Sunday, October 10, 2010

I almost agree with Mark Cavendish. Am I going mad? A balanced view on India and the Commonwealth Games

Given the intensely critical and largely anti-Indian drivel written and broadcast prior (and during) the Commonwealth Games it's somewhat refreshing to read Mark Cavendish's honest and balanced opinion. Whilst I may not say it exactly the same way I tend to agree with the overall tone. The lead-up to the Beijing Olympics was similar with the old media focused on the delays, disease, displaced homeless and poor air quality rather than the opportunity. Yes, these are common problems in developing nations. And so it is with these games and the host, India. Of course it hasn't been plain sailing and there are problems, and it may all go pear-shaped from here. But for mine I think India is doing a great job - and for such an enormous time-critical project it appears to be going - if not perfectly - quite well.

I'm sure they'd do even better if they had the surfeit of public resources that the Western so-called "developed" nations have. Indeed what the Western nations - or at least their old guard media - haven't developed is a sense of decency and fair play in their reporting. That doesn't mean covering up, it means balance. Bravo to Mark C. for his remarks.     

Cavendish Frustrated By Lack Of New Contract Deal With HTC-Columbia |
“We’re in India,” said Cavendish. “It’s not a Western country. “I think it's quite ignorant to assume we were going to going to be in a Western-style country. I've been to India before on holiday - I knew what it was going to be like."

“I think it's ignorant not to respect the way those countries are, it's how it is. The reason India's got the Commonwealth Games is because it's a developing country, so you can't expect it to be like going to Hong Kong or something."