New Delhi: The row over timing of the
Commonwealth Games opening ceremony was resolved on Saturday with
the Group of Ministers deciding a 7 pm start for the event.
"The issue has been resolved and the opening ceremony
will start at 7 pm," Shyam Benegal, a prominent member of the
creative group, said after a meeting of the Group of Ministers
(GoM) on the October 3-14 mega event here today.
The creative group, which conceived the ceremony, had
initially planned a 7.30 pm start since the laser show and
pyrotechnics would require darkness for maximum effect.
The Organising Committee of the Games, however, told them
that it had signed a deal with the Australian Broadcasting
Corporation (ABC) that stipulates a 5.30 pm start for the
The creative group was livid because they were not
informed beforehand and it upset all their plans since laser
shows and pyrotechnics would look a joke in day light.
Benegal was so angry that he shot a letter to the GoM,
demanding why the creative team was not told about the deal
"Which audience is more important to us, our own or
Australia`s?" Benegal asked.
The GoM meeting today, chaired by Urban Development
Minister S Jaipal Reddy, solved the issue and decided that
both the opening and closing ceremonies, to be held at
Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium would start at 7 pm.
Asked how the GoM dealt the ABC issue, adman-cum-lyricist
Prasoon Joshi, a member of the creative group, said, "Why rake
up the issue when it has been resolved? What is important now
is that the show timing is 7 pm."
"The two-and-half hours` show will be spectacular and
will have many surprising elements. We are not giving details
but it would be worth watching," Joshi said after the meeting,
adding the ceremony would consist of laser show, cultural
event and many other things.
Poet-lyricist Javed Akhtar is another member of the team
of which Bharat Bala is the creative director.
Tourism Minister Kumari Selja, Delhi Chief Minister
Sheila Dikshit, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Tejinder Khanna and
Sports Ministry officials were present on the occasion.