Commonwealth Games and India
This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.
Iconic CWG Gold Medals
Milkha Singh CARDIFF, 1958
No one had heard of Milkha Singh when he lined up at the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, but he took gold in the 440 yard sprint with a timing of 46.6s. It was India’s first gold medal at the Commonwealth level.
Lila Ram Sangwan CARDIFF, 1958
Lila Ram Sangwan picked up the second gold in heavyweight wrestling, after pinning the Netherlands’ Jacobus Hanekom to the mat.
Prakash Padukone BADMONTON 1978
Padukone brought back India’s first CWG gold in badminton in 1978, when Canada hosted the games. That win — when Padukone didn’t drop a single game — is said to have inspired badminton players across the country and the reason why the game was taken seriously at home.
Mohammad Ali Qamar MANCHESTER 2002
The first boxer to win CWG gold for India was Kolkata-born Qamar. In Manchester, he faced local favourite Darran Langley in the final, trailed in the first three rounds but came back strongly for the win
Women’s hockey team MANCHESTER 2002
The win that inspired the 2007 Shah Rukh-starrer Chak De! India. It’s quite the underdog story — the Indian team ranked 17 beat world number 5 England in the final. It remains India’s only gold in the sport till date.
Geeta Phogat NEW DELHI 2010
In a Games dogged by controversy, Geeta’s gold in the women’s 55kg wrestling was a boost. It was India’s first ever Commonwealth gold in women’s wrestling. Alka Tomar and Anita Sheoran won golds too.
2010: Commonwealth Games, Delhi
Public Accounts Committee report
Was `Evasive' On Kalmadi's Appointment
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has finally adopted the politically contentious report on the 2010 Commonwealth Games criticising the Manmohan Singh PMO for “passing the buck“ with regard to Congress leader Suresh Kalmadi's appointment as head of the organising committee and faulty supervision of the scam-hit Games.
The PAC dismissed as “specious argument“ the PMO's response that noncirculation of minutes of the meeting of a group of ministers on January 14, 2005 under then PM Manmohan Singh was best explained by the ministry of sports.
“When it comes to directions of the PM (Manmohan Singh) pertaining to projects of utmost national importance, PMO instead of shifting responsibilities, should have ensured effective follow up,“ the report said, noting a two-year delay in generating monthly reports.“PMO's submission that reasons can be best explained by the sports ministry is evasi ve at best,“ the report said.
The report, reflecting an all-party consensus, noted the cabinet secretariat's failure to ensure accountability and its “apparent bending to political pressure“ although it said the buck must stop with the PMO. The PMO and cabinet secretariat's responses date back to when UPA-2 was in office. The PAC under BJP leader M M Joshi was examining the CAG report that highlighted irregularities in the conduct of the Games.
The PAC also asked the CBI to take up de novo (afresh) investigation into cases of alleged corruption that were closed by the agency . A total of 33 cases, including some against Kalmadi and his close aides, were filed by the agency .The PAC report was adopted by the committee chaired by Congress leader K V Thomas recently .
The political implications of the report, which is a strong indictment of the UPA-2, are understood to have held up its adoption since the Modi government assumed office but the committee has finally cleared the 357-page report that seems to reflect a compromise on language but still contains critical references to the Manmohan Singh PMO.
Referring to the apparent change of minutes that led to Kalmadi, as president of the Indian Olympic Association, and not a government nominee heading the CWG organising committee, the PAC said, “The MYAS (sports ministry) received the minutes back from the cabinet secretariat after the decision to appoint president of IOA had been implemented and that too undated.
“The committee abhors this culture of passing the buck and desires that the PMOcabinet secretariat should rather lead by example and encourage a culture of pro-active disposition to work and take up responsibility .“
The PAC condemned the manner in which the highest institutions of government were allowed to be manipulated by “extraneous influences“ and called for more scrutiny and oversight in the future.
The committee was also critical of the “imprudent decision“ to appoint Kalmadi as chairman of the organising committee overruling the serious objections of the then sports minister, late Sunil Dutt, and said this proved to be a costly mistake. It turned the OC into a body “outside government control without commensurate accountability to the government despite the full financial guarantee and funding from the government“, it said.
The committee also examined the investigation conducted by the CBI and sought an update on developments in court with regard to the cases that have been closed. It directed the CBI to reopen investigation in six cases that were declared closed by the agency and sought faster investigation into a case relating to senior members of the CWG organising committee.