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The past few weeks I scoured the internet looking for some news on the CWG 2010 that was balanced and temperate. To my utter dismay my search returned a zero. Even the New York Times seemed to have ditched their usual style of reporting in favor of sensational news, a la Times of India, CNN-IBN, Aaj-tak, Times Now and what have you.

What bothered me was the clear bias in reporting in context of the CWG. While the media was falling over each other in a rush to report what was not working they conveniently forgot to mention what was working. Pictures of garbage dump, filth around the village collapsed bridge etc were telecast on special news bulletin every 30 minutes. The TV channels and newspaper prints cried hoarse what a shame was about to befall India. Nothing was ready they said. And so there were no pictures of progress they could share with their viewers.

My search finally bore fruit. I chanced upon a picture album online in Facebook that showed the other side of the story. It had pictures of sparkling rooms, superb food arrangements for the athletes, magnificent view of the games village from outside, resplendent Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, elegant the wrestling arena, cycling dome and so on. We were indeed ready to host the CWG. However, non of the pictures appeared in any corner of the Indian media.

Cut to the opening ceremony. Putting all the bad publicity, charges of corruption, missed deadlines behind, the organizers put forth a show that was one of the best opening ceremonies. Vibrant, colorful and breathtaking, it showcased all that India was and is. As expected, the next day the media reports spoke of a grand opening ceremony with much less enthusiasm than what they showed while predicting doom for CWG 2010. They still could not get over the bashing habit as they contrasted each good word with a bad one. They complained about the minor inconveniences that people faced on a new Delhi Metro line on their way to the opening ceremony. Conveniently they forgot to report that the line was opened five months ahead of schedule.

Criticism is good. But not at the cost of crushing the morale and spirit when they are needed the most. This was destructive criticism at it’s worst. It was nothing short of having a loser’s attitude and belittling India in a hysterical, shrieking and frenzied way. They played on guilt, fear and shame.All this drama to increase their viewership by working up a mass hysteria. It’s not that their one month old coverage of CWG turned the tide for the better. Interest in the Games, maybe.

Image courtesy: The New York times

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