Games in Delhi – Clash of civilisations?

I, like many, am wondering if the Commonwealth Games will turn into an absolute disaster. Poor India.

I have found it fascinating to see the clash of the global north and south. In a way, to me it has simply highlighted the trivialities of our western culture – the amazing lengths we go to, in order to just to play games.

We are complaining because the athletes villages are dirty and unsanitary. We are concerned about dengue fever and safety issues.

And this is all completely understandable, as these athletes rely on their health for their careers and any risk needs to be carefully evaluated by the individual.

But. How many Indians, or people in the majority world, live daily in worse unsanitary conditions? How many live constantly at risk of dengue fever and other serious illnesses with no access to sufficient health care? How many live constantly with the threat of terror attacks and bandits?

The fact is the majority of the world’s population live in these kinds of circumstances, while we who live in the ‘nice clean safe world’ are in the minority. And yet, when we enter their world, we expect them to meet our standards.

It is fair to expect that your building won’t collapse on you while you are competing in it and I think its poor taste for people to be defecating in the athlete’s village where they shouldn’t be. But something isn’t quite resonating properly in me when we sit around complaining that the conditions aren’t good enough for us, when they are better conditions than many Indians will ever live in during their whole lives.

This just seems to highlight the vast inequalities in the world. Are we just a bunch of snobs who value a few games over the lives of millions of people living in squalor?

Just sayin’.

PS. apparently we, in our first world glory, can’t even manage the sewerage system at the MCG. Hmm.

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