Friday, March 19, 2010

IPL 2010 - Modinomics

We've all heard a lot of things about the IPL and its commissioner, from different commentators who often have their own agendas. He's been accused of vanity, greed and excess. His tussle with the TV channels has become as much of an annual pre-IPL feature as the party he throws to kick things off. His ongoing mission to put an advertising label on everything Cricket makes the IPL commentary sound like the aural equivalent of an F1 player's coveralls - In the DLF IPL there are many DLF maximums interspersed with Citi moments of success and now Karbonn Kamaal catches. This gives offense to many followers of the game, if you are to believe the Internet. Personally I do not mind this stuff. A catch is still a catch and a six is still a six, and as long as the games are played hard, I couldn't care less.

The only problem I have with Mr Modi is this - he's a cheap opportunist. Here's why. Last year, in South Africa, Modi needed to build quick goodwill for his travelling circus. He bought it with a weird scheme of handing out 6 scholarships per match to kids picked out at random from the crowd. This year, he's back in India, on home territory, and obviously feels no need to buy any goodwill, so the scholarship program has been quietly shelved away. What was the harm in continuing it this year too? Are Indian kids too rich for Modi's selective generosity? They do not need scholarships? Or is it that poor Indian kids cannot afford the IPL tickets and are staying out of the grounds unlike last year when Mr Modi was handing out free admissions to everybody to fill the seats for the TV cameras. He can well afford to pay out the money, and the kids will not complain, but since he doesn't have to, he won't. Not a Citi moment of success.

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