N. Srinivasan stepping aside should have been a passing reference in the so-called news channels, instead of being a do or die effort at one-upmanship between some megalomaniacs, says Jaideep Ghosh
It was with a feeling of intense relief that I picked up a newspaper this morning. The lead headline wasn’t about BCCI, fixing, Srinivasan, Shirke, Jagdale, Dalmiya, Jaitley or any of the names, organisations or gangs that has held the nation, or rather, the nation’s media, captive for the past week.
Let’s face it. What exactly is wrong? Three players – two minor hopefuls and one has been – fixed some overs (allegedly) and made money and Srinivasan’s son-in-law was in the thick of things. And? Some bookies bet on the IPL, which never was the paragon of virtue ever. On the contrary, it was always a veritable den of vice. So where’s the surprise.
And where is the case? I am no lawyer, but one of the Penal Code sections being thrown at the cricketers is 420 – cheating. But who did they cheat? No one has complained, as far as I know. There has to be an aggrieved party, but there is none.
So essentially, a dodgy tournament saw some betting and fixing (allegedly). That became the life blood of a few television channels and hogged newsprint, when it should ideally have been a news item, developing story, to be reported, maybe even commented on, and left for that. The country faces enough problems otherwise.
But no. From the beginning, the Delhi Police, and subsequently their Mumbai counterparts, made this a platform to preen about how efficient they are, with both Police Commissioners seen in action, mostly on TV.
Thereafter, the TV barons stepped in with their own brand of justice, trying to dethrone Srinivasan, who declared at the outset he wouldn’t resign.
Oh yeah? You know who we are? We are TV! We can change sarkar, stock market, crime index and even the weather! You think you’ll get away? Watch your least favourite channel then!
So come Sunday, and there was euphoria galore ‘Yeh (Srini, as he is so endearingly called) to gaya”, was the buzzword, as smug smiles were all over the screen. The smiles changed rapidly into frowns and then expressions of consternation as ‘Srini’ didn’t go anywhere. He stuck to his guns and just took what may be best explained as an involuntary vacation – that too on paper.
The great ‘Get Srini’ campaign ended up as a laughing stock, with increasingly shrill screams on the channels reflecting agony more than conviction.
Anyone who has covered sports in India knows that the BCCI won’t be bullied. Many have tried and failed, including the ICC, the Government, the media and even some players. They have tremendous infighting, but when it comes to ‘foreign’ invasions, they close ranks tighter that the Spartan 300.
This little nugget of knowledge seems to be missing from our generic media bosses. It would have saved them much agony and even more embarrassment had they worked on this premise.
But then, where would be the fun in that?