Wednesday 17 April 2024

News Analysed, Opinions Expressed


Do we really care?


Can we make a solemn promise to ourselves? Can we, till the next IPL, learn to care a little bit more for the many problems our country is facing today?

The recent IPL expose was sort of expected. Remember Sharjah? Lalit Modi, in no small way did remind one of the Bukhatirs, the Dalmias, the Leles, et al. It had to come to this. This might not be the end of IPL, but it's time some sobriety was added to the concoction.

Much has been written, spoken and blogged about the IPL. I do not want to dwell on the legalities and moralities of all the actors in the drama or their doings. I am more concerned about us, the men/women on the street, or rather those in front of the idiot boxes.

Do we really care? As the two gangs within the BCCI went at each other hammer & tongs just before the semi-finals this year, exposing the IPL for what its real aims were, we did not seem to care. Yes, we did relish the sensational revelations of money laundering, tax evasion, underhand deals and plain corruption. We even celebrated with an I-told-you-so smirk when whispers of match-fixing were doing the rounds, casting doubts about the genuineness of the contests. But did we care?

We wanted our dose of daily opium. We forgot all the murk and did our bit to increase the TRPs of this reality show they call IPL. We, very consciously, did not want to realize that without these TRPs the IPL could not and would not flourish. As we watched and cheered the semi-finals and finals, we did not want to accept that the real winners were the shady characters on the TV screen. Many more of them were off the screen, but that's another story.

The RCB boss, in one interview championing Modi's cause, blamed it all on the politicians. He said that cricket should be rid of the political sleaze that they had brought in. Did he mean that we should tolerate, or rather celebrate, as we do now, the corporate sleaze that Modi and his ilk encourage?

When shall we realize that the IPL and its type are vehicles to massage the humungous egos of the super-rich, and opportunities for the just rich and powerful to graduate to the super-rich status? The players, and a few other ex-players, who seem to have been purchased lock-stock-and-barrel, share the collateral spoils. And we, who do not care, are taken for a jolly good ride. Our valuable time, energy and money are squandered in the worthless exercise of watching this reality show, which is definitely "not cricket". Millions of person-hours are being washed down the drain as a select few laugh all the way to the bank.

Can we make a solemn promise to ourselves? Can we, till the next IPL, learn to care a little bit more for the many problems our country is facing today? Environmental degradation, inequity of wealth distribution, an outdated educational system, and many more issues need our immediate attention. These are problems which we, the common men and women, can help and compel the government to overcome.

Can we care enough for our nation and ourselves, to decide not to switch on our televisions when the next IPL comes around? So that we have the time, energy and money to apply our minds and bodies to building a better and stronger India.

Will we learn to care for India rather than the IPL?

Disclaimer: Views expressed above are the author's own.

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Dilip Prabhudesai

An electrical engineer by profession and social activist by compulsion, loves the wild, dabbles in theatre, and is a cine buff.


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