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What keeps Sreenivasan ticking?

What keeps Srinivasan ticking? By Prem Chandran What gives men like BCCI Srinivasan the courage to put on a show, .....




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What keeps Srinivasan ticking?

By Prem Chandran

What gives men like BCCI Srinivasan the courage to put on a show, tout arguments and hang onto their seats, even as they have come to be regarded, rightly or wrongly, as cankers in a system? What other than the culture of irresponsibility and expediency, the rubbishing of the systems, that the political class of this country has made a habit out of in their daily dealings, and the resulting filth that is spreading far and wide in the past two decades – and this, with generous help from a pliant media and a legal system that takes its sweet time to make up its mind either way?

Srinivasan has his justifications; we need to hear him, and he has the right to defend himself and the BCCI. He is no ordinary individual either, and presides over a massive business empire as well. Yet, it might look as if he is taking shelter under specious arguments, for himself and for his kin, like ‘one is innocent until proven guilty’ – an argument behind which so many men have been hiding for long, if only to get away with their acts of omissions and commissions in due course by exploring, exploiting rather, the loopholes in the law by pumping in money and by resort to other shady means. We have seen it all, and will continue to see it for ages to come.

We have a law minister who has the gumption to say there as yet are no laws under which the men now accused of grave mapractices, including betting and indirect links with terrorists abroad, can be tried. The scandals relating to betting, or spot fixing, in relation to the popular game of cricket, first surfaced many years ago, and that has been causing heartburn to the millions of cricket fans both within the country and abroad for long. For, the realization dawns on us again and again that we, the cricket fans, have been taken for a sweet ride.

And, now, at the height of it, we have our law minister saying there is no law yet to bring such men to book, even as cricket has come to occupy the position of the number one game in this country. “We will make laws,” says Kapil Sibal, in what is one of the standard responses from the government side when things go wrong. When the infamous gang rape happened in Delhi, when youths marched onto the streets giving sleepless nights to the power centres in the capital, the promise was yet again, “We will bring laws.” That should satisfy the crowd.

Is this nation lacking in laws? Rather, aren’t we having a surfeit of laws, so much so, the judiciary is so burdened with it, and some of the learned judges have started telling the legislature to have some sense first and laws next. We are producing laws as if legislatures are factories; and many of the laws are passed without meaningful discussions too, uproar or no roar. So much so, an individual citizen cannot turn right or left today without the scare of having offended the law of the land, and the police taking a pie or two out of everyone’s purse. So much so, even looking at a woman, interpreted as a stare, is a crime under the new law. Who cares, as long as it helps a party to claim it is on the right side of women – a new segment that is sought to be turned into another vote bank!

The fact is also the legal systems have just about ground to a halt for all practical purposes, if one goes by the statement by none other than prime minister Manmohan Singh the other day that no less than two crore cases were pending before the courts in this country. So, how long would it take to clear the backlog, and what kind of justice can an ordinary citizen expect from this country’s legal systems? Cases keep dragging for long years – the Rajiv Gandhi assassins are still living supposedly under the cover of this country’s legal system. So, what to say of the ordinary mortals who seek justice here?

Kapil Sibal has all the time under the sun to intervene and do firefighting as and when the leadership of his party or government lands in one mess or the other. But, neither he, nor his predecessors, had the time to set things right in their own ministry. Who suffers? Who, other than we, the people, who carry the burden and baggage of these men and women who claim to govern us and this nation in most imperious ways?

One keeps hearing a lot of things about Srinivasan, and now the chatter has only increased. It is neither safe nor appropriate to put in writing all what one hears. Yet, there are strong signals to suspect Srinivasan might not be above board, even granted that it was his son-in-law, not he himself, who is now in the police net over the shady cricket deals. The inescapable question is, does this son-in-law have a life independent of Srinivasan, when it come to the affairs of Indian cricket, or BCCI? What brought him to the key seats from where he could allegedly manipulate the game or trick so many people?

In fact, so many stories are flying around. And, we have it on record from Srinivasan’s own son, tales as to how Srinivasan chose to have refueling stops in Dubai, off and on; and even on how the father has treated his own son, iron lathis from the Mumbai police et al, all of which might or might not be true. But, there are those who spilled the beans… and they are the ones who know Srinivasan from close quarters; and none of which is going to the credit neither of cricket nor of the BCCI. Therein lies the rub. Srinivasan, in ultimate analysis, might be white as white can be. But, the thing is, if those at the helm of institutions like BCCI are under a cloud, it hurts all. And, our argument is that BCCI would not have come to this pass but for the hobnobbing from some politicians. Why name them? We all know them.

Srinivasan, the good man that he might be, can keep quoting rules, and he can keep saying he keeps enjoying majority support at BCCI, and that the media or the other supposedly ‘useless’ people around him can keep barking. He might still sit pretty for long as well, given the eminent political and other connections that he has.

This here is the age of moral turpitude; not of moral strengths. This here is the age in which scruples can be easily thrown to the winds, and one can still remain afloat, and even fly high too. When those at the helm of affairs of this nation are themselves under a cloud, who could bell the cat? Who could call the shots and set things right? That’s the tragedy of our times. Or else, after all this, the BCCI top brass --irrespective of whether they are right or wrong in a technical sense -- would not be sitting there quoting the rules….--premcee@gmail.com

Last edited by Premchandran; 05-30-2013 at 06:22 PM
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