Ranjona Banerji: When the BCCI didn’t heed advice of the channels

04 Jun,2013

By Ranjona Banerji


Hell hath no fury like news channels scorned. The fortnight-long campaign carried out against BCCI chief N Srinivasan reached a head on Sunday afternoon, when the BCCI dared to reveal its compromise formula which went against everything news channels had been recommending. The temerity of the Board of Control for Cricket in India to allow Srinivasan to “step aside” and make his buddy Jagmohan Dalmiya the interim president!


Srinivasan, as we all know, should have been frog-marched out by his collar, never to be allowed to darken the doorsteps of Indian cricket again.


And this is why there is very little other news worth discussing in the nation or indeed the world (except for Indian children in the US consistently winning spelling competitions, truly an earth-shattering occurrence when you consider that when in India, children cannot spell at all). A poll on CNN-IBN apparently said that 90 per cent of the people were disillusioned with cricket or words to that effect. Whether that is 90 per cent of entire population of1.2 billion or 90 per cent of the six people who answered an online poll, I don’t know. But even the worst sceptic would concede that the wishes of 90 per cent of a polled people cannot be ignored.


Arnab Goswami of Times Now was the most upset if only because he had been the most vociferous against Srinivasan together with his shrieking pet panellist Boria Majumdar. Headlines Today was determinedly resigned as they shook their heads and reminded us that Dalmiya was no crusading angel. NDTV had Sreenivasan Jain trying to look ponderous and sounding lightweight pompous. Maybe it was the outfit. Rajdeep Sardesai revealed his home decor or one lamp at any rate.


The upshot of all this is that the BCCI meeting was a sham and the cricket-loving public (90 per cent of it anyway) had been fooled. The downturn is for the BJP because it was Arun Jaitley, beloved of all Delhi journalists (though not as much as the late Pramod Mahajan) who apparently proposed Dalmiya’s name. This made the BJP an immediate target, which now includes the fact that Narendra Modi, president of the Gujarat Cricket Association hath not said a word against Srinivasan and has extended to the usual confused statements that senior party leaders make against or for Narendra Modi.


Indian captain MS Dhoni has been another media target because he is also the captain of the Chennai Super Kings and is a vice-president of India Cements, Srinivasan’s company. The cricket scandal overshadowed the self-righteous proclamations of outgoing CAG Vinod Rai who was all over NDTV (and one of Karan Thapar’s programmes on CNN-IBN) explaining the impossibly dull innards of accounting practices to us commoners.


The cricket administration will continue to be a target unless, one guesses, India does well at the ongoing Champion’s Trophy series in the UK.




I absolutely adore The Week That Wasn’t, with its satirical (or farcical) view of the news as well as the take-offs on famous people or common stereotypes by Kunal Vijaykar and the others.


However, it seems of late that the TWTW is unable to take on political satire. Or rather, the jokes reflect a schoolboy’s perspective on politics, with a sort of India Against Corruption type of self-righteousness underlining them. Maybe it’s just me…


Having said that, Cyrus Broacha was just superb as Krishnamachari Srikkanth this week.




Small tip: Vinod Dua as a foodie is an interesting change from whatever’s going on: Zaika India Ka, NDTV.


Ranjona Banerji is a senior journalist and commentator based in Mumbai. She is also Contributing Editor, MxMIndia. She can be reached via Twitter at @ranjona. The views here are her own


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2 responses to “Ranjona Banerji: When the BCCI didn’t heed advice of the channels”

  1. Arvind Kumar says:

    I think it is these news channels which made Srinivasan a hero and gave him so much importance. “The Nation of one Billion people” the famous slogan of ARNOB of Times Now has perhaps more immediate concerns to worry in their neighborhood than oust the BCCI chief. It was clearly a Crusade for TRP’s by the News Channels rather than a ‘larger than life’ problem that was projected .

  2. Gowri Shankar says:

    Very thought provoking look at the self righteous media who seem to believe that the whole of India should dance to their tunes