Hindu Vivek Kendra
«« Back
Terror wins, Govt. loses

Terror wins, Govt. loses

Author: Editorial
Publication: Free Press Journal
Date: March 24, 2009

The Indian Premier League was a grudge match between the UPA Government and the Board for Control of Cricket in India. The UPA Government lost. The sporting spirit was allowed to be marred by big egos, especially that of Home Minister P Chidambaram. And the number one victim was the Indian fan of the only mass sport the country has known in recent decades. Also, India's image took a severe knocking due to the cussedness of Chidambaram and Co. In all probability, if the NCP boss, Sharad Pawar, was not so closely associated with the BCCI, the IPL would still have been on --- in India on the Indian soil. Pawar had riled the Congress bosses with his public expression of intent to try and reach out for the highest executive office in the country, a post the Gandhi family had long ago persuaded itself belongs exclusively to it or, at second best, to its hand-picked factotum. Now, with that single statement, Pawar forfeited the right to cooperation of the central government, a government of which he was a senior member. Otherwise, a via media was almost ready to redraw the IPL schedule in such a manner that no match was held on days of polling in a particular centre. This was a sensible way out of the difficult security situation. Admittedly, it is not as if the entire security force is detailed in full strength to march through the country during the poll process. Nor is it that tens of thousands of policemen and members of the paramilitary forces are out in full strength on parade/ drill duty. In the normal course, security personnel are posted in a few sensitive spots in each town and village during election rallies, public meetings and, of course, on the day of the polling.

The short point is that even during the poll, a large number of police and paramilitary forces can be spared for non-poll duties. That is a fact. But the poll became an excuse for the Home Minister to try and impose his own writ on what is easily the most popular tournament in the country. That the second edition of the IPL was to be held when the country would be well into the poll process was always known. But the killjoys who probably did not like the idea of Pawar and Co. drawing vicarious publicity from the televised extravaganza seized on the terror attack in Lahore on the Sri Lankan cricketers. Fear as an argument offers no easy solution. And fear is what Chidambaram employed to kill the IPL. But he did not have the last laugh. Was not allowed to by the controllers of cricket who insisted on taking their biggest spectacle to foreign shores. Now, Chidambaram had egg on his face. But the man is so arrogant, so convinced of his superior wisdom, that it would be a surprise if he noticed that overnight he had lost the goodwill of the entire nation.

For, there is little to justify the eviction of IPL -II from its home. To play the popular tournament in a third country is a global advertisement of India's precarious domestic security situation. At a time when the Tourism Ministry is spending crores of rupees on the Incredible India campaign in order to attract foreign tourists, it is most ironical that the Home Ministry with one fell stroke should kill that expensive advertising blitz by testifying its inability to stage a popular domestic cricket competition. Proud nations know better than to succumb before terrorist threats, real or imaginary.

Of course, even without the poll clashing with the IPL itinerary, there can be no guarantee of one hundred percent security. It is in the very nature of the `jehadi' beast, that it can take any and all countries by surprise. But to allow the fear of terror to disrupt the normal flow of life was to surrender before it. Surely, the jehadis must be jumping with joy for having won a PR trophy without actually pulling the trigger on their AK -47s.

Back                          Top

«« Back
  Search Articles
  Special Annoucements