Who’s over-excited?https://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/whos-overexcited/

Who’s over-excited?

What the fuss over the woman in red says about her critics

The Indian authorities have had their say on the woman in red who gatecrashed the Indian contingent’s march-past. It was certainly a security lapse,an embarrassment for the organisers,an irritant for the sportspersons representing India and an unexpected headache for Lord Sebastian Coe. But now it’s time to ask,what does the woman in red say about her critics? The core message is: lighten up,Indians!

Madhura,the dancer from Bangalore who marched at the head of the Indian contingent,has been described as “over-excited”,but the term applies just as much to the Indian authorities,who went ballistic though no real harm was done. Madhura’s street clothes provided a welcome splash of colour in a sea of bilious yellow turbans and saris. And unlike the genuine contingent members,she actually smiled for the camera. She had good reason to smile. In fact,it is surprising that she didn’t turn cartwheels.

Effortlessly,she had hacked the Olympic security system,which was created to prevent a reprise of the Black September massacre at the Munich summer Olympics in 1972. Like an ethical hacker,she has exposed breaches that should now be sealed. It may be pointed out that instead of spluttering at the English,the Indian authorities should have exercised better control over the situation themselves. The incident also foregrounded the great Indian art of gatecrashing — and thereby secured extra airtime for the Indian contingent. The last international incident had made India look foolish,when a couple stowed away with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s entourage to attend US President Obama’s state dinner. This time,we have regained ownership of our gatecrashing tradition of having a lot of fun without harming anyone. That is the sum total of the Madhura episode.