[MJR] News TV declares IPL root of most evils

21 May,2012

Ranjona Banerji

By Ranjona Banerji


The Indian Premier League has now been declared responsible for all India’s problems. This has been unequivocally stated on our TV news channels, and is thus now the incontrovertible truth. This cricket tournament has destroyed our sense of morality, taken us down a road of sex, drugs, violence and betting, not to mention completely killed cricket. These evils, so far unknown and unseen in Indian society, will soon become widespread.


Look at what the IPL has done:

Item: Made a film star fight with a security guard (violence).

Item: Made a cricketer molest a woman (sex).

Item: Made two players go to a rave party (drugs).

Item: Made five players work out spot-fixing deals with bookies (betting).

Item: Made players restrict matches to 20 overs a side and then made this version popular with – shudder – cheerleaders (killing cricket).


Against all these charges, the IPL does not stand a chance. It has been clear to the protectors of both cricket and Indian society from year one that the IPL was BAD NEWS. The very fact that so many people were interested was proof enough. And then, all those film stars, starlets, dancing girls, rich people, money, parties – my word, what is the world coming to?


Each year, the IPL, our TV channels have found, has gotten bigger and thus by conclusion it has become worse.


Just look, for instance, what it has done to Shah Rukh Khan: Forced him to fight with a security guard and with Mumbai Cricket Association officials. This is unacceptable behaviour and absolutely no way for film stars to behave. It is one thing to run over people, help gangsters bomb the city or beat up your wife (or even wives). For these crimes, if you’re unlucky, you will get a few newspaper editorials and maybe even go to jail but you will just be seen as a lovable rogue. But fighting with a security guard? That is the end of civilisation as we know it.


It is hard to know what to do to save India after this. No doubt, the TV channels will tell us. A beginning has been made by former cricketers Kirti Azad and Bishen Singh Bedi, who have apparently gone on a hunger strike to save India from the IPL. The TV channels do not appear to have given this hunger strike the 24-hour coverage they granted to Anna Hazare’s hunger strike. But they do assiduously cover the cricket part of the IPL in their sports programmes. Come on, now, the whole country watches the IPL!


* * *


Having made it to the TIME magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most important people, West Bengal chief minister is now planning to top the list and every other list which will ever be made. This is the link to her latest dramatic act – storming out of a CNN-IBN audience meeting in Kolkata, leaving even the formidable Sagorika Ghose, TV anchor and event host, at a loss for words. The CM was furious because the students in the audience were “CPM cadre and Maoists”. That is, they asked questions she didn’t like.


The other link is to the reply written by the erring student.










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