India and the Commonwealth Games.

I have mixed feelings about this issue. On the one hand, it is already obvious both from the way in which the media is covering the issue, and from the mood of the Australian public, that if the games do not go ahead, it will be a catalyst for criticism of India and Indians generally, rather than for specific recriminations against the incompetence, corruption and neoptism of the government and organisations responsible for overseeing the development of the Games village and associated facilities.

On the other hand, it might actually do some good for there to be real consequences for letting your corruption, incompetence and nepotism get so bad that you squander a huge chance to prove you can host an important international event effectively. At this stage, the Indian government seems to be in a lose lose situation. Even if they do manage to avoid the complete disaster that would be a result of the games being called off, they have proven incapable of providing basic security; there is pictorial evidence of the use of child labour in an attempt to rush the completion of the project, and two separate construction failures (plus the threat of more) have left a pall of doubts hanging over the integrity of the entire venture.

Oh, and there are already athletes withdrawing due to personal safety concerns, with the backing of their respective national teams for doing so.

Of all the concerns, the unabashed use of child labour is the one that leads me to think that the games being cancelled would be the right thing to do.  It is one (very bad) thing to pretend not to notice flagrant violations of children’s rights when they go on in relative obscurity, it is another (much worse) thing to have photographs of child labourers engaged in finishing your games venues splashed across the front pages of international media, and then to not engage in some serious and meaningful criticism of that government for this blatant disregard of fundamental moral norms.

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