The recent controversy involving Lalit Modi, BCCI, politicians, and IPL team management brings to light the enormous amount of money involved in this mega event – ‘IPLgate’! This is the third edition of IPL and the two editions before this was watched by fans with mute adulation for players. The entire nation enjoyed the dramatic turnaround of events that happened around this ‘spectacle’. From the monetary aspect, the proportion of money involved in this ‘event’ included aspects such as bidding for the team, media rights, advertising spends, revenue for players, and others alike.
Against the above background, the recent developments make me wonder that processes like bidding, etc for IPL were known to the world so why was there a silent acceptance of the events without any probe or questioning two years back itself! Bidding for teams ran into crores of rupees which itself should have brought the I-T sleuths and other investigating agencies into action as there was a gargantuan sum of money flowing into this system. This in itself should have been caught the attention of the investigating agencies as the source of such investments. (which could have been black money). The vast amount of money and profit made IPL a cynosure for politicians, businessmen, and others who could have tried to grab a share of the pie through different machinations.
But two years went past without any fingers being raised or any doubts sound a little strange, isn’t it? Toasts raised and celebrations everywhere gave an impression of ‘All is well’. But ‘all that glitter is not gold’ and the murky undergrowth of IPL came to light from a few messages by Lalit Modi in Twitter that opened a can of worms!
Parties in the thick of the action:
Lalit Modi – The IPL Commissioner and ‘one-man show’ stirred a hornet’s nest from his messages at Twitter directed at Shashi Tharoor. The outcome – Tharoor had to resign from his cabinet post and a storm was unleashed.
BCCI and Sharad Pawar – BCCI, the governing body has a whole lot of members who want Modi’s head and are calling for a meeting to have him removed. Sharad Pawar, the former president of BCCI and Modi’s mentor in a way, finds himself sandwiched between two warring parties. Also in the equation is his Nationalist Congress Party which has an alliance with the present Congress led Government.
The concentration of power, a nucleus of decision making, and lack of transparency in the functioning is where IPL could have got it wrong! Absence of checks in monetary aspects and avoid in terms of answer-ability on aspects pertaining to functioning resulted in the fiasco and has landed IPL at a crossroads.
The way forward is to bring accountability, cleanse the system, account for the wrongdoing, and hold every single person responsible irrespective of his position, power, or stature. But in a country like India where back stage developments play a major role, such expectations might be unrealistic, to say the least!
If you feel there is something that could be done more, write your opinion on this controversy!