It is the most unlikely and distasteful of matches, IPL versus India; a contest between the primary essence of democracy, elections which have made India the envy of many democratic and autocratic countries, especially our neighbors, and a game spectacle.
Should we begin to suspect that there is a suspicious ‘foreign hand’ in the vigorous efforts being made to field the IPL against the elections, using the security issue as an excuse?
Regular, free and fair elections are what sets India apart in the world community today; that we are able to move ahead, carrying forward the entire disparate segments of our society is the biggest achievement of the Republic of India to date.
But does that status or constitutional niceties matter to the likes of the Modis, the Ambanis and the Mallyas etc the stakeholders in the IPL?
The security issue is an obvious concern and a very valid one. Recent happenings in Mumbai and Lahore are pointers. There is also the consideration that the authorities would not want anything to happen any time any place, least of all in the midst of elections. More so when we are looking ahead to the Commonwealth Games in Deli next year.
Should we begin to suspect that the urgency with which the BCCI is pushing the IPL is so that no other sport can hope to threaten to take over the “sanctified” place of cricket in India that is largely a creation of BCCI + media?
Frankly, WHY are they pushing a tournament that can be held anytime, any place so long that it does not clash with constitutional norms?
Will the Indian, Diaspora or cricketing public not watch IPL matches if they are held After the elections? Do they genuinely feel that it will require the elections background to hold the public to their TV sets? Or what?
By the way, what percentage of India’s crores actually watch the cricket matches in the stadia or on TV? What is the actual percentage of population we are talking about here, versus the percentage of population that votes and is affected by the outcome of the polls?
Should we not suspect that there is something else behind the urgency of the IPL timetable?
The concern apparently seems to be only MONEY, money honey, money. Now that they have invested huge amounts of money in Buying Cricket Stars, they want to hold the matches quickly so that their profits are not diminished by interest costs.
And the hell with constitutional niceties or the cost of security. BCCI offered to get private security imported for their cricket stars to prevent any possible repeat of Lahore. What about the security of the public which would come to watch the matches? Are they dispensable, so long as the stakeholders, Modi and Co. have raked in their profits from the advertisement and other revenues and ticket monies etc?
The options, thrown up as so much hot air since no concrete detailing has yet be done, are England where their domestic season would be messed up, perhaps causing antipathy for not only India but also the Diaspora there for messing up with a national pastime and South Africa where fans would be at a high premium and logistics enough of a nightmare to put a question mark over the quantum of profits.
Is this just an attempt to use the media to blackmail the whole of India?
Why can the IPL matches be held after the elections, perhaps to take media and public attention from the horse trading that will inevitably follow in the process of setting up a new government in Delhi?