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Can India ever host a Summer Olympics?
The anti-world-cup, anti-government protesters in Brazil clashed with police and other civil authorities in Rio de Janeiro on 6 February, 2014, over the fare hike in metro and other public transport services in the main terminus of the city. Six people were injured, one seriously.

The protesters were complaining over the huge misuse of public exchequer on hosting FIFA world cup in June 2014 and in 2016 Summer Olympics and about the Brazilian government not investing much on health care, education, civic amenities and other social infrastructure and instead increasing the cost of living in Brazil to make up for the deficits and paying up for the interests on loans.

Hosting FIFA world cup and Summer Olympics is a matter of pride and celebration for the public of the host countries and all those countries, which are capable of doing so would like to do so unless there are cultural constraints.

After the West, it is the BRICS nations; in power, size of economy and also in influence. Russia and China have already successfully hosted Summer Olympics and Brazil will do so in 2016. Rising aspirations in India would one day demand hosting Summer Olympics here and the same may be true with a majority of the people in South Africa. South Africa has already stood hosts to the FIFA world cup in 2010.

The fact is that the original estimated cost of hosting big global sporting events is usually significantly lower than the actual ones and many times the organizers and sponsors deliberately report it low so as to make their public positive to the idea of hosting such events. But, the point is that be it Russia or China, the cost of hosting Olympics and other major sporting events for the first time would usually be higher and profits usually lower or even negative for most of the non-Western nations as compared to those in the West.

This is the reality of time and that is what makes organizing such events in the BRICS nations and other non-Western countries lesser frequent and many times prohibitive too. There are not always future dividends for all countries.

Take the case of India. In October 2010, Delhi stood hosts for the Commonwealth Games. For the first times in its history, the games were organized outside that part of the advanced world, which comes under the Commonwealth Union. At the best from Indian point of view it was not a great show.

The games highlighted misery about sporting and other social and public infrastructure in India and showed the nation in bad light, at least right before the start of the game. Sure, there are many interpretations to the games and all probable readers are free to differ with me on this issue. As a matter of fact, sooner but rather than later, Indians would dream about hosting Summer Olympics in spite of all the ‘mis-happenings’ of 2010.

In India opinions against hosting such a major event would not be that hostile as they are there in Brazil. This has to do with the related issue of caste egos and conformism to the dominant culture of a significant majority of Indians. Only dividing issue, if there is one, could be regional one.

Only New Delhi and Mumbai would be the real contenders of hosting a Summer Olympics in India. But New Delhi may not be able to have a world-class infrastructure and regional chauvinism along with usual problem of not having sufficient infrastructure may make it equally problematic to host event hypothetically in Mumbai too. Chennai or Bangaluru may appear better equipped to host the event in future but that option may not be that popular and politically savvy.

If Indians consistently and persistently dream so then the outside world would support them too. Just like Brazil, a lot, in fact around estimated 75 billion USD as per the hosting year’s dollar base, would be required to host Summer Olympics, if they are held within two decades in future in India. It would be complete waste of money but the rising consciousness would demand so and the majority of public would be satisfied with hosting the event.

I am not against Indian hosting such an event but I know for sure that hosting a Summer Olympic game would cost India dear and it would lose huge money on organizing the event. Oligarchies would dominate more but with that vocalism of middle classes and even underprivileged would also increase. Let us see what happens, though it is still a long wait for India.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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