Let us look at Mr. Suresh Kalmadi. What was his incentive to be corrupt? He had everything going for him. Entrusted with overseeing Common Wealth Games (CWG) in Delhi, he had enormous clout and access to corridors of power. It was believed that bringing games to Delhi would boost investment on cities infrasttructure, besides people will have access to watching world class players live. Although, CWG went without any major event, the preparations to CWG was a mess. Firstly, the whole preparation of venues and housing were seriously delayed. Cost of every infrastructure build was inflated close to ten times. Whereas building a brandnew stadium from the scratch costed around 60 – 80 crore, the same for CWG costed around 800 crore. Roads were not ready on time, one foot over bridge collapsed, several countries threatened to pullout of the games, many contingents put up their sports people in private hotels. To top this all there was stench of corruption. There was rumor mill that kept churning out that people were making money and Kalmadi being the final signatory he had to share the blame.
It is not known if rumors were true or not, however, in an article written by Anil Verghese for Caravan Magazine, secretary to Mr. Kalmadi, Sri Rajaraman was quoted as saying,
“— such delays are just part of doing business with the Indian government. “I guess the government had good reason to delay the construction, the release of funds and all that,” he says. “There is no other way to explain this. If we had completed construction by 2006, or, say 2008, 10 percent share the sarkari officers get is say x. Today it is 2 x, maybe. So my 10 percent has grown. So the longer I delay as a babu or a minister, the better it is for me. See the point?”
Is Kalmadi a victim of the system or a shrewd manipulator of the same? Is it possible if Kalmadi had not managed government officials and politicians, CWG would have been in a bigger mess, because people in power would not release money on time. On Kalmadi, knowing the vulnerability and greed of the people in power, played them well such that everyone made enough. A sceptic would say only those who did not get a share of the pie are cribbing.
At the end of the day, national glory is for naive common people who still get tear in their eyes at sound of national anthem being played and sight of national flag being hoisted.
Unless with change our system, bring in accountability and audit at every step where public money is being spent, nothing is likely to be changed. For big people it will remain a game of big money and big profit.