Playground


The economics and politics as applicable for the rich and famous are widely divergent from the otherwise normal economics and politics for a nation/its people.

Nepotism and favouritism come into play when the rich and famous wish to do something.

All this is evident in the recent sordid saga of IPL (India Premier League), which has become one of the largest sports franchises in the world in less than 3 years. But as is always the case in India, sports is not dominated by sports personalities, but by powerful politicians, vested interests, movie actors, and industrialists/businessmen. There is always a mess in such an environment, and too many cooks spoil the broth as well.

All possible rule violations are being cited in the media when it comes to awarding of sports franchises to various teams, all the marketing gimmicks are being analyzed to death by the Income Tax Department, everyone associated with IPL is getting investigated, and every morning newspaper brings forth some new minor scandal in the IPL saga.

It is really a pity how cricket is getting embroiled in such a scandal, which would eventually spoil the name of cricket, though there is enormous fascination for the sport all around the country. IPL is a pride for the entire country, establishing a brand new sports operation which is now being globally envied. It was indeed a shame that a leading minister got involved in one of the contracts for a new team franchise, and that led to his quick eviction from the Central Cabinet of Ministers. He was a success story in his own right, and it was a real pity to see him go. He might come back, but would be weakened as the question on ethics still hangs like a Damocles’ Sword on his head. His name is yet to be cleared.

On the other hand, we see the leader of IPL getting guillotined by the powerful Board of Control for Cricket in India, which has been run by politicians and/or businessmen so far. Till money was being made in tons, everyone was happy, but now that the government is investigating, all and sundry want to abandon IPL, or find a new leader for IPL, washing off all their past sins.

At the end of all this, cricket will still survive, but schools will soon introduce “Ethics 101” and “Integrity for the Rich 102”, etc., because it is quite apparent that people who make it tend to violate ethics rules, and bask in the glory of it all, simply due to their “Marketing 101” being successful in an outlandish manner. We cannot let go of all this under the guise “well, all this is private enterprise”.

If an entry ticket to a match can cost USD 100 or more, and if access to all matches and parties costs USD 50,000 then it is very clear – the haves will have all that can be had. No rules are sacrosanct for them. Even the law enforcement agencies will bend backwards to accommodate the rich and famous. One rule for them, the rest have all the other right rules to be followed diligently.

And, they fly to Phuket on a chartered plan which costs approximately USD 70,000 for the round trip ! Well, all that money needs to be spent, correct ?

Further, scheduled flights and passengers are getting shortchanged to accommodate the cricket stars and cricket officials – this is the ultimate penalty for being cricket fans. You miss your flight, or going to get delayed because your flight went missing !

Welcome to the playground for the Rich and Famous ! Indian Sports !!

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan
24th April 2010
Mumbai

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