The history of every country is measured by what it has attained as a people in terms of something. This something is different in varying situations. India is no different from others. We have non-violence and ahimsa as a measuring stick to observe what we have attained. Then we have violence and protest to attain equal grounds to play in a level playing field. A third form is the middle path which uses both of the above. Now India is experiencing the fourth wave. This is crude greed for wealth and power through any and all means. This fourth wave is the IPL (Indian Premier League). While we lowly ones sit on the edge of our seats watching minnows beating the giants and excitement in every ball and second, matches are fixed and money is exchanged under the table.
The IPL has claimed its first major casualty in the form of Shashi Tharoor, the by now former minister of state of the Ministry of External Affairs in India. It is reported that the former minister’s alleged friend Ms. Sunanda Pushkar was helped by him to get an equity worth 70 crore rupees in the newly formed Kochi IPL team. Tharoor has maintained all along that he has not done anything wrong and that Ms. Pushkar is a professional who has been given a stake as part of the services she will offer to the Kochi IPL team over a period of ten years.
The media went all out to get pictures and stories of the couple. Ms. Pushkar came out with a statement that the media did not have the right to harass her like this and the stake (sweat money) that she was offered was taking into account the services she had to offer as a professional. But who cared? Sunanda has been placed by the media in the middle of Lalit Modi and Shashi Tharoor, as if to suggest that the two are fighting over her. One almost got the idea of Ms. Sunanda being portrayed by the media as a pin up cheer leader who was cheering for a high profile minister who was trying his best to get an IPL team for his home state Kerala. Sunanda has been treated with disrespect in a fight between two men who think the IPL is the bench mark in India.
Shashi Tharoor need not bring in the Kerala factor and the importance of what he was trying to do by bringing such a team to Kerala. In his first interview after winning the Trivandrum Lok Sabha seat he said that his priority was to his voters and not being a minister in the government. The people of Kerala do not benefit by getting an IPL team. Their needs are rather cheap drinking water, electricity, jobs and roads, just to name a few. By thinking that the IPL is more important he has betrayed the trust of the people in him. All is not lost yet though as he can use his resignation as a time to get back to what matters. Twiterring is good but only when it is matched with work at the grass roots!
The Indian Premier League is a blow below the belt to the Indian Poverty League. What does it benefit the ordinary people of India when companies can invest in a sport and make money out of it? Why should our children pay exorbitant amounts of money to sit on a seat and watch a game when they should have free public parks and grounds to run without reservations and break free? Why should I support Chennai and curse Bangalore and Calcutta when I love all three? Will cheer girls, music and booze eradicate poverty in my country? I feel sorry for Sunanda because she has got a hard deal from the media. I feel sorry for Shashi because he has got carried away with he, him and himself. I feel sorry for Lalit because he has stamped on himself by stamping on the poor of this country.