Many of you may remember that some 45 days ago I called for non cooperation with the commonwealth games. The idea was catalyzed by chetan bhagat’s article aptly titled – please don’t cheer the loot fest. Finally a facebook group grew to about 500 people and some discussions happened. Alternatively I heard about some voices of dissent trying to oppose the opening ceremony . Finally when the man behind the mess , Mr Kalmadi took centrestage he was clearly greeted with more “jeers than cheers” ( to borrow headlines from popular media). A palpable demonstration of the discontent that prevails.
I was looking frantically for a method to watch the live steaming of the opening ceremony and beyond (through twitter), a friend asked – ‘I thought you were boycotting the games’. I recommended another friend in Delhi to watch aquatic events for the venue looks spectacular on TV. He told me, ‘I am protesting by not turning up for any of the events’
This is where I feel we have got it all wrong. Who is our wrath against? The thousands of athletes who compete for top honours. The thousands of volunteers who are working 16-18 hr days. The workers who put together the venues, village and made things happen. I would urge that none of these groups should be the victim of our wrath. For these unsung heroes are not a part of the ‘loot fest’, which we are and shall continue to be against.
By not turning up at the venues, we are not protesting against the ‘loot fest’, but against sportsmanship. We are demonstrating that we do not care about the ‘core’ of the games – whether that core is to showcase top quality sporting action, or signal an emergent cultural and economic superpower. We are sending wrong signals to the world about our apathy for Olympic sport.
I urge friends and countrymen to not extend the opposition of a ‘loot fest’ to showing up and cheering the sport. Perhaps wear black bands at the venues to demonstrate that you haven’t forgotten that the guilty still need to be taken to task!