New Delhi – Indian-born novelist Salman Rushdie has slammed the chaotic preparations for the Delhi Commonwealth Games as a “great humiliation” and has recommended a “severe spanking” for a leading official.
“It’s been a great humiliation for us all,” the award-winning author of Midnight’s Children told India’s NDTV television network in an interview from New York.
“I feel very embarrassed by it and I’m sure many, many people in India feel the same way.”
The Games, which open on Sunday, had teetered on the brink of collapse last week when some nations threatened to pull out amid worries about security, a bridge falling down and “uninhabitable” athletes’ accommodation.
Problems plaguing the Games include an outbreak of mosquito-borne dengue fever, corruption allegations, and doubts about the quality of some of the venues and associated buildings.
Rushdie took particular umbrage at organising committee secretary-general Lalit Bhanot, who suggested that complaints about the athletes’ accommodation by some Western countries were because of differing attitudes to cleanliness.
“The official who claimed that we in India have lower standards of hygiene should be spanked very severely,” he suggested.