Friday, April 18, 2008

China's Party

There is so much being written and broadcast about the Olympic torch these days that everyone is out to cash in on it... including a virus!

But that's not the point...

In Paris last week, I missed the run by a day but saw the protests on TV (CNN and BBC were the only two English channels available in the hotel). I saw, too the chaos that happened in 'Frisco.

Yesterday, the torch reached Delhi but there was no way anyone could get past the 20,000 securitymen on duty. The page-three sports-celebs did their duty as did some actors (though it looked like everyone was acting).

And India got some brownie points from big brother...why are we so petrified and hypocritical? Read these two columns by Antara Dev Sen (Pico to us in college) and Mahesh Dattani which I came across in The Week a couple of weeks ago - both very incisive and going straight for the jugular.

In ancient Greece, all battles ceased for the duration of the Games and athletes were protected. While the modern Olympics are still about brotherhood and all that jazz, they have been the perfect stage for protests. So Presidents will cop out, China will get upset and refugees like the Tibetans will be let down.

Given the amount of effort and money the Chinese have pumped into their coming-out party, they're going to go ahead regardless of whether a senile American president or a playboyish French premier attend or not. What's a few protests got to do with the biggest celebration that country will see in a long, long time.

China, when uttered in Bengali, means "don't want". They definitely don't want their party being gatecrashed. Unless the Dalai Lama and his supporters do pull off a coup.

August 8 is still some time away... aagey aagey dekho hota hai kya.

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