In 2010, New Delhi witnessed the Commonwealth Games (CWG) scam, one of the major Indian scams, involving a pilferage of around Rs 70,000 crore. It was estimated that only half of the allotted amount was spent on Indian sportspersons. The athletes were allegedly asked to shift to shabby apartments from the ones that were allotted to them by the authorities. Reports of the Central Vigilance Commission, in-charge of investigation of the CWG scam, revealed that Suresh Kalmadi, the Chairman of the organising committee of the Games, offered a contract of Rs 141 crore to Swiss Timings for its timing equipment which was unnecessarily high by Rs 95 crore. All the accused, including Kalmadi, were charged of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery for purpose of cheating and were also charged under sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Introduced back in 1930, Commonwealth Games is an internationally popular multi-sport event that engages athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event takes place every four years and is conducted by Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).
This was New Delhi with its best, chaotic, colourful face put forward to the world – complete with monkeys, snakes, cicadas and moth invasions. It dazzled at the opening ceremony even though the cracks underneath had already emerged.
The Games cost the country dearly, and more than the massive budget overruns, estimated by some to be upwards of £4 million.
It suffered a shattered international reputation in its ability to meet deadlines, to keep to cost, to construct rigorous buildings, to get rid of the old corrupt ways and to be a global technology giant.
But within India, those organisational complaints are dismissed as an anti-Indian conspiracy by the West.
When the question about international bias was posed by an Indian journalist, the organising committee chairman, Suresh Kalmadi, muttered "no comment", and then went missing from the next media inquisition.
Still, behind the scenes there are major corruption inquiries into the shoddy construction, fraud allegations and the ticketing mess that left some "sold out" stadiums empty.
Lalit Bhanot, the organising committee secretary general, acknowledged there might be some outstanding issues. "If corruption is proven it should be investigated," he said.
Once the competition started, the focus was on the sporting endeavours rather than the boxing weights that had not been calibrated correctly, nor the murky filtration of the aquatics centre, nor the ancient starters guns at the athletics and cycling.
In the lead-up to the Games the slums were cleared, the beggars removed. The Indians wanted every guest to feel welcomed. And they were paranoid (with some justification given the intelligence reports) about an attack on the Games.
So they trained gun sights on athletes and officials, had a tiered security system that was both tiring and sensual (the jokes about the personal pat-downs which alternated between intimate and groping started from day one), and shut down the city completely on high-risk days of the ceremonies and during open-air events like the cycling road race.
An accidental shooting of an athlete was always a risk, but thankfully never happened. Instead, the security accident occurred when a spiked barrier ejected from the ground caused a car crash and injured three Ugandan officials.
Mike Fennell, the Commonwealth Games Federation president, was buoyed by the experience of New Delhi.
"I think that what has happened here demonstrates quite clearly that there is a very strong future for the Games,” Fennell said.
"We had a lot of questions about cancellation, but the Games have been celebrated in very fine style. Obviously, we have to address some of the concerns and improve the product as we go along."
Athletes who withdrew before the Games might well be regretting their decision, according to Dame Kelly Holmes, president of Commonwealth Games England.
Although conceding that the England team's participation had been on a knife edge in the build-up because of concerns about the athletes' village, Holmes said: "A lot of athletes who pulled out made rash decisions because of the information that was out there, instead of having trust that we, as a nation, would be thinking of their interests first and only of them.
"That's a shame because I think a lot of athletes pulled out only because of what they heard before. Now they see this there will be a lot who will regret not coming."
There were two positive drug tests, embarrassingly including one Indian, walker Rani Yadav, and some athletes, particularly a crop of swimmers, were sick and missed their competition.
Bhanot said it would be the athletes whose opinion really counted because it was for them that the competition was created.