â€¢ The Power of Bhutan: Correspondent Mian Ridge was waiting at India Gate, a memorial in Delhi, when the Olympic torch arrived Thursday afternoon (see story). But the intense security made it a rather low-key event.
"Never have I seen such tight security. Reporters went through four checkpoints. They took our water bottles at the last one so there were a lot of thirsty journalists standing in the heat for three hours waiting," she says. But running the security gantlet was challenging â€“ and a little ludicrous.
"The accreditation card issued specifically for the event wasn't sufficient to get through all the checkpoints," says Mian. "They demanded that I also show them an Indian government press I.D. I didn't have one. My London press card didn't impress them. What finally did it, oddly enough, was the press credential I got in Bhutan to cover the elections there last month."
A pro-Tibet demonstration was held several kilometers away and included posters of Gandhi, the world's most famous proponent of nonviolent protest, as well as of the Dalai Lama. But all of central Delhi was closed off for the torch relay.
"I've never seen that before," she says. While the public was kept at bay, Mian says officials from Coca-Cola, Samsung, and Lenova, were present in company T-shirts. "At the last minute, a bus load of school kids sponsored by Coca-Cola were brought in to cheer. "
â€“ David Clark Scott