What an incredible destination! Layered and complex.... it takes several lifetimes to reveal itself to mere mortals like ourselves. Like India, in many ways. I have great images... let me know if you are interested.... and I shall post them here taada taadi....
This appeared in Asian Age today....
IPL-6 –UPA-2 - Paisa pheko, tamasha dekho!
Of course, the joke’s on us!The biggest one! A smaller version was enjoyed earlier this week in a brightly lit cricket stadium. The other one, has been running for nine years. Think about it. Is there much of a difference between the IPL and the UPA? There’s even an overlap of scandalous, disgraced players !Cynics might sneer – same- same, but different. Sure. But both brands are guilty of an identical crime – they have taken India for a jolly good ride. The country has indeed been taken to the cleaners. And in a way, we asked for it. Both brands (for that’s exactly what they are) have systematically shredded India’s reputation - globally as well as within India itself. And that’s an awful feeling. The dreams and aspirations of a billion plus people have been taken for granted, and collective sensitivities trampled on. Worse, precious hopes have been cruelly shattered. The IPL muck that continues to surface in bits and bobs (adding up to precisely nothing), has underlined the basic rot within the entire system. A rot, so corrosive and pervasive, that it extends well beyond the cricket field and pretty much sweeps everything into its voluminous fold. So far, the names of political biggies (who are as much a part of the conspiracy to cheat the public as those tainted players), have been carefully shielded.Ministers are quoting vague laws. The writing on the wall is abundantly clear : nothing is going to happen to anyone. Had the government in power not been as blatantly corrupt , chances are, cricket too would have been less corrupt. It is because of the rampant abuse of power by leaders who rule us from Delhi, that the dangerous goons who hijacked the IPL had the guts to do what they did - not just to the well loved game of cricket, but to millions of believers across the world.Remember, cricket is a ‘religion’ for diehard fans.
Sham is a pretty powerful four letter word. These days Indians have been forced to confront it on a daily basis. Nothing is as it appears. Everything is naqli. Most of what you read is fake. Nearly every action in that stadium (as in parliament) appears to be stage managed and manipulated. The shadowy figures controlling crores of rupees in illegal betting, are no different from the equally shadowy figures who control the IPL and are a part of the sarkar. Someone’s son, someone else’s son-in-law. Even as we struggle to decode Coalgate or the 2G scandals involving billions of our money, we also watch open mouthed as disgraced cricketers, bookies and brokers, discuss dirty deals supposedly orchestrated by the D-Gang in Dubai. And while Delhi cops make a big show of how efficiently they’ve cracked this particular racket, bewildered citizens are left as confused as ever. It’s come to a stage where whatever goes wrong in India – be it in politics or sports - is blamed on Dawood! It’s our best bet. It shuts mouths. It provides a convenient alibi. But why does nobody ask – is India so weakened that we have allowed an overseas gangster to take charge, take over and assume absolute control ?
The UPA-2 has given itself high marks in the report card. Sly, off-the-cuff remarks quoted in the press suggest all is not hunky dory between 10 Janpath and 7 Racecourse Road. That’s a pretty cunning way to relay an important message.If our Madam so wishes, she can downsize anybody – the P.M. included.The truth of the matter is, the track record of UPA -2 is as abysmal as the sudden fall from grace of IPL-6. The masks are off for both.The halos have disappeared.There is the bigger issue of zero accountability, zero transparency, zero punishment. To say nothing of autocracy, sycophancy, and plain nepotism . If the IPL bossman Srinivasan was allowed to run the franchise like a dictator from a banana republic… if his son-in-law Gurunath is suspected of collusion in several cricketing deals, how different is the story from Sonia Gandhi’s , as Srinivasan himself has boldly and brazenly pointed out?? She too has controlled the UPA in a dictatorial fashion for nine years. She too has had to deal with son-in-law issues. The one thing both tarnished brands continue to have in common is big talk and tall promises. There’s far too much at stake for either to come clean and make amends. Both are in the same business, as it were. And that business involves duping countless trusting citizens, emotionally and financially.
One would like to believe the party is really and truly over for those who brought such shame to cricket and politics. One team ( Mumbai Indians ) has won the cup. And with the closing ceremony another IPL season has ended. India may or may not see IPL-7. But what will happen to the UPA in 2014? Political pundits insist UPA-3 ain’t happening. But that still won’t get our stolen money back!The netas in both rackets are nanga in the hamam.But who will name and nail them? If Srinivasan is the Baddie. Who are the Goodies?It’s so much easier to go after chhota mota cricketers. Those chaps are dispensable. After a point, nobody will care. Sreesanth will receive offers galore to host reality shows, publish a book, act in movies.Even become a member of parliament like Azaruddin. Notoriety has its advantages these days. But the all-party politicians who call the shots in cricket, will swiftly cover each other’s backsides and talk piously about cleaning up cricket.As always,it is only genuine lovers of the game who will be excluded from this cosy party.
This isn’t cricket. Perhaps it never was….