Monday, February 9, 2009

You have been sold!

The second auction of the Indian Premier League cricket league was held last week. With the second edition of the league coming close, this was a time for teams to snap up a few players who were not available for auction the first time round. A record amount was bid for two players from England, Kevin Peterson and Andrew Flintoff, with each going for 1.55 million dollars each. As in any auction, the ‘item’ for auction was ‘sold’ to the highest bidder. The rich and the powerful and company honcho’s sat at their respective tables, sipping their respective drinks and eyeing the wares on show.

I cant help drawing comparisons to the slave trade which refuses to go away from the collective psyche of the rich and powerful. The thought that one can buy anything one wants and use it for whatever one wants, re-surfaces in different forms, well disguised to hoodwink the otherwise reasonably alert public consciousness. Has cricket become a gladiator sport, whereby all that happens in the country is forgotten and heroes rise in shallow heights and take the spectators along with them? Has sport become an extension of the commercial plans of corporations and companies?

The commodification of the public space, whereby stadiums let people with longer and deeper pockets to go in and enjoy while the ordinary ones have to struggle to manage a ‘ticket’, as if it is the pass to heaven, is now replacing the concept of open public spaces and parks. So, everything is sold. The players are sold, the tickets are sold, the spectators are sold, we are sold...

No comments: