Saturday, March 07, 2009

Caught between bails and ballots

So what will u choose, IPL or general elections? [Via:Cricinfo - Blogs - The Surfer - Caught between bails and ballots]:
"Repeatedly we are told that there is far too much at stake for too many people, for the IPL Board to even so much as contemplate the idea of such a postponement or a cancellation. But who are these stakeholders, and why should elected governments stretch their security apparatus dangerously thin in order to protect their interests?

The Lahore attack on the Sri Lankan players proved that cricket could indeed be a soft target for terrorists in this part of the world. While we may want to believe that India is a lot safer than Pakistan — and there is indeed some strong basis for this belief, 26/11 notwithstanding — this is not the time to traffic in illusions."
Well, honestly I am not sure voting makes any bit of difference in India. So, maybe, I would prefer watching a match instead of bothering to choose between the incompetent Gandhi family (where I base my judgement on their record to this day) and Shri. Advani.
The Indian Premier League is about many things. It’s about money, money, money, money, money… and then, of course, about a bit of cricket, of the frenetic kind, too.

Given that fact, this column has a suggestion to Mr. Lalit Modi, the IPL’s high-profile head honcho. He should request the Central Government of the world’s largest democracy to postpone the general elections scheduled for April-May. Well, actually he should go beyond that: he should demand it.
It is about money, only because it is the kind of cricket people come to a stadium to watch. It may not be the purest form of cricket but is the only form one with a 9-6 job can go to a stadium to watch without having to take a day off. Nobody is forced to go to the stadium. People can choose not to go to the stadium.

I am guessing that the Govt. must have been in the know of the IPL schedule given that the schedule was finalized before the general election schedule. I would be very surprised if the Govts (state and center) were not consulted before setting the dates. Organising such an event without Govt. permission should be impossible in India. Also, if the Govt. cannot keep India safe they should let the people of India know, the earlier the better. No life is so cheap to be left at the mercy of an incompetent Govt, a lot have already been lost. It is only reasonable that such an incompetent Govt. allows its citizens to find means of protecting themselves. It cannot force people to live in shackles because it cannot provide them with protection.

Also, the organizers of the IPL have a contract to keep, and I am not sure how I can sit on judgment for they wanting to keep their contract. The Govt. gets away with not keeping their election time promises, it is only good if others insist on keeping theirs even if it is for big money.
Those cheergirls are worth every penny paid to them: they not only get the fans into the stands well ahead of the contest but also help add colour and zest and life to our newspapers’ front and back pages _ and a few in between.
Well, even the newspapers are behind big money!

Now, this is what makes me furious:
There is a simple solution: postpone the polls, no matter what the Constitution says, no matter what the Election Commissioners may say. After all, can these blokes possibly bring in hundreds of millions to the kitty? Can they conceivably persuade Preity Zinta or Shilpa Shetty — draped in the finest their unabashedly expensive wardrobes can offer — to jive it live in front of TV cameras during the matches?
Unabashedly expensive wardrobes? Are Zinta and Shetty to live like the poor of the world? Will that make their cause more just or the poor any richer? They earn the millions because of investments they make of their own money. In contrast, wonder what the Govt. does with our money? Not much seems to change election after election, not even the sloganeering. Oh!, the sanctity of the constitution is at stake.
In a rational world, it would have been an open-and-shut case, a non-issue. If the governments of the States where the IPL matches are scheduled believed they would not be able to provide adequate security to the players because of the election pressures, then the Central Government should simply tell the Board of Control for Cricket in India that it would do well to postpone, or even cancel, the event.
In a rational world, the Govt. has absolute powers. Ya well!
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