Saturday, May 01, 2010

IPL - Do you care about the mess? Really?

Sitting here in UK, watching IPL was one way to keep me connected with my brat-set back home...

Chennai Super Kings was my team and I supported them through thick and thin - I hated Raina for sacrificing his wicket cheaply and melted into a puddle of love when Dhoni ensured that the CSK made it to the semifinals...That was my level of involvement...Now would I call myself a naive cricket lover? 

No...that would be grossly wrong...I'm that Indian who can smell the muck in the system thanks to being in the media bandwagon that routinely goes around digging muck out of here and there...the dirt that is dug sometimes from the ground or from the lardy deposits around some slimey businessman and very often from the pristine looking 'Surf ki Safedi' designer kurtas of our Colgate white politicians...

So I know there is muck...and truckloads of it around cricket...And IPL never did appear clean ever, did it? Not with Lalit Modi heading it...So I couldn't understand the sudden furore that erupted with the Media acting like holier than thou in castigating Modi when it came to an all-out political tussle...I know personally of atleast three top honchos of three different English news channels in India, who were used to receiving 'Lalit's' calls during Edit meetings and nuggets of juicy IPL tidbits would then be floated around that would by the evening be telecast to the gullible gossip loving news junkies as breaking news...

IPL to me was as much a media baby as Modi's...We created it,created the romance around it, played replayed and then looped the bites of SRK and Zinta and Shilpa Shetty continuously to enhance the glamour around it...Taught the public to chant Korbo, Lorbo, Jeetbo re and Chennai Chennai Super Kings...And then, suddenly as soon as the Twat Modi Tweeted, we Tittered...

Lalit Modi's calls became an uncomfortable reminder to these media bosses that they had been had by him for three seasons..They kept playing into his hands because it suited their TRPs...there was drama, masala and plain old sport to make a heady combination...And then when the politics of Sports took over news channels, everyone, including the three biggies turned into screaming banshees, claiming to have the BREAKING NEWS FIRST...

And every bit of news coming out of the shady deals were being treated with high rhetoric like "tell us gentlemen, the country needs to know"....My simple question is " Didn't the country know till then? Were you in any doubt about who owned these franchisees? Was it any surprise that there are atleast 4 companies registered in Cayman Islands and other tax havens that are the main investors in them?" Or more importantly when there were billion dollar auctions, why didnt the ED and IT department launch detailed enquiries into sources and funding...When clean chits were given then on non-existant documents, why act outraged and earnest now???

Does all the muck raked up mean the end of IPL? I sure hope not...Like I kept telling all my fellow journalists...I don't think the shadows of match-fixing and who makes the money out of IPL wracks my conscience-less soul any more...

I'm no connoisseur...I love Test Cricket and One days too...I watch them religiously too...But IPL for me is love for the lusty thwacks from Sachin's bat...I love the way Dhoni the captain can outplay his rival...I love Sourav Ganguly's often misplaced passion...And I like counting the yards in Pathan's well placed sixes...IPL will be that for me...Modi or Amin or Pawar - they can all be damned...

And if anyone says, the dirt emerging from IPL was a surprise...I'd say hypocrite...You can't be that naive...just as we want the IPL investigations to be placed before the country, I want another motion for media dishonesty to be examined too...Do we have a watchdog of society we can trust? Are they non-partisan? Are they giving us the right picture or the picture they want us to believe in? 

Why this hypocrisy? My question is posed as a disillusioned broadcast journalist who has her hands as bloodied as those still churning out these stories...Yes, I was part of this merry brigade too...Scoffing of those pontificating from the sidelines...

But this post is catharsis for me...


  1. It is ridiculous to think that in a country where millions die of hunger and poverty alone, such huge amounts of money can exchange hands without anyone noticing. and really, Modi is just being targetted now because the Congress wants a saving grace after the Tharoor fiasco. I agree with you completely. I am full of idealistic zeals suitable for a wannabe journalist. yet I am disgusted at the plight of the media every passing day! kudos to you for being brave enough to point fingers at your own system!

  2. Interesting to read the view from an insider (sort of).

    You know though I had no access to any information before all the muck came out, it did seem quite obvious even to me. Not the scale obviously, my head reels thinking of any figure with more than 6 digits!

  3. Lucy Fur: This is a debate I have been having with myself...Every tweet that I make from here, my friends go you have become an armchair critic of the Indian media too..But it takes you to put a distance between what you did - loved to do and what you see as an objective viewer...I think only when the audience shoves poor news selection back at the channels will there be a change in what's dished out...

  4. Arundhati: The hypocrisy of this entire excersises is what is getting to me...I mean they are all crooks, we lament about the taxpayers money making their pockets fatter..but look at all the scams, its the same story - just because it is in cricket, it feels like a punch in the gut...i think we need to ensure politicians involvement in sports is totally banned..and that won't happen - for no one wants to sacrifice this cash cow...

  5. and in the growing cacophony of the dollar jingles all news about the dantewada massacre had been brushed under the carpet! modi and tharoor gave the media something else to be angry about...
    the timing was superb! breaking news has become hilarious on tv these days.. on timesnow the breaking news was 'tharoor goes in his private car'! is that the level of seriousness?!

  6. The shit has yet to hit the fan!
    People behind all this will be exposed only when the powerful politicians allow it...lets wait and see what lies lie behind this lie!

  7. I found the IPL slugfest far more entertaining than the actual matches(not a cricket fan).

    But the way the Lalit Modi witch hunt was executed is a sad testimonial to our times

  8. Everyone wants a pie in the cash cow that is the IPL. It has and will make truckloads of money so the question begets - can politicians and businessmen really stay away from the IPL? Highly doubtful. IPL is as easy as it came when minting money right under our noses and honestly, everyone knew there was something not right about these million dollar deals. But everyone looked away cause they were making money, so why spoil the party?
    It is all about money really. The IPL isn't about discovering new talent (as the off-field theatrics have proved)but it is a money-minting machine for those already loaded with cash!

  9. It is all business. Don't try lofty romantic ideals like sportsmanship or love of the game etc., I say legalize sports betting; let the government take a cut on the bets placed and the winnings. You didn't think there was no betting going on, did you?

    BTW, I had never been to a live sporting event before. My sons forced me to get tickets for the IPL Chennai v. Rajasthan Royals and we enjoyed it.

    There.. thats the bottomline. This is an entertainment event and thats it. Don't expect anything more.

  10. Everything is an open secret here

  11. magiceye: Hmmm...never thought about how dantewada got totally eclipsed by cricket, craziness and modi's coke and roll...

    Nalini: I doubt if it will ever come out as to who got the biggest cut out of IPL...for in the first year BCCI had to underwrite a lot of losses which they apparently redeemed through telecast/internet/and other sponsorship rights...Why when it is public knowledge was this never checked?

  12. Purba: I get your point completely...In fact, I follow all the investigative journalism that's ensued and my big question there too is why didn't our little media snoops look deeper into all this or where the media houses also not in the mood to upset something going good for them too?

  13. talkreviews: Valid point, i feel, getting modi the marwari to pick up the loopholes in the Indian system and exploit it to launder black money hoarded by politicians and industrialists is the bigger game point is...isn't that the whole game of turning politician in India? finding loopholes in legislation to exploit their own personal gains and then make friends among similar-gain seeking people??

  14. Giri: I try to be a cricket fan and just soak in the glory of the game...I don't look whether the game was fixed as long as the result is not a 'souffle gone wrong' like the DC - RCB match for the third place was...only then do I as a viewer feel cheated..If the match is good, I shall look the other way...otherwise I'll need a stink guard...

    Ana_treek: Well said...Everything is an open secret, i think we Indians should get copyright on that so true Oxymoron...:)

  15. “Whoever makes two ears of corn, or two blades of grass to grow where only one grew before, deserves better of mankind, and does more essential service to his country than the whole race of politicians put together” -- Jonathan Swift

    You got to give it to Modi for the sheer creativity!

    The franchises are equally answerable for the mess that we find the IPL to be in. It is not cricket, literally and figuratively.

    The media is clueless... They play right into the hands of whoever wants to use them. If this wasn't the case, the lid on the IPL scam would have been blown off long ago.

  16. by the way ,Can I tempt you into making a submission for a baby e magazine? You will find all details here.

    The magazine is a celebration of art as a healing power. It dedicated to all those who have survived trauma of some kind.We would love to have a submission from you for our very first edition!

  17. brilliant. I am amazed at your impartiality and guts to point fingers at your own ilk. Its time we give these so called watch dogs a dose of some bitter medicine. With IPL, u rightly said, it was the media that created all the hype and aura around it and while they did it, don't tell me they were too blinded by all the glitz, glamour and trps to realise that not all is unblemished.

  18. KG: Coffee Conversations before edit meetings began were often about who were the benami men who Modi used to buy up the clubs. Indian Express had done a couple of pieces on how the refusal of Tharoor's ministry to deny a model a visa on Modi's behest was what led to the twit Modi's tweet...Can you imagine the mega-swindle like IPL too was brought to its knees by dicks and egos..:) pardon the language..

  19. ipl sucks but lalit modi rockss