Dancing in the stands everytime an Indian won! Did you see Kumar 66kg? He is a huge Indian idol. Ghandi's grandson also graced this venue with his presence causing a security nightmare by sitting in the stands with the ordinary spectators.

    The quality of wrestling was superb. I know I am biased but wrestling is an incredibly exciting sport to watch. I was really disappointed to get phone calls during the weekend from home to say that family and friends couldn't watch any of it.

    On returning home I discover that BBC only gave a half hour coverage to Wrestling on the Wednesday !! They missed the most exciting part completely. England took 4 medals surely that warrants a bit more coverage.

    Come on Matthew - Tell us your thoughts,

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  • 53. At 08:28am on 15 Oct 2010, Suds wrote:

    Its worth a gold medal for the Security personals who guarded the venues and games villages.
    Thumbs Up for the Home Ministry of India.
    Lets hope London Olympics is as safe as CWG 2010.

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  • 54. At 09:12am on 15 Oct 2010, Rob wrote:

    #50
    "Wonderful so the next time the UK hosts a major event, media from around the world should "only" focus on English Hooligans, racists, bland food (shhh don't tell anyone, but you've a stereotype to live upto), the major verbal faux pas of the royals, the dodgy weather and other such wonders of England as being "memorable"."

    I never said the media should be focussed in that way. I was just agreeing with many of the memorable moments. Maybe it's a personal thing, but if you asked me in a year what I remember from the event I'd be more likely to pick one of those top 10 than any others. Arguably that's due to coverage but just because many stories are negative that doesn't mean they're trashy.

    As you mention, if hooligans were strongly involved in 2012, or it rained every day of the games, then I'm sure those would stand out as memories. Hopefully with a full world stage though, and athletes like Usain Bolt those sort of memories will be further down the list. Unfortunately the Commonwealth games doesn't quite have that same line-up, so the media report on what they see.

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  • 55. At 10:24am on 15 Oct 2010, Balraj Mann wrote:

    I was proud as a British Indian to see the CWG being held in India and as the great Sebastian Coe said this is how sport will be grown around the world.

    However as some of the comments made on Matt's blog clearly show, there is a great tendency to place one's head in the sand and perceive just criticism (even though some of it may be overblown) as insulting or 'racist' in origin followed in return by childish throwbacks referring to Britain as a fallen power (I refer to the achievements in Beijing and undoubtedly Team GB will be even more sucessful in 2012,with the magnificent cyclists, swimmers and rowers at the core)or having a bland cuisine (which it does not).

    Mr.Kalmadi and his ilk are exactly similar. They will try and deflect the blame as Matt says and portray failings at the Games as some sort of western witchunt.

    Which is sad. It's only to be expected that there would be teething troubles and future events in India will run more smoothly based on the experience of these games.

    Kalmadi's attitude also is an unhealthy influence in sport where you have old out of touch people as in Hockey India, who wish to preserve their control at the expense of modernizing the sport.

    Hockey should be a national pride alongside cricket but it's failure is a microcosm of Indian sport in general.

    The coaching systems are all wrong from juniors onwards. Nutrition is neglected. The level of coaching is not good enough. And when the players reach senior level they are nor mentally prepared or physically prepared for the elite levels of competition.

    There is no sports science involved. While Australia opened their centres almost three decades ago India only opened their first this year.

    And there is appalling lack of facilities. Fifty astroturfs in the whole of the country compared to 500 alone in Holland.

    Players are paid a pittance so much so they have to strike to get their wages.

    The system is rotten and India who should be leading the hockey world because intrinsically the players are still just as skilled their opponents fall down in every other respect.

    What will happen ? You can bet your bottom dollar nothing. The coach Brasa will get the blame and be sacked . Others like Ric Charlesworth the German Horst Stein have offered a long term plan for hockey in India to get the nation to back where it belongs.

    But in their pride the old fogies refuse to listen.

    At these Games the cycling team only received their bikes a few days before the games started. The rugby sevens side had to train on rock hard pitches increasng the risk of injury and failed to receive nutritional supplements.

    Indian sport as the likes of Kris has said is a haphazard shambles.

    And as Matt says will the federal and state governments take it upon themselves to invest in school sports ? Undoubtedly there are children across India who have it in them to be world class sportsmen and women but without access to facilities or coaches what hope is there for them ?

    Each state needs to have centres of sporting excellence and sports science institutes over a range of sports with proper coaching based over a system of school sport.

    At the moment many of these athletes were lucky to have the backing of a wealthy individual or their parents. Their sucess is despite not inspite of the politicians who are more content to associate themselves with the sucess when it suits them , while siphoning off funds for their own use.

    I sincerely hope that India does lose some of it's obsession with cricket and realizes there are other sports in which to reflect national pride and acheivement.

    India has a similar size population to China yet is miles behind on the sporting front. It will be a long slow process as far as I can see , but perhaps these Games will start to see a sea change and young kids will take up new sports.

    However they need facilities in schools for all,not just a few select private ones and a good talent identification programme.

    Otherwise this will be a flash in the pan with over the next few decades the odd Indian athlete shining at the very top level.

    India certainly has the potential to become a sporting superpower, whether the political will as in the former Soviet Union and latterly China to express national strength via the sports field and the funds is another matter.

    Above all when experts offer advice from abroad or just criticism (though in the end the games as most athletes will testify were a great sucess and experience) do not ignore it or deem it insulting but listen and take it on board to make better decisions in the future.

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  • 56. At 11:17am on 15 Oct 2010, petesherwood wrote:

    I'm sorry "Maint123", but overtaking England in the medals table was a massive achievement for India.
    Team GB&NI was 4th in Beijing with 19 golds. India was 50th with one gold and two bronze. I was amazed at the progress in two years (albeit that medals do come easier at the Commonwealths etc.)

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  • 57. At 12:22pm on 15 Oct 2010, Expat_in_UK wrote:

    As someone who has to stump up a pretty decent amount by way of licence fees to prop up the BBC, I hate to imagine that I'm fairly directly paying for such so called "unbiased" reporters and commentators to go on junkets and then to come up with such a dreadfully partisan and jaundiced view of things. May be Matthew and his colleagues can learn a thing or two from their counterparts in CNN/ABN? Why is there no middle ground when it comes to reportage with respect to emerging countries (say China, India or South Africa)? Why does the BBC either need to stoop to be patronising or be so dismissive and demeaning? May be the solution lies in the BBC (which claims to be such a voice of reason around the globe) hiring more people from around the world, so that they can cover and analyse incidents from a different (and diverse) perspective. Frankly, I don't think anyone in the UK need the BBC to feed the public with such misinformed and misguided views (bordering on the xenophobic at times)- there are a fair number of tabloids already doing a very good job on that front!

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  • 58. At 12:36pm on 15 Oct 2010, scan123 wrote:

    yes i do think india has done a very good job in comparison to england because i was told that england had world class training sessions but in india it is not that way the players have a difficult life. so come on you have to accept india has done a good job , i always feel team england had more facilities than indian players would have and could have performed much more better.

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  • 59. At 1:28pm on 15 Oct 2010, Ed wrote:

    Just been reading all these pathetic anti-British posts on here from Indian posters. If you're an emerging power I hope that most Indians don't have the archaic xenophobia and massive chips on their shoulders that you guys have displayed!
    Some of these 'new world order' comments are quite worrying! As for mocking Britain's contribution to science etc. I really think you need to check your history books! The industrial revolution? The lightbulb? railways and the steam train? The telephone? The television? The discovery of DNA? The discovery of Pennicillin? The list goes on and on and on and on, so please wind your necks in on that one! Nobody has criticised you on this front so why conduct such ill-informed attacks?
    As for the BBC, no doubt you have a far more independent and unbiased media in India, right?
    I found it quite amusing that someone has written above 'I wonder how many scientists and engineers there are per head in Britain'? Considerably more than in India, bearing in mind the population (5% of India's, the much higher level of GDP per capita, and the much higher concentration of academic institutions). What an idiotic and embarassing thing to say!
    As for the comment about hooliganism and food, been to the UK at all since the '80's?
    Sorry if this seems harsh to any of you, but you need to stop embarassing yourselves with this childish jingoism and prejudice!

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  • 60. At 2:11pm on 15 Oct 2010, Sunit wrote:

    Breaking news ED BBC has written 10 unforgatable moment of Delhi CWG,would like to hear from you who is what??and do you expect us to be polite after reading that???

    If you throw stone on some one dont expect flower in return.....and thats what BBC is doing with lot of doctored misleading stories....go and read that and then reply,I am here to debate with you on all topic

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  • 61. At 2:36pm on 15 Oct 2010, BLRBrazil wrote:

    @ 46: I simply applied the most commonly used points system. I know that there are arguments raging about just how many points to award each medal (if 4th place was also counted the UK would surge up the table), given the stupidity of counting gold medals above all else in the rankings, but I think I made it pretty clear how little importance I give to the whole question. The importance of events like the CWG extends so far beyond the medal table, which already gets far too much media attention. I hope that in 2012 the media in general will give us far more information about individual athletes and the difficulties they have managed to overcome simply to be present in London. These stories are just as important as who won what, perhaps more so. As I've said in other blogs, for me, sport is all about overcoming the contraints imposed by one's own limitations and those of one's environment.

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  • 62. At 3:00pm on 15 Oct 2010, BLRBrazil wrote:

    To all the Indian contributors to this and other Beeb blogs, which my reading has shown are as diverse and variable in the politeness and quality of their postings as the British ones are, I have a question. Now that the CWG are over and the country has thankfully delivered an event that will long be remembered, mainly in a positive light, when is your great nation going to address the issues of population growth and corruption that are holding the country back from realizing so much more of its huge potential. I am not suggesting for a moment that these problems are confined to India, but your own media have drawn attention to the corruption that has beset these Games and is evidently pretty entrenched within the administrative system. And when I was a small child, the population of India was less than 400 million (cf UK 55 million). Now the respective figures are +1 billion and 60 million. Over the intervening period, India has become richer, yet the average individual has become poorer, due to the aforementioned problems. And things aren't going to change unless they are tackled. I, for one, really hope you manage to do it, and the success and lessons learned from these Games can provide the momentum. Good luck in making your country great again.

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  • 63. At 3:43pm on 15 Oct 2010, Sunit wrote:

    Thanks BRAZIL for your valuable suggestion we appreciate that.Good Luck

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  • 64. At 4:08pm on 15 Oct 2010, Balraj Mann wrote:

    This is what I've written about being made abundantly clear by several posters who seem to brook no criticism .Much of which was perfectly justifiable and instead rejoinder as Ed points out with perfect sense, ridiculous misinformed jingoistic nonsense.

    The fact is mistakes were made and have been made and will continue to be made until lessons are learnt.

    But yet again such criticism is countered by well it must all be down to colonial prejudices and the ridiculous assertion of racism.

    The BBC is a pretty impartial organization . In Beijing it pointed out the lack of free speech, the occupation of Tibet, the way people had their homes summarily destroyed without any debate to make way for stadia and infrastructure.

    In South Africa it highlighted the security issues as not being as bad as they were made out and also pointed out how in one instance protesting locals in a township had their leader killed after complaining about losing their homes to one stadium project.

    In Atlanta they pointed out the problems with transport, getting to training facilities and the climate and in Athens the fact that certain facilities needed urgent work to get them up to speed much as in Delhi.

    In summary when there are problems they need to be pointed out and will be pointed out by a free press.

    And should there be problems with London 2012 they will also highlight them and not paint over them or pretend they are not happening.

    It's this head in the sand attitude which is holding Indian sport back and refusal to learn and accept that when a mistake is made to put your hands up and admit it.

    Kalmadi and the dead hand of politicians have held India back on a range of fronts. He needs to be investigated and a full inquiry held about missing funds.

    The IOC will not tolerate such mistakes should New Delhi as it should make a bid for 2020 so less pride and more humility on his part and his puppets like Khanna and co is needed.

    As I said for the most part the Games were a great sucess with great memories for all competitors concerned.Well done to Kenya and Australia for instance sending full strength teams.

    Those athletes like Idowu for instance and several Jamaicans more fool them. Their loss on missing the experience and no doubt medals.

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  • 65. At 4:19pm on 15 Oct 2010, Ed wrote:

    Sunit, they're not really throwing stones though, are they? You may not agree with the focus of the article, but you can hardly claim that it's ill-informed or jingoistic! Can you tell me which parts of it aren't factually accurate? Would you not agree that a lot of the things on the list were significant? Were there not positives in the list as well?
    You're wildly overreacting and getting far too defensive. I can promise you that despite what you say about 'Great' Britain, if similar things occurred here in 2012 (unlikely) then we would accept that we had failed in certain areas and learn from it like grown-ups. What we wouldn't do is lash out at anyone and everyone with childish xenophobia in some kind of strange denial!
    The games were a big success but will also be remembered for some sizeable teething problems. It's time to grow up and deal with that fact.

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  • 66. At 4:28pm on 15 Oct 2010, Prithvi wrote:

    Ed @ 59 says "As for the comment about hooliganism and food, been to the UK at all since the '80's?
    Sorry if this seems harsh to any of you, but you need to stop embarassing yourselves with this childish jingoism and prejudice!"

    Really? Maybe you need to watch the news once in a while and practise what you preach in terms of drinking the jingo juice.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bXb1IT7gY8

    Funny how somethings like "patriotic fervour" don't change especially in terms of waking up and smelling the coffee. You must be that blast from the past everybody always talked about. Did you know about cellphones? I am curious.

    @Rob you've got to be kidding me. Were you there for the games? I want to know since you talk like you were there; all this talk about it being your personal memory. You will only remember the bull**** that media reported, wow you must really believe all this stuff you see on the news then. I am sorry I've ask you this, were you also born yesterday?

    And I am surprised that you think it would be memorable. I am sure you would understand the contextual reference better than me since English is your lingua franca.

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  • 67. At 4:32pm on 15 Oct 2010, Prithvi wrote:

    Hey Ed, some more for you:

    http://www.birminghammail.net/birmingham-sport/birmingham-city-fc/birmingham-city-fc-news/2010/10/10/revealed-hundreds-of-football-hooligans-banned-at-west-midlands-clubs-97319-27442736/

    So was this twenty years (oops sorry make that 30 years ago).

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  • 68. At 5:46pm on 15 Oct 2010, Balraj Mann wrote:

    Should we then bring up how Indian fans reacted when Sri Lanka won in the cricket WC semifinal at Eden Gardens as being typical for all Indian fans ?

    Hooliganism is very much reduced here and confined to a fringe and still exists across in many football playing nations.

    I agree entirely with Ed. I am beginning to think some of the people on this blog are Kalmadi's personal aides.

    Puerile arguments which refuse to acknowledge there were some shortcomings.

    Unfortunately if those attitudes are held as they are by people like Kalmadi, then the IOC will not hand the games to Delhi in 2020 which would be shame as the capital certainly has the ability to host them.


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  • 69. At 6:36pm on 15 Oct 2010, Aru wrote:

    57. At 6:34pm on 15 Oct 2010, Aru wrote:
    Congaratulations to all involved in the games for making it a big success. Congratualtions to BBC for becoming public enemy no#1 for more than 1.2+ billion people in the world.what a waste of my licence fee?

    Better call you Biased Broadcasting Committe

    Let India sort it's own mess.

    I agree about lessons should be learnt from the games like sort out corruption, mediocrity etc but main lesson what India people learnt is don't give a damn to foreign media(especially Imperial BBC)

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  • 70. At 6:46pm on 15 Oct 2010, Aru wrote:

    Please look into this petition about BBC anti India reporting and if you like it send it to as many people as you can.hope this petition will change BBC attitude in future.

    http://www.PetitionOnline.com/hindutva/petition.html

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  • 71. At 9:07pm on 15 Oct 2010, srinivas wrote:

    Decent analysis. We spent so much money in creating this infrastructure and the athletes just finished participating in the commonwealth games. With a little push from the big wigs in the govt. we can put up a better show in the coming olympics compared to the earlier games.

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  • 72. At 9:22pm on 15 Oct 2010, Suds wrote:

    Now that CWG 2010 Delhi is a grand success. One thing that has been proven is that India is capable of hosting mega events.
    Should India forget the things that happened before the start of the games.The answer is big NO.

    Why things went wrong?

    Poor planning - India had 9 years to get its things in place, but things were not ready until the last moment. Yes, the organizing committee failed. The Delhi CM had to step in; the Indian Army was roped in and what else Indian PM had to assure the world that things will be in place.

    Corruption - Lets face it India is corrupt corruption is everywhere in India. Indian politician are the worst of them all. But they is a ray of hope in the younger generation. I think things will change in the next 10 years.It will be a slow process but I strongly believe it will.

    India pulled it of with passion at the very last minute but next time around it should do it with professionalism.

    The media criticism helped to an extent. It hurt the ego of many people which in turn made them work hard to prove a point.

    India can live in denial saying that All is well that ends well but I guess that not the right way forward.

    As a true indian I am would want the Indian Government to address these issues.

    And finally to Western Media: I think you people seem to enjoy when some thing goes wrong in developing countries and I should say that you have a special liking towards India don't you. I was sick of watching BBC the week before CWG 2010. I agree that quite a few things went wrong but there should have been some positive example the venues were ready the security was well organized.None of these were reported. This also applies to the indian media. Media should have some social responsibility.

    I request the media not put so much pressure on London Olympics because British people are short of passion and I am afraid they might not pull it off like Indians.

    India proved that its one of the safest places in the world by hosting the second biggest event next only to the Olympics . Its time for the Great Britain to prove it .

    You can sure take some advice from Indian Home Ministry but I think your ego will not allow you to do so..


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  • 73. At 07:03am on 16 Oct 2010, Sunit wrote:

    Hi ED true one should accept the truth and we are ready to do that but it has to be 100% correct not on the basis of some on saying some thing without varifying it,no one will invite medie to inspect room if those are so dirty will you do that neither we can,it means some conspiracy was there,yes we accept there were delay but its not that we were not ready,about crowed I think those who watched in TV are the well judge wheather spectetor was there or not?thirdly Kalmadi yes he did wrongly pronounced name as Diana but immediatly corrected that,but if you have watched opening ceromany you may have observed reactionof Camila(she was laughing ) while president speech but we kept quite,there were many many memorable things which should have taken high light including ENG INDIA hockey match but BBC choose other side of wall....its all about how u look at glass...We have not failed there is bound to be mistake at event of this scale but people should respect India that we have produced most expensiv CWG ever inspite of recession still yet to be over,many other country would have delayed hosting or may become bankcrupt....list goes on and on...but we expect true jornalism not biased

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  • 74. At 09:43am on 16 Oct 2010, theboganpimpernal wrote:

    Yes the Games were a great success ....by,er, indian standards. If this same standard Games had happened in UK, Canada, Australia ,NZ, South Africa , Malaysia, Singapore (that's enough to be going on with ) I don't think anyone would be praising them too effusively when they recall the heavy security, the transport difficulties, the hygiene and health issues, the lack of crowds. I'm not too fussed about the nature of the programme..how many shooting events were there ?.. as after all they're only the CWG and quickly forgotten

    However it's worth recalling that the worst Olympics in modern memory were Atlanta 1996 ...which is not going to effect USA getting a regular Olympics (which they probably should for both sporting and economic reasons ) so maybe lack of quality doesn't matter so much. After all getting to host Big Events is really a matter of getting enough of the relevant people to vote for your country and in that regard I wonder whether India will ever have enough supporters

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  • 75. At 09:46am on 16 Oct 2010, Prithvi wrote:

    Firstly I find comments here mostly unresearched (sic). What is ironic is that people who make this accusations are themselves guilty of this sin.

    "Hooliganism is very much reduced here and confined to a fringe and still exists across in many football playing nations."

    Erm, did you try and understand the context here? As in why this had been bought into this discussion? No? I suggest you read all the prior comments. I'll bring you upto speed here-

    My comment:

    “Wonderful so the next time the UK hosts a major event, media from around the world should "only" focus on English Hooligans, racists, bland food (shhh don't tell anyone, but you've a stereotype to live upto), the major verbal faux pas of the royals, the dodgy weather and other such wonders of England as being "memorable".”

    Drew the following response from ED:

    “As for the comment about hooliganism and food, been to the UK at all since the '80's?
    Sorry if this seems harsh to any of you, but you need to stop embarassing yourselves with this childish jingoism and prejudice!”

    I am sorry but this is remarkable hypocrisy as I see it. If the only things you can take away from the commonwealth games are negative, why should somebody else not return the favour in kind? How does it feel to have the shoe on the other foot? I reserve the right to be as blinkered as you.

    We know now from ED's reactions that he is the dark about English hooliganism (in denial in fact) and yet he has the temerity to accuse others of being jingoistic? I know the problems faced by my country and I accept them, the same however cannot be said about people like ED. If he thinks this kind of blinkered coverage is acceptable good for me, I however cannot accept it.

    Let us keep all this aside, as stated earlier, I am Beebs viewer panel and this is exactly the kind of trash reporting I would miss beebs altogether for. I think Beebs would be happy to find out what I as a viewer on its panel thinks about coverage such as this.

    “I agree entirely with Ed. I am beginning to think some of the people on this blog are Kalmadi's personal aides."

    I find your comments toady to say the least. I cannot stand the man, I wonder how you even managed to arrive at this conclusion despite everything said by me? Is reading the written word and forming an informed opinion so hard that we need to switch to goosey conclusions with no substance to them the only alternative?

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  • 76. At 11:26am on 16 Oct 2010, deepak s wrote:

    Yaaaaaayy!! England's been defeated!!!
    Well unless and until, gold medalists like Matthew Pinsent will be there to count the number of audience instead of focusing on games, it will keep happen. Pity England.

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  • 77. At 11:39am on 16 Oct 2010, Balraj Mann wrote:

    You are just like Kalmadi. Pretending everything went smoothly without a hitch. However the audience at both the opening and closing ceremonies were not impressed.

    And frankly your criticism of the BBC is completely unwarranted.

    It is the job of the media to point out when mistakes are being made and not to cover them up.

    As for London 2012 all the facilities are on schedule or ahead of schedule unlike the farce which as Suds pointed out required the intervention of the federal government.

    However some fo you really have an inferiority complex which I will repeat just so that you can get it into your heads,which means the slightest incident is construed as some sort of insult ie Camilla laughing during the opening ceremony for a few seconds and then throwing back these childish retorts like you do Prithvi ie bringing up hooliganism, Britain has not acheived anything.

    Grow up.

    It's no wonder when foreign coaches come to India they are baffled and amazed by some of the bureaucratic nonsense and refusal to accept advice and anachronistic way things are run.

    Ask the cyclists why they only received their bikes a few days before the Games started, the very poor facilities the wrestlers have to train in, the shambolic nature of Indian hockey where an octogenarian who has no idea about hockey is elected over someone like Pargat Singh and why Prasanta Karmakar has his funding taken away and only through the help of friends and sympathetic businessman was able to compete and win a bronze medal in the paraswimming.

    The BBC as an organization covers all sporting events with impartiality and reports on what it sees through the eye of correspondents. It is not Pravda.

    Furthermore the question remains are the corrupt political classes willing to actually take sport in India further by implementing school sport for all, building the necessary facilities in each state and providing the right coaches or will it all be a flash in the pan ?


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  • 78. At 12:18pm on 16 Oct 2010, Matthew Pinsent wrote:



    Goodness - the issue of BBC impartiality has sparked a lot of discussion. I'd like to raise some points.

    It was very noticeable that the Indian media itself was very critical of the CWG in the run-up and first week. There were discussion panels on the news channels, negative articles on subjects (volunteers, ticket allocation and transport) which were not covered by the UK media or BBC (as far as I know).

    The major issues that the media within the Commonwealth covered extensively (Australia, NZ, Canada, India and UK) were the village delays and spectator numbers. If these issues appeared in the range of outlets (newspaper, TV, radio, Online) and countries which often were in competition then a "media conspiracy" would not the simplest explanation for what was happening. It was very noticeable that people in Delhi were annoyed that the organisation for the Games had got it so wrong. Kalmadi was roundly booed both before and after the Games.

    Finally if there was ever an editorial meeting where I was told there was to be a negative (or indeed positive) editorial policy towards an event irrespective of what was happening then I would leave the BBC.

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  • 79. At 2:18pm on 16 Oct 2010, Sunit wrote:

    Hi Pinsent its nice that you shared your views and true there is no such written policy or discussion,and I think you will agree that those who came to India and watched venue or involved in game have changed their views dramatically about Delhi CWG,I can see change in your article also from the day you came(I think you will agree with me),and I am sure you carry a very positive views about India.However you just see people who are sitting in places like London or some other places write or give their thought on the basis of there past thought and not ready to accept changing India,this I am saying coz I am an Indian and have visited London many time and have lot of freinds both British and Indian .whenever I talk with them about CWG they always start with negative which surely a media impact it mean negative was raised very highly by UK media but when positive came it was only a single line with no headlines.I think best way will be to judge CWG success is to conduct survey amongst atheletics as ultimatley Game was played by them.In summary what I want to say is its not a policy but it cames from mindset and attitude.

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  • 80. At 4:50pm on 16 Oct 2010, Matthew Pinsent wrote:


    Sunit - would you say then that there is a particular mindset and attitude of the Indian media too? because the problems and issues with the Games were discussed and aired a great deal in Delhi and India.

    The BBC are accused of many things in the comments above but I'm not sure if all of them can be applied to the Indian domestic media which took a much harder line with the CWG than the BBC.

    M

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  • 81. At 5:20pm on 16 Oct 2010, Sunit wrote:

    Hi Pinsent,I think there is slight communication gap in what I said,I am not saying Indian media was not negative as begining but when there were positive that also were published full credit,but you just see the list of 10 memorable high light draft by BBC does all deserve to be in list,like delhi belly,crowed,kalmadi,weighing machine issue...that clearly give indication that BBC want to say game as success but with question mark....whereas I strongly beleive mistakes are bound to happen in all major event but that does not fall in list of high light.Do you know because of this I have cancelled my UK trip and send my junior just dont feel of going there.I think we all do mistake as human being its upto the people how they take it

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  • 82. At 5:48pm on 16 Oct 2010, Matthew Pinsent wrote:


    There are lots of people in the BBC and given that we are not all told what to write and say there will be a variety of views that are recorded. I'm sorry that you have been upset about the web blog.
    The review pieces that I had input into were not nearly so critical.
    I'm sorry you have changed your plans.

    finally there are question marks over every event - Vancouver, Athens, Beijing and yes of course there will be over London. Its a personal choice how you weigh up the questions with the strengths.

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  • 83. At 6:00pm on 16 Oct 2010, Sunit wrote:

    Hi Pinset,I am happy with your response,and beleive you are a good human being,lets close this topic of negative positive,and look forward for future.I am sorry if I hurted your sentiment any where.

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  • 84. At 01:14am on 17 Oct 2010, Matthew Pinsent wrote:


    No hurt Sunit I promise !

    all the best,

    M

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  • 85. At 7:40pm on 17 Oct 2010, Prithvi wrote:

    77.Balraj Mann wrote:

    " However some fo you really have an inferiority complex which I will repeat just so that you can get it into your heads,which means the slightest incident is construed as some sort of insult ie Camilla laughing during the opening ceremony for a few seconds and then throwing back these childish retorts like you do Prithvi ie bringing up hooliganism, Britain has not acheived anything."

    Wow you really don't get the point do you? Not even after spelling it out in clear to and fro conversations. Amazing. Proves that Blinkers on, is straight ahead.

    This is not about british Hoolaganism. This is about MEDIA OBJECTIVITY. Did you get that? I put in large fonts so it will be hard for you to miss this.

    I have been following BBC for the past 18 years on TV and for that past 8 years online. I have seen plenty of blinkered coverage over the years, but nothing as asinine as this. This is willful negligence of the media objectivity.

    Let me provide a little summary of I am asked to do from time to time:

    "Dear Prithvi Shiv

    We'd like to tell you about some of the latest activites that you can take part in with BBC Global Minds this weekend:

    * We'd like your thoughts on The Doha Debate: This House believes France is right to ban the face veil. The Doha Debate will be broadcast on BBC World News at 09.10 and 21.10 (GMT) Saturday and 02.10 and 15.10 (GMT) Sunday. How would you have voted on this motion? Click here to share your thoughts with the chance that presenter Paddy O’Connell could pick your comment for broadcast on BBC World News’ Weekend World.

    * There’s still time to take part in two web chats currently running in our forums. Richard Jackson, Editor of the World Service’s South Asia Briefing would like to get your thoughts on his programme. Click here to meet him and take part. As well as this, the BBC’s Dominic Martin would like to find out what you think about the World Agenda website. Click here to join Dominic in his web chat.

    * Finally, we thought you might like to know that HARDtalk: On the Road to Greenland has been selected for the short-list in the People’s Choice category at the 2010 AIB Awards. If you’re a HARDtalk fan and you’d like to vote for it, then click on the following link http://theaibs.tv/peoples-choice/view-and-vote/ and show your support.

    We really appreciate your feedback and we are currently using it to compile our 'Pick of the Year' - look out for more information on this in the coming weeks."

    Did you get this?

    "Grow up."

    I am sorry, but are you trying to be all knowledgeable by making such personal comments? Would you mind coming to the debate after comprehending what this issue is? It will save us time and of course "growing up".

    "It's no wonder when foreign coaches come to India they are baffled and amazed by some of the bureaucratic nonsense and refusal to accept advice and anachronistic way things are run.

    Ask the cyclists why they only received their bikes a few days before the Games started, the very poor facilities the wrestlers have to train in, the shambolic nature of Indian hockey where an octogenarian who has no idea about hockey is elected over someone like Pargat Singh and why Prasanta Karmakar has his funding taken away and only through the help of friends and sympathetic businessman was able to compete and win a bronze medal in the paraswimming."

    Yippee-what-a-wonderfully-long-strawman. Does it really look like I said everything was rosy? I would love it, if you to point out my statements verbatim, if you don't mind. I find I your presumptions offensive. You actually think I am in cahoots with Kalmadi is it? What, exactly prompted you make this assumption about me? Did you perhaps get to see the personal cheque he's written me for fervours rendered to his worthy name?

    "The BBC as an organization covers all sporting events with impartiality and reports on what it sees through the eye of correspondents. It is not Pravda."

    I have to say this, your statement comes across a plaintive cry of somebody who's bought on naive belief of media objectivity as sacrosanct and immutable. If this impartial, then I would shudder to think what biased reporting is.

    BBC pull up your socks, you could even turn this whole commonwealth thing into some exotic Monty Python charade, but seriously do stop telling us that this is objective reporting. If you want to be critical go ahead and rip the organising committee to shreds. However call it exactly that "the farce of the commonwealth games" or something like that. To call these things memorable is insult to all those athletes who won their medals and were on top of the world for the brief while that they were representing their nations on a global stage and all those people who came to the events and cheered themselves hoarse.

    I have link to Gagan Narang's FB page with all his photos for the event. Please tell him that his gold medals are not memorable, but instead only dirty toilets are.

    Lastly, it is an insult to the English language itself to be mutilated in such a manner. Memorable indeed.

    PS: It is tiring to have an objective debate when people seem out to tar you with their own little subjective brushes of stereotyping, Balraj Mann you being a case in point. Here I'll say Kalmadi is evil and personifies the malady that is endimic in the Indian sporting establishment. I hope don't have to suffer anymore from your incessant need to straitjack people in your little cubby holes of comprehension.

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  • 86. At 7:54pm on 17 Oct 2010, Prithvi wrote:

    Addendum:

    *Way too many typos in that one, readers pick around the debris carefully.

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  • 87. At 7:57pm on 17 Oct 2010, deepak s wrote:

    Matthew, I can fairly understand your resignation comment were meant for me. Just look at you now, when someone said someting about your country, like "its been defeated", tell me how did u feel? I just spoke one negatives point in tally about England and you came up with your resignation which we never talked about. While reading my comments you must be thinking, what the heck??? England's been defeated?? Was there any competition at all?

    You just turned your attitude and mindset into just more aggressive manner. Just realized how did we feel when you wrote something against us. Not exactly against us but day by day putting some negativities. Actually its really better idea to call up all atheletes and asked them for vote. They are the one who were there, they are the one who stood there and saw everything. lets just call up those 7000 atheletes online and have vote. Wheather games were successful or not? .. thats it.. nothing else. only yes or no... but there is actually no need for that because everyone knows whether its yes or not.. people can't express them but they know whats the truth.

    Matthew, I guess you must have left for England but I wish you should have stayed until following questions are solved

    What was the Reason behind Aussie team's stomache problems?
    Who took fake pictures of dirty toilets before events and were they really genuine?
    Does bridge really collpased itself, exactly a week before start of event?or say who was responsible for such a dubious bridge?
    If the stadiums were empty and no tickets were available then who bought them ?
    Was this really a good month for young athletes and school childrens(who are busy in semister exams during october) to attend an event where you have to spend entire day?
    Who was responsible for damaged furnitures and electonics in the games village?
    and Finally what was the audience count for last day?

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  • 88. At 8:07pm on 17 Oct 2010, Prithvi wrote:

    "Who took fake pictures of dirty toilets before events and were they really genuine?
    Does bridge really collpased itself, exactly a week before start of event?or say who was responsible for such a dubious bridge?"

    Whoever took them and whatever the allegations related to the misappropriation of funds are, they certainly merit a thorough investigation. Not a brush off, as a mere conspiracy theory that is the figment of biased media reporting. Knowing how the Indian bureaucracy functions, I for one find it hard not to believe that these instances actually transpired. Look their track record, it's abysmal.

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  • 89. At 8:30pm on 17 Oct 2010, Matthew Pinsent wrote:



    I can see that there are several posters who are very firm in their beliefs about the BBC and its coverage of the CWG. it is not my job to try to persuade them of its merits or defend the coverage of the organisation as a whole. I believe my blogs are an accurate reflection of my views and can be read at any time.

    i don't see much point in continuing discussion - with such entrenched viewpoints there is not going to be much common ground. given the subject matter of the Games and sport that is sad.

    I'll blog some more in November around World Olympic Dreams.

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  • 90. At 8:48pm on 17 Oct 2010, Prithvi wrote:

    Mathew, I have never had an issue with your coverage, I have made that abundantly clear from the start of this discussion. I also agree with you that it is not your job to convince people about the quality of BBC's coverage. That would be something for the editorial committee to ponder about.

    I was just unable to find an appropriate platform to debate about something I felt strongly. Apologies if any of my posts have offended you, it wasn't my intention to do so.

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  • 91. At 10:11pm on 17 Oct 2010, Wandering Monk wrote:

    India a candidate for a Top 10 finish at the Olympics ? I am no traitor, but I will bet you a 100 quid for not even a Top 20 finish.

    Want to win some easy money ?

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  • 92. At 10:13pm on 17 Oct 2010, Wandering Monk wrote:

    Prtihvi, there's no convincing anyone when they want to show how bad you are. Put it down in your memory for when we complain about them and they defend themselves.

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