April 17, 2008
Well, the day is over and so is the Indian leg of the Olympic torch relay. And not so surprisingly, I do not have much to write about the relay other than the fact that some athletes, sportsmen and Bollywood actors took part in the relay- which of course concluded peacefully.
But apart from adjectives like star-studded and peaceful or may be historical, there are not many words that I would like to describe it as. I am neither anti-China nor am I anti-sports, but then the manner in which it was conducted was a mockery in itself. The very purpose of the relay gets defeated when it takes place under such heightened security.
New Delhi was turned into a fortress with most of its ‘important’ roads sealed causing inconvenience to the common man (ok, may be I can skip this part of the information here). The route and timings of the relay were kept a well guarded secret till the end, obviously for security reasons. Hundreds of Tibetan exiles were arrested hours before the relay following the nip it in the bud policy.
And when the relay began, the torch bearers were accompanied by so many commandoes that it hardly looked like a relay.
What was the relay for? Was it a mere formality? They did make it one for sure at the end of the day. I did not understand the very need to have the relay. Was it just to please China? And why did India pour so much money to maintain security? So that it doesn’t end up rubbing the dragon the wrong way?
For me the Olympic torch relay that took place in New Delhi sounded like a cracker that refused to go off at the last moment.