The 2010 Commonwealth Games: India's Triumph or Disaster?

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The 2010 Commonwealth Games: India’s Triumph or Disaster

Abstract India’s successful bid to host the 19th Commonwealth Games in October 2010 seems like the South Asian giant’s chance to showcase its growth and progress. Additionally, coming on the heels of China’s triumph with the Beijing Olympics in 2008, anything less than a successful event would be an embarrassment for India. However, preparations for the Commonwealth Games appear to have been blighted by delays and allegations of corruption and inefficiency. Thus, what was supposed to signify India’s arrival on the world stage now appears to typify the problems of governance in India, in terms of both policy-making and implementation.

India’s successful bid to host the nineteenth Commonwealth Games in 2010 marks a chance for the South Asian giant to showcase its rapid growth and development to the world. The games, which begin on 3 October 2010, are expected to attract two million tourists, in addition to the approximately 10,000 athletes from 54 Commonwealth member states, to New Delhi.2 In preparation, the Indian government has allocated a generous budget of well over US$1.6 billion – the largest yet for the Commonwealth Games (CWG) – to prepare the infrastructure and spruce

up the capital ahead of the games.3 Clearly, the CWG, which will be the most high profile sporting event to be held in India since it hosted the Asian Games in 1982,4 is being viewed by the Indian establishment as a chance to signal its coming of age as an economic and regional power, if not a burgeoning global power. This is especially true coming on the heels of Beijing's Olympic success in 2008 and (albeit to a lesser degree) South Africa's success with the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) soccer World Cup in June and July 2010. Unfortunately, preparations for the games have been riddled with delays in the construction of event venues and related infrastructure. In September 2009, a government...
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