Friday, March 6, 2009

The Neighbourhood just got Scarier

When PC suggested that it would be prudent to delay the IPL tournament as providing security cover for both the general elections and the tournament would not only stretch the security forces, but also elevate the possibility of a probable terror attack, the IPL chief Lalit Modi wasn’t too keen on changing the dates as this would lead to big losses for the BCCI and the sponsors. The IPL tournament since its inception has always been mired in controversies, there has been attacks on the format of the game, the method of acquisition of the players, the cheerleaders and the over commercialization of the sport- If that is indeed possible in cricket. Now all arguments for and against these very many issues stands open to debate and discussions-It is cricket and this is a democratic country. I agree with people who are for it, and I also understand the ones who are against it (though it is so much less tedious to watch a 20 over match and Shah Rukh dancing, and not getting paid for once and instead paying, wouldn’t you say!).
However to weigh security and lives of people against money is something I cannot bear to either understand or witness. India is a mob (As Rome was), the basic sensibilities lack in crores, and they will throng in lakhs to the various IPL matches. One would expect the educated, the informed and the ones in power to be more responsible and honest (pun intended). Lalit Modi and the BCCI refuse to postpone the tournament, they suggests holding the matches on non polling days and hire private security; the government response to it is Luke warm. Where it should be sternly barring the IPL tournament, it is only seeking non disclaimer certificates from the organizers, so that in case there is an attack, it can safely wash its hands off any responsibility (see TOI, 6th March).
I realize that rescheduling will be tough, with a crammed ICC calendar, sold broadcasting rights and many other encumbrances it will be no mean feat, but I know all this is negligible when compared to a cost of life. We can argue, that just because hotels are attacked, people cannot stop going to hotels, just because trains and certain cities are bombed, one cannot stop travelling or visiting these places, however we fail to understand, that an IPL tournament is not a way of life. It is entertainment. Postponing few matches isn’t succumbing to terrorist might or giving in to fear, it is about respecting life, fear and the consequences to be suffered. In more practical terms, it is about understanding feasibility and limitations of the already stretched, bullied and harrowed security forces, the easy exposure to terror tournaments of such significance would have and would you really trust Private security in an event of such magnitude?? Lets us not make it even easier than it already is for the terrorists.
Our neighborhood is indeed scary, where private interest and self of the government and IPL takes precedence over a human life. The government will get the non-disclaimer letters, IPL will go on, TERROR…it seems to be lurking in every nook and corner. And as for you and me if anything happens, rest assured we’ll move on….
CHUCK de India...

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