India “would love to” host the 2036 Olympic games and is preparing to bid for it, Anurag Thakur, Union Minister for I&B and Youth Affairs and Sports, said today in a chat with presspersons here. 

Asked if India would host the 2026 Commonwealth Games, Thakur said neither had anybody reached out to India, nor had India reached out to anybody for the Commonwealth games, but India would be interested in hosting the 2036 Olympic games. 

With India’s growing clout globally, thanks to its economy doing well and Prime Minister Modi’s keen interest in sports development, India would be able to host the Olympics. 

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“2032 is gone (to Brisbane, Australia), but we will bid for 2036,” he said. (Paris will hold the 2024 games and Los Angeles in 2028.) Preparations for bidding have begun, he said, adding that there is still time. 

Asked if he was confident India had the requisite infrastructure to hold the Olympics, Thakur observed that unlike earlier, the top global infrastructure was now in India. He pointed out that India houses the world’s highest railway bridge, the Chenab rail bridge (over the Chenab River, at 358 metres, taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris); the world’s longest tunnel at above 10,000 feet altitude (9.02 km Atal Tunnel, Rohtang); and the world’s tallest statue (Statue of Unity in Gujarat, 182 metres). So, there should be no question about India’s competence in building infrastructure to host the Olympics, he said. 

Answering a question, Thakur said that the three bills introduced in Parliament to replace the existing criminal laws would ensure that justice is delivered in a short time. Also, the government had decriminalised several activities, he said, noting that many small offences were criminalised during the colonial era. Asked about the names of the proposed legislation being in Hindi, he said anyone could give their suggestions to the Parliamentary Standing Committee that the Bills have been referred to. 

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On the issue of Manipur clashes, he said the government had not failed to take timely action, noting that Home Minister, Amit Shah, spent four days in the state and held over 50 meetings, while the Minister of State for Home Affairs (Nityanand Rai) spent 23 days in the state. While admitting that the violence in the state was distressing, Thakur wondered why the Opposition parties were not talking about worse violence in Rajasthan and West Bengal. Pulling out his mobile phone, he read out a long list of rapes and murders in Rajasthan in the last three days.