Why This Book

Because it’s Time to talk about the bloody side of CWG-2010

They are killing animals, they are cutting trees, they are displacing people, snatching livelihoods, destroying river, looting the taxpayers, violating all possible labor laws, increasing cost of living to unimaginable heights, asking students to vacate hostels, destroying heritage of this age old city and all this in the name of Green Games.

Yes as a matter of fact the only thing green about upcoming Commonwealth Games in the city is “the money” involved in it.

And that’s why; anyone who is opposing the exploitation in the name of games is being labeled as anti nation, anti people and anti development.

Delhi is hosting Commonwealth Games in October this year. Vision of these games includes “inculcating sports consciousness and culture in every Indian”. As per the official website of CWG 2010, the mission of these games includes “creating sustainable environment and leave behind a lasting legacy” and values include “transparency”.

Delhi won the bid in November 2003, in last six years whatever has happened in the name of Games completely defies above mentioned vision, mission and values. Already sensitive ecological system of the city including river Yamuna has been destroyed for upcoming “Green Games”. Thousands of trees were cut down. City Government has completely ignored sentiments of people and civil society against destructive development.

Apart from ecological costs, People of this city are forced to bear the economic burden of these games as Government and city authorities have decided to come up with one after another illogical project in name of developing city’s infrastructure before the games. BRT corridor is one such example which has become death corridor for the people of Delhi.

Initially the estimated cost of the games was around Rs. 1,899 crores which has already rose to Rs. 30,000 crores and is still increasing. Who will pay this cost?

Yes you guessed it right, its you and me – common people of this city who were never consulted before bidding for these games and are still in the dark about what will happen once these games are over.

The way these games are being organized in the city, people are forced to pay very heavy social cost also. Thousands of families are forced to move to the outskirts of the city in areas like Bawana where there is no livelihood available. These people were forcibly removed so that Govt. can use land for “developing” venues and infrastructure related to games.

In the name of development and “beautification”, homes of thousands of families were demolished and people were forcibly displaced, homeless people were removed from shelters, some of which have been demolished. Shamelessly authorities have decided to erect Bamboo screens around city slums to separate visitors from the sights of the slums, it further proves that all these efforts are being carried out keeping the twelve days event in mind and it has nothing to do with the welfare of common people of this historic city.

Thousands others have migrated to city as laborers to work in various projects for commonwealth games. WHO is also saying that these games will increase slums and unauthorized colonies in the city.

In the name of developing Games infrastructure and sports culture, in reality no playground or facilities were developed for children of common people of this city. We hardly find any playground in city, most of vacant lands that were used by children and youth for weekly cricket matches and other sports activities were now taken by authorities to be developed for the games. Where are the playgrounds for the children?

The way all games related project were delayed for last seven years and all concerned officials and authorities kept waiting for the costs to increase till eleventh hour, it raises serious doubts about the intention of people involved. Now you can not raise the question as it is a matter of “national pride”.

From buying of DTC buses at higher than market rates to construction of flyover from games villages to games venue, constructing games village saying that it will become university accommodation after the games and then DDA buying it at Rs. 3-4 crores per unit and planning to gift it to MLAs and Govt. officials at throwaway prices, there are hundreds of example where one can find that people of this city are being cheated and looted in the name of commonwealth games.

These games are definitely leaving a lasting legacy but a very bad one and if we fail to register our protest now then tomorrow it will be too late as Delhi being the role model for other states and cities, this model of loot in the name of development will then be applied across nation.

Civil society and concerned individuals need to raise voice against undemocratic manner in which authorities have bid for these games and are spending tax payers’ money without even talking about it in election manifesto.

Time to make clear that one can still love this city and love this nation and hate the loot in the name of commonwealth games. Commonwealth games are in no way a matter of national pride.

Transparency and accountability are alien terms to the whole concept of CWG-2010. So people are never taken into confidence.

Youth for Justice” along with several other civil society groups and concerned individuals is talking about these issues for very long. We have protested strongly against construction of Games Village on River bed and cutting of trees in Delhi University and other areas in the name of CWG projects.

We have also raised the issue of injustice being done to labourers working at Games Village and violation of labour laws at various Games Project sites.

From writing blogs, forming social communities to taking the protest on road and raising the voice inside Delhi Assembly, we have been doing all possible actions to bring the attention of authorities to the gross injustice that is being done to the city and its common resources and common people.

In this book, you will find a chapter that deals with Myths and Realities associated with Commonwealth Games. The objective is to make it clear that loving the nation doesn’t mean that you have to accept whatever is being done in the name of games and helping the readers understand the game that is being played in the name of CWG.

There is another chapter “Broken Promises, shattered Dreams” that deal with some of the examples of how common people and resources are being exploited and looted in the name of games. It has examples of River Yamuna, cutting of trees, violation of labour laws, souring costs etc. This chapter raises questions on intention of individuals and agencies that are working to make these games a “success”.

In this book, I have also tried to talk about these games in context of democratic values and principals. Has the administration asked or even informed people before bidding for these games and before putting the hard earned money of common people on stake? Have they even bothered to mention it in their election manifesto before deciding to organize an event that is nothing but a luxury that we can not afford. Why people were not informed about the financial costs and binding conditions that comes as a package along with games. CWG-2010 is an example of how even democratically elected governments can take people for a ride and how powerless and helpless the people are in situations like this.

I have also tried to discuss the much debated aspect i.e. delays in the games projects and costs involved. There is clear reason to believe that delay in almost all game related project was intentional and authorities were just waiting for the costs to sour. It also provided them to create an alarming situation and a sense of emergency so that they can spend any amount of money at the eleventh hour justifying it in the name of national prestige. It also provided them freedom to give contacts to anyone and prevented questions on quality and other important aspects.

There is no point in talking about all this without actually identifying the agencies and individuals responsible for this loot. We all blame the system for one thing or another. Yes definitely there are loopholes in the system which allows for leakage. But the kind of loot that has been done in name of CWG-2010 is beyond the “corruption”that we know. Its not about some people taking bribe or keeping some share aside.

Its about designing a complete new structures and systems of loot and killing of common people and common resources, legitimizing the system and presenting it as role model for “Growth and Development”. I have named it as “Delhi Model” as it is emerging as role model for other cities in the country.

I have tried to identify the faces and naming them in public through this book. I strongly believe that these people and agencies will be brought to justice and will be held accountable for this open loot that has been done in the name of CWG-2010.

I have also tried to talk about ideas and opportunities to register protest against this model of “Growth and Development”. There is a need for common people, civil society groups, intellectuals and concerned citizens to tell the authorities that we do not approve what has been done in the name of commonwealth games and we protest it.

I am writing this because I feel that there is a need to create a debate on whether exploitation of nature and loot of poor and middle class people is justified to fulfill senseless ambition of a few political leaders and bureaucrats for more money and power.

There is a need to discuss the lessons that we have learned in last seven years and challenges that are ahead for concerned citizens of this country.

While protesting against killing of river in the name of Commonwealth Games, I found that there are people both inside and outside the administration who understand the seriousness of the cause and its impact on the nation in general and on Delhi in particular.

There is also a need to immediately stop any attempt to present Delhi as role model for rest of Indian Cities as it will have catastrophic effects on already struggling masses of this country.

This book is an attempt to talk about the real side of these Games, none of us is against the sports but Commonwealth Games in the city are lacking the sports spirit and we need to talk about it.

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