There are some things which can happen only in India. There always seems to be chaos at the beginning of an event before things get clear.

Take for example the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, the 2007 Guwahati National Games, or the Manipur National Games way back in 1999.

It was baptism by fire at all these events, but they were all successful eventually.

The 34th Jharkhand National Games is another classic case — it had to be postponed six times.

However, the delightful opening ceremony organised by the host at the Birsa Munda Athletics Stadium here on Saturday would have put to rest all talk that the State was ill-equipped to conduct a major multi-discipline event.

Think of the future

As Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda put it, “The Games which was scheduled to be held in 2009 couldn't be held due to various reasons. This time it has happened, and I am sure it will turn out to be a huge success. Forget the past and think about the future.”

Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Suresh Kalmadi said the Stadium would be used for National camps for the 2012 London Olympics.

Inaugurating the Games, Jharkhand Governor M.O.H. Farook said this would remain a red-letter day in the history of the State.

He praised the Chief Minister and his colleagues for having taken the “bold decision” to conduct the Games. “It's a great opportunity,” he stressed, “to imbibe from sportspersons on to how to pursue one's desire, to perform under stress and to negotiate success and failure.”

Farook urged the people of Jharkhand to take this as a great chance to showcase their love for sports as well as their hospitality.

The host didn't disappoint on a pleasant evening as a capacity crowd watched with rapt attention. The school children enthralled the audience with folk and tribal dances of Assam and Jharkhand.

A short play on Birsa Munda, after whom the stadium is named, and the battle he waged against the British rule in the 19th century, was enacted. The arrival of the Games mascot, Chhaua, thrilled the audience. Sukhwinder Singh then belted out his famous Bollywood numbers.

Laser show

There was an impressive laser show depicting top class sportspersons from Jharkhand.

Fire dancers performed the ‘pyro' act. Bollywood stars Vivek Oberoi, Amisha Patel and Sameera Reddy gave a perfect ending to the ceremony with a dance performance. Television star Shweta Tiwari compered the show.

Earlier, a galaxy of international sportspersons from Jharkhand took part in the torch relay.

Commonwealth Games gold medallist Deepika Kumari, who began the relay, passed it on to former international woman boxer Aruna Mishra and Sumrai Tete, who was in the Indian women's team which won the gold in the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games.

Sixty-two-year-old Sylvanus Dung Dung, who was part of the 1980 Olympics gold-winning hockey team in Moscow, lit the torch.

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