In an aside, about a topic I care deeply about but see massive amounts of ineptitude all the time.
Tomorrow the papers will carry the news as a 'Famous Victory', but I see see it quite simply as a colossal waste of money. A part of me is still hoping that this is another crazy statement from Suresh Kalmadi, but, despite being an avowed F1 fan and a convert to the Church of Hamilton, I think hosting a F1 event is a great way to lose money, or conversely put money in Bernie Ecclestone's pocket.
See, I must state at the outset that Suresh Kalmadi has done nothing for Indian sports, and I put him and Priya Ranjan Das Munshi on the same page as being destroyers of sport, rather than 'lovers of sport' as they claim. For Gods sake, we won what, one medal in Athens, nd will be lucky to get beyond two in Beijing. While Delhi gets a (much needed) makeover for the 2010 Commonwealth games, what is the betting that the Australians, who have a population equivalent to that of Greater Bombay won't kick us in our balls?
FIFA ranks India 161 in the world in football/soccer, behind St Lucia (a country with a population of 150,000) and ahead of Laos! I hate to say it, but even I am sniggering. The greatest failure of successive governments in the country has been in Sports - so much so that heading sports associations is the exclusive privilege of politicians. Sharad Pawar and his cronies are doing the same to cricket, Jagmohan Dalmiya as the Devil? That man was a Saint compared to this bunch of goons! But, the two men I named earlier are the real villains of the piece, and in another country to our East, they would have been executed by now for ineptitude.
See, don't get me wrong, I love driving, I love speed and I (along with the Anglo-centric English media) think that Lewis Hamilton is the greatest thing to happen to Formula1 since Michael Schumacher, but there is neither any economic rationale for F1, just look at the huge cost that Malaysia has had to incur for building Sepang and hosting a race that barely anyone watches. However, Lewis Hamilton is destined for greatness because his father spotted his talent at a young age - and that can only happen if a country has racing infrastructure from the ground.
Hamilton's father Anthony was truly middle-class in Britain, he had to work three jobs at times to keep his son's dream alive, and thank god that he did. But Lewis Hamilton, who is 22 mind you, the same age as India's current crop of budding star racers, all rich men's sons, managed to go small carting tracks and racing circuits across the UK, and fair enough Ron Dennis of McLaren spotted him, but the infrastructure for making him a star was already there. See, before signing off $100 million to Bernie, spend that money on building quality carting tracks and a few good racetracks, maybe not F1 grade, but racetracks where we could maybe consider training some drivers.
And for God's sake, Mr Kalmadi, bringing Formula 1 in on government money, are you crazier than I thought?Hopefully, the baller in the Sports Ministry will over-rule, I'm no fan of that man either, but he keeps this crazy in check! Spend money improving our sporting facilities, instead of doing that - or paying a cokehead to do a show in Melbourne, as you did last year! Spend money on sport, proper sport, like that country to our East. Because Sport is a tremendous glue that holds the social fabric in place. And maybe, just maybe, if I ever come to power I won't have you shot for treason, because in failing Indian sport, that is exactly what you have done. As for Priya Ranjan Das Munshi, he isn't even worth expending spit on!
A couple of more things tomorrow, the first of them is that there is no massive 'Media Conspiracy' to prevent certain news items of appearing! The second is the crisis at the Indian Express!