The System has Failed

To all my friends who want to watch some sporting action at Delhi 2010…

I’m sorry. You can’t.

You can TRY to buy tickets. For that you’ll have to visit a car or bike showroom, or perhaps a government bank. If you decide to go out of your way to do so, you’ll be asked to fill out a form and arrange for a Demand Draft. Fancy buying tickets worth Rs 50,000? Sorry. We’d rather make it so difficult for you that you end up feeling frustrated. We’d prefer our stadia stay empty – even when two legends such as Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi are on the court.

Could I arrange some complimentary tickets? Of course I could. But only if you wish to watch events at the 60,000-capacity Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in which case it gets a wee bit embarrassing when the 10 men or women on the track outnumber the spectators.

Of course, if you really wish to watch an event, join a political party. Or call up a relative in some ministry. Then you’ll be our honoured guest.
What if you’re a middle-income person earning a few thousand every month and wish to take your two kids to watch events at stadia built with your taxes? Fuck off. Who the hell are you?
We’d rather throw away thousands of tickets than hand them out to school kids who are our future, our hope, our next generation of citizens and athletes.
Yup, there are thousands of low-and-high-denomination tickets being discarded. There are also boxes of tickets being delivered to political parties. Why? You may well ask. Well, because you, you silly cretin, are merely a taxpayer. While these babus and netas are our lords and gods. How dare you question? We may not have staff to clean the rubbish heaps in our office stairwells, but we have enough manpower to station flunkies as ‘Official Door-opening Technicians”. But then, you can’t expect a neta or babu to open his own office door or get himself a glass of water. They are VIPs.
And if you do get hold of tickets, don’t mind if you get stuck in traffic. The special lanes are meant only for athletes so that they get to stadia in time…. And for any other chap in a car with a political party flag or blue-and-red sticker. Well, at least you’re only late for a sporting event. Kids have missed crucial examinations and people in ambulances have lost their lives because of traffic delays caused by VIP movement. Thank your stars.

You could use the Metro, and then walk to the venue. Don’t mind if we can’t take you to hospital in case you get hit by a bus. Our health budget has probably been used up in taking our Lords and Ladies (the netas and babus, if you don’t catch my drift) to the US for treatment.

Okay then…

Of course, I’ll carry on with my job. I just wish Mr Bhanot (who probably uses canine excreta andpaan spit as house decorations) would arrange some drinking water in the office. It does get difficult to go 12 hours or so without any. And perhaps the eagle-eyed NDMC cops who patrol our building to catch smokers could instead turn their sleuthing prowess to nab the imbecile who’s stolen RAM from almost all the computers in our department.
But eventually, how does it matter? Our contractors have made their money, and our netas have surely received their share of the loot. Who cares if our cops are mini-Saddams, our babuswon’t let anything happen without the appropriate file notings, or that our netas could put the Marcos clan to shame. That people who want to see the Games cannot? That people who have worked hard, and still are, at trying to make sure the Commonwealth Games (Psst. Does anyone else think that considering its origin and history, the Commonwealth is rather inappropriately named?) are a success.
I have never felt such a sense of belonging or encountered such dedication to a cause as at this job, and at the same time, I have also never seen such stupidity. Frankly, you could name any person here who’s from the government or is an ex-politician, and you’d have found one of the dunderheads who are to blame for all the chaos. Old India versus New India? Absolutely!

Well, the System has Failed. It failed in 1962, in 1984, in 1992, in 1993, in 1999, in 2008 and on innumerable other occasions when Indians lost their lives thanks to our leaders’ ineptitude, greed, lust for power, and frankly, TREASON. A sloppily-organised Games doesn’t even figure in the top-100 list of monumental governmental failures. Never has there been a government, a political and bureaucratic leadership so inimical to its citizens’ interests.
Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be a way out until we all stand up and shout. Scream that it’s enough. That these criminals cannot hold our motherland to ransom. That we will not let these self-serving people enrich themselves at the cost of Indians. We’re the lucky ones. People who can afford to be heard, who don’t have to worry about where our next meal will come from. It’s our duty to do something about it.

Vote, scream, yell, write, shout…

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