Thousands of crores should have used in improving the plight of poor in India rather than using it for Common wealth games. Former Panchayati Raj minister Mani Shankar Aiyar continued his outburst over just-concluded games.
“Tell me if your stadium is empty why not invite the children of those labourers who built the stadium? But no, this was a middle class party. So only PLUs (people like us) were given the opportunity of coming in and they didn’t come in adequate numbers,” the Congress MP said, noting that the Rs 960 crore spent on renovating the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium could have been put to better use.
Aiyar also claimed that no single event had done more damage to India’s image since Independence than the recent Commonwealth Games. “I don’t think the world has ever denigrated us in such obscene language as we have seen in the past few weeks.”
“Rs 70,000 crores to get ourselves a bad name,” he said, referring to the total amount spent on the 12-day mega sporting event.
Aiyar further asserted that this event failed in putting India as a top player on the global stage. I’m not sure we’ve attained the objective of projecting ourselves as a great rising economic power to the Western world or even to Africa,”
Pointing out India’s poverty and lack of health care facilities along with many challenges, the viability of organizing such high value games is beyond comprehension. Aiyar said the question is not whether the Games were successful but whether so much money should have been invested in the event.
“I see no reason why we should create this perversion of national priorities. 95 per cent of our youths have no access to organised sports,” he said, calling for “making India a sporting nation rather than a nation that hosts sports events.”