Wednesday, 19th February, 2020


"Shall we call it Kanshi Ram or Rajiv Gandhi Commonwealth Games?"

18, Sep 2009 By Pagal Patrakar

London, UK. This is the question Commonwealth Games Federation head Michael Fennell put to his team when he got back from his visit to New Delhi last week. Fennell was very unhappy with India’s preparations for hosting the games and wanted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene and expedite the process. Sources say that after analyzing the internal politics and work culture of India, Fennell thought of the idea of naming the 2010 Commonwealth Games after some Indian leader.

The happening. Will it? Won’t it?
The happening. Will it? Won’t it?

“I was frustrated like hell after seeing the infrastructural progress and I was sure India would never be able to complete all the construction works in time. My Indian driver took a detour to Delhi via some place called Noida where I saw a grand park being constructed. I asked the driver and he told me that it was some Ambedkar Park and hundreds of such parks were being constructed at a rapid pace at various places in that part of India. It was pretty majestic and impressive I must admit.” Fennell recounted his experience and learning from the India trip to the Commonwealth Games Federation Committee.

Fennell apparently met several journalists and social scientists of India and deduced that projects named after likes of Ambedkar, Rajeev Gandhi, Kanshi Ram, etc. are liable to attract speedy progress if not stymied by public interest litigations.

“We are anyway doomed. Let’s take this chance. If there are no litigations, the games would be on time. If there are litigations, it doesn’t really make any difference. I don’t think India would be ready in time anyway.” Fennell argued and proposed to the committee.

The Committee is reportedly considering the suggestion of Fennell with all seriousness, although internal differences have arisen on the choices of leaders after whose names the games could be branded.

“It’s a real event to be held in modern India, not a virtual dinner of Barack Obama.” was the retort when the name of Mahatma Gandhi was proposed and rejected consequently. Discussions were still on when reports last came in.