IPL commissioner Mr. Lalit Modi, who was instrumental in creating the ’Indian Premier League’ seems to have created a Frankenstein’s monster . The very IPL which brought him name and fame may now cause his downfall. One doesn’t know the truth. Modi is being accused by all and sundry of misdemeanours of all kinds – nepotism in awarding IPL contracts and franchises, intimidation of certain franchises, corruption, siphoning of funds, even betting and new items are being added to the list every day. Everybody seems to have joined the bandwagon of Modi-bashing from cricket officials to politicians. His autocratic ways haven’t helped matters any and his rivals must be milking this opportunity to the maximum.
For the current hoopla, Modi has only himself to blame. He should have followed a simple maxim- People who live in glass houses do not throw stones at others. By taking on Shashi Tharoor, he shot himself in his foot. Shashi Tharoor of course lost his job and Modi seems to be very close to losing his.
If the allegations against Modi are proved, it will only show that ‘Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ But is Modi the only one responsible? If there are loopholes in the system, it is the system which has to be set right. What has the BCCI been doing all this while? Were other members’ hand-in-glove with Modi in the indiscretions he has been accused of, did they just turn the other way, were they blissfully unaware, or worse still are they behind all the mud-slinging to bring the successful Modi down. As Farooq Abdullah, also a member of the board said, the Indian mentality is such that one cannot stomach another person’s success. The BCCI itself has not been above board and has entered into suspicious deals behind closed doors time and again.
What has the Government of India been doing all these years? They know that cricket and now IPL means a lot of money. Shouldn’t such a board be run by the government, with transparency in its operations instead of being treated as an autonomous body? Being autonomous is synonymous with being ‘not accountable’ .With the deluge of funds pouring in, how can the BCCI be exempted from tax payment on the premise that promoting cricket is a charitable activity? Are there patrons within the Government who have provided silent support to the nefarious activities of individuals in the board? Lalit Modi may just be the tip of the iceberg. The time is ripe for reform in the running of the BCCI.
Author: Pratibha Shenoy (Basavanagudi, Bangalore)