The Politics of the Olympics and a Manifesto for a Superpower

‘India’s wannabe superpower elite are delusional’ said one analyst. What does an Olympics’ medals table say about a country of one billion people if it is at the bottom of that table? Nothing? Perhaps. But never has there been an unfit superpower or great civilisation without a culture of sporting achievement. Not the Romans, not the British, the Russians, the Chinese, and of course, not the Greeks who themselves invented the Olympic Games.

A manifesto then for India who may have learnt some very harsh humbling and humiliating lessons this past Olympic fortnight.

It shall be the policy of this Government to invite the British back to India. In fact we shall invite all the best and brightest with incentives to lead our major institutions. So that we may learn from them, in place of thinking we know it all because our ancestors can be traced back to pre-history.

It shall be the policy of this Government to invite the British to run an anti-corruption ‘untouchables’ unit who will have the authority to set up and enforce an anti-corruption unit. Of course there is corruption in Britain, but we can no longer use that excuse for it to be in India too.

It shall be the policy of this Government to invite the British to run a national infrastructure programme throughout the country to ensure power grids do not lead to black outs for one in twelve people on the planet. Of course there are power cuts in Britain, but that is not an excuse for them to be in India.

It shall be the policy of this Government to invite British NRI’s to India with a red carpet welcome and immense respect– because they like Gandhi, Nehru and Patel, went to Britain for the opportunities it provided and with a British education and British training came back to India to lift a nation.

It shall be the policy of this Government to invite the British police force and security services to train the Indian police force and intelligence agencies. Whilst Britain has had failures in policing and security, none can be as incompetent as those that led to the Mumbai attacks.

It shall be the policy of this Government to learn from the British about quiet confidence , national spirit and unity. Whilst there are many in India that do have this and many in Britain that do not, we can no longer wait for another generation before we have British educated persons like Gandhi to act in the national interest. The British have shown they can time and again.

It shall be the policy of this Government to invite the British Foreign Office to advise this Government on how to undertake global responsibilities on a world stage. How to speak on a global stage. How to interact with world leaders so as to be taken seriously. Whilst Britain is a small power, this tiny nation of 60 million people remains more respected in global foreign policy than India with 20 times as many – they clearly know something.

It shall be the policy of this Government to once again ensure it will create a man or woman of whom at their passing the world will say, as they once did of the greatest Indian of them all, ‘The object of this massive tribute died as he had always lived – a private person without wealth, without property, without official title or office…not a commander of great armies nor ruler of vast lands. He could boast no scientific achievements or artistic gift. Yet men, governments and dignitaries from all over the world have joined hands today to pay homage to this little brown man. Pope Pius, the Archbishop of Canterbury, President Truman, Chiang Kai-shek, The Foreign Minister of Russia, the President of France… are among the millions here and abroad who have lamented his passing. This Indian had become the spokesman for the conscience of mankind, a man who made humility and simple truth more powerful than empires." Others will add "Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth."

To make Indians such as these, shall be the policy of this Government by all means and help necessary. Spurred on are we now by what we have just seen the world achieve to leave us behind.

Alpesh Patel

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