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Kalmadi became larger than life
There is this interesting sequence about any big Games. Euphoria when you win the bid, disenchantment when reality sets in, search for the guilty, prosecution of the innocent and finally, glorification of the uninvolved. "
Suresh Kalmadi read out these lines at a press conference in September last year when the Queen's Baton Relay for the CWG was going through Pune. The entertainer in him was evident when he smiled while uttering the words "prosecution of the innocent".
His 'prosecution prophesy' has come true. Now, the law of the land will decide whether he is innocent or not.
Let's assume for the moment that Kalmadi has disgraced Indian sport. But let us also not forget who created the might of Kalmadi: We the people.
Kalmadi was allowed to become bigger than the game because his so-called peace-loving 'professional' subordinates joined hands with him. They feared that without Kalmadi they would miss the bus. Kalmadi's entire empire was built on one single premise: Join me and flourish.
And his critics? They hardly went for the jugular all these years. Instead, they treated him like some kind of funny toy. The same intellectuals had made Lalu Prasad Yadav a huge TV personality.
When Kalmadi started the bidding procedure for the CWG 2010, not many opposed it. In fact, the government spent crores of rupees on the contingent which presented the bid. Kalmadi had always opposed cricket and talked of promoting Olympic sports, but in the bid document of CWG 2010, cricket's inclusion was promised. When these double standards were pointed out to him, Kalmadi had said: "We put cricket in the list just to win the bid!"
In other words, the starting point of CWG 2010 started with a 'strategic' lie.
Five years later, Kalmadi requested the BCCI for 'help' of Rs 100 crore towards the CWG because the IOA couldn't raise the money to offset the government loan. And when BCCI smartly snubbed him, Kalmadi reacted: "It's not that we really require their money. We will raise it through other resources. "
When a leading website published Kalmadi's audacious plan to bid for the 2020 Olympic Games, there were abuses galore. However, most of India's sportspersons happily became part of Kalmadi's plans. The who's who of Indian sport and the glamour industry were all associated with Kalmadi at some point or the other. One of the big exceptions was former World billiards champion Geet Sethi, who openly said: "If Kalmadi is going to stay in a five-star hotel, I should also be kept in the same hotel. No less. "
When Kalmadi often failed to argue logically, like all qualified but unreasonable leaders, he tried to ram it down the media's throat by saying, "I'm telling you!" That was his punch line;his way of putting a stop to all queries, all dialogue.
Now, it will be interesting to find out what his 'inner voice' is telling him as he faces a barrage of questions from the CBI.
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