Incongruence and empty seats

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A rural worker drying cow dung in Bihar, the p...
A rural worker drying cow dung in Bihar, the poorest state in India


Unhappy with the “still unsatisfactory” public attendance at competition venues, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), on Saturday, launched an investigation into complaints of unavailability of tickets despite many seats lying vacant at some stadiums.

At a Press conference on Saturday, CGF chief Michael Fennell made his stand clear when he interrupted OC Secretary General Lalit Bhanot while he was answering a question on the ticketing issue, and said it was decided in a meeting that the matter would be investigated and the report submitted by Sunday.

When asked if blackmarketing of tickets was resulting in unavailability at counters, Bhanot said, “I don’t have any information on that…”

The report titled Irked by empty seats, fennell launches probe published today (10 October 2010) in the

What should we make of this and does this have anything at all to do with extreme poverty?

Consider that there are more people living in poverty in India alone than in Africa. So says BBC News on 13 July earlier this year.

Eight Indian states account for more poor people than in the 26 poorest African countries combined, a new measure of global poverty has found.

That is not a derogatory reflection on India. Great progress has been made in India moving people out of poverty, and this trend should be applauded and supported. There was also much media attention given to the state of the Commonwealth Games facilities prior to the opening of the current competition. I would suggest this has less to do with Indian technology, ingenuity and workmanship, but might be more related to what some have described in their opinion as a prevailing culture of corruption.

The games are part way through, and the Commonwealth Games Chief has ordered an investigation.

My response is what a completely incongruent response! In a city where the cost of food to eat out is measured (in Australian currency) in cents, and where the livelihood through income of many people is measured in the single figure digits of US Dollars.

There are better things we could be doing with our time, money and attention that worry about why the horse has already bolted. Could the frustration which Michael Fennel has rightfully expressed be more constructively leveraged elsewhere I wonder?


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