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Who's the clown now?

As the curtains went up on the London Olympics on Friday, July 27, the opening ceremony was billed as a resounding success. The Indian contingent’s march, though, will be remembered not for wrestler Sushil Kumar holding the flag, or India marching past in resplendent yellow.

A young lady called Madhura Honey gatecrashed the desi party and became the talking point of the Olympics opening ceremony, at least for India. Honey walked beside Sushil Kumar, occasionally waving to the crowd. Honey, we learn now, was part of the cast and was not supposed to be on the field during the march past.

This is a major security lapse by the organisers.

That a woman could slip into the opening ceremony venue shows a glaring goof-up, one that could have had dangerous consequences. Suppose the innocuous Madhura Honey had been a terrorist? In a world where terrorists are finding more innovative and brazen ways to kill, and ‘lone wolf’ attacks are becoming common, this could well have been a terrorist. London needs to offer some explanations, and fast.

One can only wonder what the headlines in English papers would have screamed if an intruder managed to invade a pitch and walk next to the English contingent’s flag bearer at an event in India. Chances are tabloids would be screaming themselves hoarse about third-rate security in a third world country, and the like.

India copped plenty of flak during the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, with newspapers running headlines like this one: ‘And these clowns have nukes’. India was called a toilet bowl and London’s Daily Telegraph even ran a mocking series talking about blocked toilets and vomiting swimmers during the Commonwealth Games. London’s slip up though is grave, when one considers the possible ramifications. Do we see the world media now slamming London? Maybe someone could start with ‘And these clowns have the Games’?  

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