Commonwealth Games: Media says India ‘shamed’ by Delhi debacle

The Indian media reacted with fury Wednesday to the shambolic organisation of the New Delhi Commonwealth Games, which many said had shamed the country on the international stage.

“C’wealth Games India’s Shame,” headlined the Times of India, the biggest-circulation English-language daily, as it reported disastrous events from Tuesday and highlighted their coverage in the international media.

Most focused on embarrassing revelations about “filthy” and “uninhabitable” conditions at the athletes’ village that have drawn complaints from some competing countries.

Front pages were dominated by pictures of the stricken pedestrian bridge that collapsed outside the main stadium on Tuesday, injuring 27 labourers.

“It was a black joke construction-weary Delhiites got used to passing around — that one of the newly built Commonwealth Games structures would come crashing down,” said the mass-circulation Hindustan Times.

“But the nightmare everyone hoped would never turn real came partly true on Tuesday,” continued the story under the headline “National Shame”.

The national Hindi-language newspaper Navbharat Times headlined “Double trouble for the Games” while the English-language The Pioneer focused on the bridge collapse: “CWG mess worsens: Bridge falls, 27 hurt.”

The Asian Age asked: “Games Falling Apart?”

Many television news channels focused on the man who has become the target for most of the criticism, Suresh Kalmadi, chairman of the organising committee and a member of parliament in the ruling Congress party.

“Will Kalmadi take responsibility?” asked the Times Now network as it detailed 10 questions the games supremo needed to answer about the organisation.