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Delhi 2020


Sir Rols

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I know India has made some tremendous strides these last 20 years. They now have a larger middle class than the U.S., and I am sure they will continue to be on the upward trend. It just comes down to responsibility. With the average person in India making just $3,100 (with countries like Iraq, Mongolia and Sri Lanka fairing a bit better), India should be primarily focused on raising themselves out of poverty a this time.

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out of poverty a this time.

But 'poverty' is a relatively subjective thing. They have been 'poor' for ages and they have that 'caste' system to deal with. Materialism is NOT the main goal of the Hindus. They are a very spiritual people who really shun a lot of material things the west and other countries deem 'necessary.' They get by on so much less.

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Although poverty is certainly a big concern, I see the lack of sporting tradition as a bigger hurdle. As others have noted, India has no influence in the IOC and almost no representation in the international sporting federations. 20 years ago Brazil and China had a much stronger sporting tradition than India has today. Much as I'd love to see Bollywood-style ceremonies and a really cool Indian graphic identity and Games "look," I think 20 years may still be optimistic.

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But 'poverty' is a relatively subjective thing. They have been 'poor' for ages and they have that 'caste' system to deal with. Materialism is NOT the main goal of the Hindus. They are a very spiritual people who really shun a lot of material things the west and other countries deem 'necessary.' They get by on so much less.

I agree, poverty can be subjective, but 3,100 USD is poor by pretty much the world's standards. When you get closer to 8-10,000 USD, you start to enter the subjective territory.

I agree Athens, lack of sporting influence is just as much of an issue IMO. They are by no means a threat to break the top 10 in medals for any games in the near future. Althouh, I think they did better in Beijing than they have in previous Games.

If India wants to bid, then so be it. I just think now is quite not yet their time. Hopefully in my lifetime though...

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The poverty of the Indian under classes will matter not a jot to the IOC when it comes to a subcontinental bid. Considering the closest most of the membership have come to this issue would have been watching 'Slumdog Millionaire' on their first class flight from Lausanne to the latest bean fest they will be more interested in how the IOC's commercial branding and political clout will be enhanced by an Indian bid. And as had been shown with the inchoate mess that has been the Delhi 2010 CG build up the IOC would rather run a mile from such a disastrous stain on their public image than incur the dubious benefits of a Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata or any other Indian city SOGs.

Having said that the mandarins will still encourage the hopes and illusions/delusions of the local boosters to ask for a bid or three over the next few bid cycles, and they will get certain self-absorbed local officials and businessmen extolling the benefits of an Indian SOG. And meanwhile this will be happening.... (see the following op ed piece already posted in the Delhi CG thread):

India misses its chance to tackle corruption and exploitation

AMRIT DHILLON

August 10, 2010

Taking the Games off Delhi may shock the country into action.

Should the Commonwealth Games Federation cancel the Games in Delhi in October - out of horror at the corruption and inhumanity shown to the migrant workers who have slaved to build the infrastructure - it might be the shock treatment India needs.

So far, no degree of shaming within the country has worked to curb the greed of the rich and powerful. The media have tried and failed. Indian politicians and bureaucrats are beyond shame. They can be shown on national television, caught by secret cameras, stretching out their fat paws to take wads of notes as bribes, and yet still look people in the eye while claiming that the person on the film is someone else.

Maybe international shame is the only weapon left. Cancelling the Games would be so devastating to India's pride that it could turn the tide.

The corruption that has been exposed in recent weeks is obscene. Every item - from chairs, umbrellas and tissues to liquid-soap dispensers, airconditioners and treadmills - has been over-invoiced to the nth degree.

Emails have been tampered with to conceal the siphoning of money into British bank accounts. Even the records on the quality of the materials used for the buildings have been fudged to cloak the short cuts.

India now ranks 84th in the Transparency International corruption index. Corruption in the Commonwealth Games will probably prompt a lower ranking.

Clerks who work in electricity offices demand a bribe when consumers pay their bills merely to take the money and record the transaction. Postmen refuse to hand over drafts and pensions to villagers without a cash payment.

Soldiers on the inhumanly cold Siachen glacier in the Himalayas are fed food two years past its expiry date. A recent government report found that contractors take their full payment from the army but in return supply food unfit for human consumption.

But more than the corruption, it is the refusal of Indian contractors to treat labourers working on Games projects as human that constitutes a real casus belli for the Commonwealth Games Federation.

Having seen how construction workers are treated all over India, I had been hoping that the authorities might want to use the occasion to show that India can put up buildings the same way that the rest of the world does - by paying the labourers a decent wage, providing them with meals, portable toilets, temporary housing and a creche for their children. But Indian contractors simply cannot seem to find it in their hearts to treat their workers as human. It is as though to accord them respect is as preposterous as debating with a donkey.

Indians have gleefully joined the global community but are unable to adopt commonly held notions throughout the world about the fair treatment of workers.

The country believes a seat on the UN Security Council is its right as an emerging power, but somehow just cannot bring itself to subscribe to the international community of nations' belief in our common humanity.

So the estimated 415,000 contract daily-wage workers have been living in subhuman conditions because, to the contractors, they are subhuman. Unskilled workers have been paid 85 to 100 Indian rupees (about $A2) a day while skilled workers get 120 to 130 rupees for eight hours of work.

The wages contravene the official Delhi state minimum wage of 152 rupees for eight hours of work. Labourers are often told to work overtime building stadiums that, ironically, their own children will never set foot in, for no money.

When I visited the Games Village last year, work had just begun. Labourers told me they slept in dormitories with no ventilation or proper toilets and some had not been given safety helmets. When someone died - the official figure is 42 labourers since January 2009 - the dead man's friends were given train tickets and told to go back to his village to inform his family.

Workers live in cramped tin or asbestos hutments where diseases are rife. Aid organisations have cried themselves hoarse every monsoon about the deaths from malaria and dengue fever in these slums but it has made no difference.

In the denial of their humanity, there is something that smacks almost of a ''racial'' hatred towards the poor as though they belong to a different species. India wanted the Games to showcase the ''new'' India of 9 per cent growth, but how can it feel pride when every new structure has been built by destroying the workers' self-respect and dignity?

Saddest of all is that it would take just 1 per cent of the total budget of a building to provide proper facilities for workers.

On my morning walk a year ago, I used to go past a house that was being demolished to make way for apartments. Spread out on the rubble, I saw the workers' clothes drying. They slept on the rubble, washed themselves on the rubble from a pail, and cooked their piteous meals on the rubble. Soon, there would rise up apartments fitted out with marbled bathrooms, gleaming kitchens and chandeliers. I used to avert my eyes as I walked past.

The Games gave India an opportunity to renounce the callousness on display at thousands of construction sites in the country. That moment has come and gone.

Amrit Dhillon is a freelance journalist based in Delhi.

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I know it is easy to look back in retrospect, but one cannot simply state "Could you have imagined Brazil or China hosting 25 years ago?" Well, I was an infant then, so no. I can see India hosting some day, just not soon. I give them at least 20 years (five rotations), before they can put together a winning bid - that means they would vote in 2033 for the 2040 Games.

India has never bid for any SOG before, and it is quite unlikely they would win on their first try (China and Brazil didn't). Sorry, it just is not feasible to me, in fact, I view it as irresponsible. India is not China. It's economic engine is powerful, but it is not celestial. Their government is nowhere near as powerful. We are not in the 1980's when only two cities put in a bid for 1988. There is fierce competition now. And the headlines coming out from the preparations for the CWG are far worse than any Rio PanAm press.

Who's saying otherwise. No one here isn't. Anyone who has commented on the subject has given India at least around the same time frame that you have. Of couse India is in no condition at this point in time to do this. They lack in many critical areas, for the time being, for the IOC to even take them seriously at the moment.

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World Cup record

* 1930 to 1938 - Did not enter

* 1950 - Qualified but withdrew

* 1954 - Entry not accepted by FIFA

* 1958 to 1982 - Did not enter

* 1986 to 2010 - Did not qualify

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I'll be brave and say it...I don't see India EVER hosting an Olympic Games in my lifetime.

Yeah, they are massive and growing and improving, but they have a lot of hurdles to overcome to be ready in the eyes of the IOC.

You talk about 30 years...in 30 years India has only won two Olympic gold medals. Only nine in a century. They are the second most populous nation on earth (and on track to surpass mighty China) but they rank between Slovakia and Thailand on the all time medal list. placed in the 70-50 medal ranks at the last four olympics and skunked the games of LA, Seoul, and Barcelona. Unless cricket makes the roster, they don't have a very rich Olympic sport tradition.

Yes, a lot changes in 30 years and China is proof of that. But the difference is that China had a long term plan with strong support from the central government. India doesn't have that. Their growth and development isn't planned and much more ad hoc. China's effort was part of a national plan of modernization and global awakening plan. It wasn't just about hosting a vanity Games.

The modern Olympics are very complex and demanding. If you can't take the heat, stay away from the cauldron.

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I'll be brave and say it...I don't see India EVER hosting an Olympic Games in my lifetime.

Yeah, they are massive and growing and improving, but they have a lot of hurdles to overcome to be ready in the eyes of the IOC.

You talk about 30 years...in 30 years India has only won two Olympic gold medals. Only nine in a century. They are the second most populous nation on earth (and on track to surpass mighty China) but they rank between Slovakia and Thailand on the all time medal list. placed in the 70-50 medal ranks at the last four olympics and skunked the games of LA, Seoul, and Barcelona. Unless cricket makes the roster, they don't have a very rich Olympic sport tradition.

Yes, a lot changes in 30 years and China is proof of that. But the difference is that China had a long term plan with strong support from the central government. India doesn't have that. Their growth and development isn't planned and much more ad hoc. China's effort was part of a national plan of modernization and global awakening plan. It wasn't just about hosting a vanity Games.

The modern Olympics are very complex and demanding. If you can't take the heat, stay away from the cauldron.

Spot on Kendegra and whilst I'd argue that the Indian domination of field hockey in the first half of the 20th century SOGs does warrant a rich Olympic tradition there is nothing there right now in terms of their overall capability or Olympic influence to make an Indian SOG in the next 30-40 years more than but a pipe dream. Every current and past indicator of their social, political and sporting development is contrary to the requirements of mounting a successful bid with the IOC and unless they were able to radically change the whole nature of their socio-political and economic coordination as well as become resolutely focused on Olympic sports and networking then they have 2 chances to host a SOGs...none and SFA.

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Actually Kendrega, India's economy is just as controlled and just as planned as China's.

I think that Kendegra wasn't referring to purely economic planning, he is commenting on general development and modernisation as contrasted between China and India with an Olympic focus. China's centralised and ultimately totalitarian or oligarchical system of government has demonstrated the organisational and political will to push through economic, political, cultural, social and sporting developments in a coordinated way to secure the rights of host a SOGs within 20-30 short years of economic liberalisation. India on the other hand is struggling with its internally fractured and disjointed socio-economic and political structures to deliver after less than 20 years of openness a much less demanding project (Delhi 2010), without anywhere near the sporting success or national will as manifested in Olympic success.

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Yeah, there may be a lot of other 'Olympic hungry' cities/countries that also have tremendous potential, but how many of those have the *compelling* argument. The Kuala Lumpur's, Doha's & Dubai's etc, out there 'also' have their big issues & major deficiences & lack of political muster within the IOC. Now if we're talking about the 'safer' bets like Rome, Paris & Tokyo, then that's a different story altogther.

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When we look at the title of this thread, I don't know why I see Delphi 2010. Did the oracle say something? :blink:

In a case of life imitating art, my sweet but dumb neighbor from upstairs actually pulled this boner yesterday.

Was showing her photos of my trip, etc., and when it got to Delphi, she said she used to have a co-worker from close to that area.

I said: Really?

She: Yeah, from a city called Mumbai.

Looks of puzzlement from me.

Me: Oh, you mean D-e-l-h-i? Two very different and distant sites, honey!

She: Goes to show what I know...

Me: And they are different from D-E-L-I where you order salami and matzoh balls, etc..

Oy!!

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It seems that Delhi will not bid for the 2020 Olympic Games after all, according to Wikipedia. Besides, the city is having trouble preparing for this year's Commonwealth Games, which is smaller in scope. The preparation time for these Games is pretty much the same as the Olympic Games. If they have trouble preparing for the Commonwealth Games, what makes one think it can host the Olympic Games?

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It seems that Delhi will not bid for the 2020 Olympic Games after all, according to Wikipedia. Besides, the city is having trouble preparing for this year's Commonwealth Games, which is smaller in scope. The preparation time for these Games is pretty much the same as the Olympic Games. If they have trouble preparing for the Commonwealth Games, what makes one think it can host the Olympic Games?

Well, with a bit of luck, and if they pull their fingers out, Nehru stadium might be finished in time for a 2020 games.

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Should the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium recieve any further upgrades after the Commonwealth Games if it wants to be the main stadium for a Summer Olympics? I have been thinking about lowering the playig area (track included) and adding a few more rows of seating to the lower tier.

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Should the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium recieve any further upgrades after the Commonwealth Games if it wants to be the main stadium for a Summer Olympics? I have been thinking about lowering the playig area (track included) and adding a few more rows of seating to the lower tier.

It's not something they're gonna need to think about for a few decades.

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