Kalmadi the scapegoat?
Letter to the Hoot: Everyone has piled on to Kalmadi in the wake of the corruption scandals surrounding CWG and he is being blamed for more than he could have done.
Will someone present a balanced view, asks H JAYADEVA
Monday, Dec 13 19:16:59, 2010
I am one of those who first loathed the sight of Kalmadi on TV, but slowly began to feel sympathetic towards him and eventually started feeling that the media was probably flagellating him baselessly for the most part. There has been a lot of misrepresentation too. For example, while Kalmadi went to Guangzhou as an invited guest to the Asian Games, Times Now kept saying darkly that he is 'in hiding', and pointing to the hotel where he stayed with the words 'this is where he is staying' as if that was evidence of the sly and sleazy side of Kalmadi and his corrupt ways.
This is what I have understood from media coverage in the past few months:
From all accounts, Kalmadi is corrupt. But his discretionary authority covered a spending of Rs 1800 crore only (out of a figure of some Rs 70,000 crore that keeps getting mentioned, and is to have accounted for the metro extension, flyovers, games village apartments, etc.)
CWG was a great success in terms of accommodation, sporting facilities, food court and food, and clock-work precision with all the events - both ceremonial and competitive.
Is it true that Kalmadi was responsible for a budget of Rs 1800 crore only? If yes, was there no corruption in the spending of the remaining Rs 68,200 crore? If CWG was a great success, who master-minded its success? Should not the Organising Committee and its head Kalmadi get some credit? Obviously the planning and management of CWG was a most complex and demanding challenge. But I have not seen a single word of praise for his work (except for vague references to thousands of volunteers.) It is almost like we have been in denial about the success of CWG.
I am one of the countless citizens of India and abroad who feel that there has been a skewed coverage of the CWG and the Kalmadi phenomena in the media. This may have a bearing on the nation's psyche and reinforce the citizens' cynicism. I therefore hope that someone in the media does a white paper kind of article on CWG.
Dec 11, 2010