Ok, finally the Commonwealth Games 2010 are on the way in New Delhi. This is the first time India is hosting an event of this magnitude since the Asian Games of 1982. The media frenzy that preceded the event notwithstanding, the opening ceremony seems to have gone very well and the first videos on Youtube have started appearing.
I feel bad to have missed the opening ceremony, but as far as I was able to read, the conch shells from India, the Tibetan ‘Dung Chen’s and various other musical instruments have left a great impression on the people who witnessed it.
So, what do we make of all the media hoopla leading up to the event? There is a strange case of media bias. Many of the atomic complaints that the media highlights were all true – things lagged, schedules slipped, etc, and the problem isn’t really in reporting that – that is what the media is here for. The bias starts becoming apparent however, when the next day, the same exact information is repeated as “news” with the only addition being perhaps of a quote from one other person. So, the feeling is that the news agencies have to keep a focus on the chaos that existed before. Having found nothing today, they need to keep stretching the ghosts of yesterday. And if some day turned out to be good, the media simply doesn’t have to report it, turning its attention to other important matters of the universe. This is all subjective however, and if it weren’t for a very repetitive pattern, it would really be fine.
CNN takes a different take. It begins with the very neutral headline: Commonwealth Games begin in India “amid security”. One might ask, as opposed to what? Did CNN expect a free movement of people across the parliament, the presidents house and the capital with no security in place. Did the Olympics begin in Beijing (or even in pre-911 Atlanta) without security? Which part of the title is the news?
And then, don’t even get me started on the BBC. I stopped being its reader back when BBC stopped being anti-India covertly (and became overtly anti-Indian). Incidentally – on that note – BBC still hasn’t found any further details on the “gunmen” of 26-11, although it continues to end every piece on India with the standard 3-sentence paragraph about the 3 wars with India’s western neighbor. That’s really great for about two kinds of readers – those who have in coma for about 64 years, and those who want to have 3 sentences for every country so they can get on the big boss or some other reality show. It meets BBC’s agenda of always hyphenating India so that it doesn’t challenge UK’s rightful place (as what, I don’t really know). [I routinely get some emails from UK readers - something like "Please stop equating BBC with UK!" - and I always tell them the same thing - "I cannot distinguish, because BBC is FUNDED by the UK - it isn't just a UK company."]
Anyway, back to the games, the medals tally can be found here: CWG 2010 Medalls Tally.