Addressing a massive rally in Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu, he said, “Today's advertisement of DMK is ridiculous. They have insulted Indian science and Indian space and for that they should apologize.”
Everything the Prime Minister said at the inau- gural ceremony the other day of the National Games about India taking a keen interest in holding the 2036 Olympics very emphatically linked the country’s economic prosperity to its athletic progress. But you also wonder whether the compli- cated nitty-gritty of sport finds a place in our collec- tive thinking. We are happy to have picked up 100- plus medals in the Asian Games recently but it could imply a good job done by the Indian Olympic Associ- ation’s old panel, given that the new one hardly had any time to bestir itself.
Ahmedabad, which will presumably host the putative greatest show on earth, would have been tickled pink, though. Between now, Mr. Modi said, and that date, India will have set records galore in a broad range of human endeavours. By implication, denying India’s claim will be a shocking howler by the International Olympic Committee.
Not that Indians, the PM or the man in the street, are not familiar either with the IOC’s controversial history or its ways which include greedy commercial- ism, a dope-tainted track record and wanton corruption. India made their initial Olympic pitch weeks earlier in Mumbai, which hosted an IOC Session.
Thomas Bach, president of the global institution, went on record to say that the jiggery-pokery around the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi should not come in the way of India’s bid. The India of then was a lot different from what they now were and how they could look and feel like a little more than a decade from now hinted at spectacular progress. But these are the sort of sweet nothings IOC bigwigs cus- tomarily pour into the ears of competing candidates to intensify the bidding battle. Fifa plays the same game with its USP: the World Cup. For years, Juan Antonio Samaranch of the IOC and Fifa’s Sepp Blatter went from country to country on continents eager for the big prize.
The Olympic story over the years grew into a mas- sive scandal, the IOC’s blue-eyed boys visiting aspir- ing cities for favours ~ expensive gifts, cash envelopes, sex, lavish dinners and privileges aplenty. But a Sports Illustrated exposure resulted in a worldwide outcry, which put enough pressure on the IOC to promise reform. New, sly rules of the dirty game allegedly emerged over the subsequent years to bring things back to square one.
What today is extremely important to India is that they are among some 10 countries trying for the 2036 Summer Games, one but all of whom will be led up the garden path for years until the lords of the rings make up their minds and let us in on who gets the Olympic pie after the expensive campaigning. No one, of course, gets to know how much the IOC makes from it: that is classified information.