Thursday, June 24, 2010

Games an opportunity to showcase Indian history, culture, says Kalmadi

The Queen’s Baton Relay which reached Pakistan on Wednesday will be handed over to the Indian Olympic Association chief Suresh Kalmadi on Friday at the Attari border by Pakistan Olympics Association chief Syed Arif Hassan. A rehearsal for the reception was held on Thursday at the border according to protocol with India and Pakistan officials amid high security.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit, Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur, Congress leader Sachin Pilot and Commonwealth Games Chief Executive Officer Mike Hooper will attend the reception of the Baton on Friday. Earlier, while addressing the media, Kalmadi said Mike Fennell, Chairman of the Commonwealth Games Federation, will be the chief guest on the ocassion.

“We are thankful to Pakistan as without their help we could not have won the bid for Commonwealth Games. Tomorrow’s reception of the Baton will also be a new chapter for the Indo-Pak friendship,” said Kalmadi adding that he was happy that Punjab, which has produced some great sportspersons, is the first state to host the Baton.

He said the Games are the country’s biggest sports extravaganza after the Asian Games. It is an opportunity for India to showcase its cultural and history before the world, he said, adding that holding such big events are not the prerogative of the developed countries alone.

On the criticism over the arrangements falling apart, he said the critics will be silenced once everything is finalised.

“The opening and closing ceremonies will be remarkable and those who witnessed the Beijing’s Olympics would have us to make comparisons,” boasted Kalmadi, flanked by BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, Punjab Olympics Association general secretary Raja Sidhu, MP and Games’ Media Committee Chairman Tarlochan Singh. After receiving the Baton, it would be handed over to the winner of the Olympics bronze medal Vijender Singh and women world boxing champion Mary Kom to start the Indian leg of the relay, said Raja Sidhu.

Navjot Singh Sidhu and Mayor Shawet Malik will receive the baton on the outskirts of the city to take it to the Golden Temple, Durgiana Mandir and finally to the Company Bagh. “This is a historic occasion and a cause for celebrations,” said Kalmadi. Tarlochan Singh said the Wadali brothers from India and Ustad Fateh Ali Khan from Pakistan will recite qawwalis at the border.

Queen’s Baton Relay

The Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR) is an enduring tradition of Commonwealth Games. It was introduced in 1958 games in Cardiff, Wales. In 1998 Games, held at Kuala Lumpur, the QBR traveled to other Commonwealth countries for the first time. The Baton has evolved into the symbol of unity and diversity of the Commonwealth nations. The Queen’s Baton 2010 Delhi has been created by using the triangular section of aluminum which is twisted in the form of a helix and is coated with soil in graduating pattern. A message from the Queen is engraved on a 18 karat gold leaf, using the modern laser technology know as micro calligraphy. The Baton is 664 millimeters high, 34 millimeters wide at base and 86 millimeters at top and weighs 1,900 grams. It has a GPS fixed to it and can be traced where ever it goes. The LEDs fixed on it display the flag of the country where it is traveling.

No comments:


back to top