IPL? Let's get real - Hindustan Times

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by mehwish92, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. mehwish92

    mehwish92 Founding Member

    Feb 24, 2009
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    So, Shashi Tharoor has gone. Lalit Modi may follow. Or not.

    Cricket’s great jamboree may be cleaned up. Or not.

    Does it matter so much?

    The Indian Premier League (IPL) brouhaha could not have come at a worse time. India was, finally, if reluctantly, starting to focus on long-festering-but-urgent issues that prevent this country from being a just, equitable democracy.
    As Tharoor and Modi self-destructed, the circus around them diverted all attention from the perfect storm gathering over India. The tempest is a mélange of enduring destitution, growing violence and environmental disaster. The ominous acceleration in these issues, interlinked more than ever, requires urgent national discussions, broad consensus and a grand vision.
    If you were not following the poverty debate unfolding between the top echelons of government and a small band of powerful civil-society activists last week, you might wonder how India agreed, almost overnight, to add 100 million to the 300 million people who live below the official poverty line (the ability of a person to spend Rs 17 per day in urban areas and Rs 12 in rural areas).
    With pressure growing from UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to recognise hunger and poverty as national issues, the government and its Planning Commission — the body that sets the poverty line — set about reviewing the absurd figure of less than 300 million poor Indians, eligible for benefits from a slew of social-security programmes, which, theoretically, run from cradle to grave.
    The new figure of 400 million poor may sound like a lot in a country of 1.1 billion, but every expert will tell you this is a gross underestimation. If you were to raise the poverty line to $2 a day — or Rs 90, inadequate for a coffee at a five-star hotel — the number of poor would cross 800 million.
    That’s how poor India really is.
    These figures are contentious because they determine what the government will spend on social-security programmes.
    So, there’s a split in the Planning Commission.
    Those opposed to increasing the number of poor say the money needed for them will ruin the government’s effort to rein in India’s already huge fiscal deficit, which soared by 24 per cent to Rs 414,000 crore in 2009-10. (Largely because of the Rs 248,000 crore fiscal stimulus). Their argument: the poor will benefit eventually when the benefits of progress trickle down.
    Those in favour of recognising more poor people say India’s hunger and poverty are a national shame, and it is imperative to spend more money on social-security programmes, including food subsidies. Their argument: if you give sops to industry and other pressure groups why can’t you do the same for the millions who can influence nothing? Consider what the IPL gets: entertainment-tax concessions (in Maharashtra); public security forces at a discount; and its income-tax dues haven’t even been assessed in three years.
    With Supreme Court commissioners Harsh Mander and N.C. Saxena — both former bureaucrats in the action-now camp advising the highest court on hunger issues — tipped to be on Gandhi’s newly-revived National Advisory Council, the government is, for once, listening.
    That’s how Kavita Srivastava of the dogged Right-to-Food campaign got a call from the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday asking what she opposed about the new poverty line. In another age, people like Srivastava would be ignored and reviled, much like Medha Patkar, the big-dam objector, once was.
    As this newspaper’s ‘Tracking Hunger’ campaign shows, deprivation is endemic, exacerbated by a looming collapse of India’s social-security network. Since March 24, when the series began, my colleagues found: children eating mud to quell hunger in Jawaharlal Nehru’s old constituency in Uttar Pradesh, mass migrations and slow-malnutrition deaths of men and women in their 30s and 40s in Bolangir, Orissa, children eating wild berries and red ants in Jharkhand’s East Singhbhum district, children with distended bellies caused by disease and malnutrition lanced through their stomachs with red-hot rods — a tribal superstition meant to make them well. You can read these horror stories and the complex issues facing India at www.hindustantimes.com/trackinghunger.
    Linked to this widening collapse of governance is the inexorable rise of the Maoists, who will again exploit our short attention span as they spur the rebellion with greater confidence and cunning.
    On Tuesday, emboldened by the slaughter of 76 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) soldiers in an April 6 ambush in central India, the rebels launched heavy frontal attacks on CRPF camps in Chhattisgarh. In Bengal, the Maoists have successfully taken over the administration of a State school, ensuring it does not fall into decay.
    The government considered drones and new approaches to confronting the Maoists only after the April 6 ambush. If the IPL or the next empty scandal grabs our eyeballs, the public pressure needed to keep India focussed will rapidly evaporate.
    Hunger and Maoist violence are not unique to — but are largely centred on — India’s tribal lands, once home to the nation’s densest forests, systematically exploited by local governments, officials and private interests.
    With the State in retreat, it’s no surprise that the national animal is fading from sight. The tiger’s decimation — 1,000 or less may be left — is so acute that the prime minister this week appealed to states for an extraordinary effort to save the predator that serves as a barometer for not just the health of the nation’s natural wealth but also of grassroots governance.
    When was the last time you discussed how saving the tiger can save India?
    Let’s talk — when we tear ourselves away from the IPL.

    Rage likes this.
  3. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

    May 4, 2009
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    New Delhi
    Let us face it the article is pointing out the facts that are staring at our face, but you cannot blame IPL for this. This Govt. has been meandering for a long time, directionless and purposeless.

    A Govt. which believes in setting up Committees to avoid talking a decision, needs only to look at excuses and their pet newspaper to try and bail them out.
    Who said that running the country was an easy thing. PM singh is sitting on a hot seat and he fought for the right to sit on it. If his own team members are stoking the fire below his seat then it is his problem and his bosses problem. Madam Gandhi believes that announcing Grandiose plans is enough and will solve the problems facing the nation. Where is the money going to come from, what are the steps taken to stop the pilferage in the system. Where are the pilot projects meant to streamline the plans. This is all posturing at the highest levels of our Polity and all at the expense of the Tax Payers money.

    Nobody can deny the fact that our fellow citizens are dying of hunger, but there are enough Govt. schemes which can tackle the issues if they are monitored and implemented properly. It is easy to play the role of the benevolent Fairy Godmother especially when there is no accountability at your end.
  4. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

    Feb 19, 2009
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    Land of the GODS - "Dev Bhomi".
    At least one daily in the past one week has talked sense other than the crap ipl/throorgate, each time one checks out the news its all about ipl, and its got so bouring.

    Facts as they stare at our face is a massive 700-800million of our populace struggling to make ends meet each day, who have hardly any access to basic needs that we in cities/towns take for granted, and the government is keen on some how cutting down this number by half just to make sure their exchequer is not burdened, how ironic, in the land of mahatma a man who fought against such injustice, his own political party has no place for those marginalized sections but when this neglect embroils into a monster like Maoism we start thinking of reacting, would it not be better we rooted out the ills before hand, and even when a monster like Maoism stares and dares the government, it is found wondering how to tackle these terrorists, they are not even reactive, let alone being proactive.

    As far as ipl is concerned I really have not understood the big fuss about it just the way I could not understand the need to make an example out of ramlinga raju. Hell almost all big businesses in India have some sort of an irregularity in tax evasion, fudged account statements, with suspected slush funds forming a part of investments, hell our stock market is full of such funds and the government does not do any thing. Some suggesting our black economy is as huge as our present estimated gdp of 1.4-1.5t usd, possibly more. If the government is so honest as it claims then why does it not take on the whole system which being eaten up by a termite called corruption, but then who will dig his own grave.

    I was listening to harish salve and he said what the government has initiated is the biggest cover up operation. The question is, will they prosecute sharad pawar and his family, praful patel, arun jethli, sunil gavaskar, ravi shastri, supposedly sachin tendulkar, shilpa shetty, shahrukh khan and many more and if they were to get into the match fixing part then well do they have the stomach to take on mukesh ambani, vijay mallya, the entire Indian cricket team and it seems the list is endless, and the fact of the matter is the answer comes out as NO, so why the drama?

    All this drama being played out reminds me of the hawala scam which was supposed to have swallowed some really big names of our polity back then when it was exposed on the eve of national elections by the then congress government in either 95 or 96, but today no one even talks about it.
    hit&run likes this.
  5. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

    May 29, 2009
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    IPL is a success story of cricket in India and has challenged the price tag of many main stream European union football teams. We had always said before that Cricket is a religion and Sachin is God but have never seen practically to that exaggeration. IPL has proved us that we were not missing any thing quoting the same.

    What negative i can suggest about IPL is not about people of India struggling to meet ends, cricket and players but many basic flaws the way Indian corporate world work. Basic means ethics, long term investment for the promotion and development of the product (cricket), transparency, efforts increase credibility of brand not mere popularity etc. If Indians are not going to digest this influx of revenues, popularity and mammoth world attention then our adversaries are certainly going to claim that our greed, sort sightedness and poor state of corporate governance is typical as usual.

    I would like to give little space here about our politicians; Form both side of politics to three yadavs (lungi chaap) and apolitical bal thakrey everyone has shown their typical mentality that they are not going to let any one enjoy the riches of this mega event alone. If one Indian crab will try to jump over the wall the other will pull him down for sure. This time opposition was specially performing outstandingly in Parliament opposing congress but was benign most the time while debating post 24/11 national security, ADB refusal for AP loan, Chinese incursions, stapled visas etc. This time it was about share of money congress consuming under the carpet but not opposition so parliament was disrupted in detail like never before recently.

    I wish adventurous Indians those who vows to earn money for India and create jobs shall be able learn from these mistakes and will dare and challenge these opportunist by blood politician to run any greed proof corporate governance. Otherwise the stories of fraud and frustrations like Satyam and IPL will not stop emerging on world news severely compromising the biggest brand 'INDIA'.
  6. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

    Feb 19, 2009
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    Land of the GODS - "Dev Bhomi".
    This whole drama surrounding ipl in the end is only about kicking out lalit modi, the geniuses of whom created this league and the scales to which it has been taken to.

    I still recall in 2006 or 07 when jagmohan dalmia was the bcci president and this chap was in the opposing camp, and a non functionary of the bcci, he along with inderjit bindra held a media conference where he claimed that just from telecast rights alone or by launching their own cricketing channel bcci could generate over a billion dollar revenue and when he joined bcci under the sharad pawar camp he very well proved it, first they did a deal of 900 million dollars which was latter scrapped to be redone at over a billion dollars, but the day he said this he was written off as an idiot and people laughed it off, the usual cricketing experts termed it impossible.

    Success has many fathers and so everyone today claims they have had a hand in making ipl what it is, which is pure rubbish, for had there been no lalit, they would have never ever reached these soaring heights and scale.

    Lalit’s only two faults, he dared to expose a huge scandal by tharoor, a story which has very smartly been brushed aside by our media, at the behest of certain influential business groups and politicians which eventually became the reason of his ouster from the ministry, and well only to return in another 6-12 months from now when he will be cleared of all charges and with muck on its face the congress could not take it lying down, and two, he is not a mukesh ambami or a ratan tata.

    On the other hand what this chap did was make use of the loopholes in our taxation system to his benefit, so is it his fault that he could make use of those loopholes, or the tax department was dumbfounded? But then in India any evidence can be created, and I am sure the congress government can do a good job out of it.
    Sridhar likes this.
  7. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

    Feb 23, 2009
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    I am just watching this whole IPL fiasco with disgusted amusement and patent curiosity.

    Whenever I hear Lalit Modi speak, I feel like ripping him a new...

    Yes, multi-billion tournament notwithstanding, the corruption surrounding it has thrown our media, politics and cricket into a frenzy. Meanwhile, we have more important things to think about, like violence in Maoist-riddled areas, a trillion-worth of road building and wholesale price inflation.

    Here's a few videos on what corporates think of this IPL corruption scandal:

    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  8. RAM

    RAM The southern Man Senior Member

    Jul 15, 2009
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    Who’s this man?​

    It is not just about his car — it is all about who and what Lalit Modi is.No matter how convincingly father Krishan Kumar Modi argued against it, college-going Lalit wouldn’t budge an inch from his demand for a Mercedes. K.K. Modi, the chairman of the Rs 4000-crore Modi Enterprises, which owns a number of companies including the tobacco giant Godfrey Phillips, and his wife, Bina, were with their son to help him settle down as an undergraduate student in the United States in the 80s. When Lalit wanted a car, his father gave him $5000 and asked him to pick up an inexpensive one. Instead, Lalit used the money to pay the first instalment for a brand new Merc. It was a jolt to the premier business family — Lalit was the first in the Modi clan to buy a car in instalments. “The problem with Lalit is that once he decides on something, nothing on earth can make him change his mind,” says the 69-year-old father, sitting in his plush villa in Delhi’s Maharani Bagh.

    The company: With Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta, co-owners of Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab respectively
    Some were hoping that Lalit Modi, 45, would change his mind about moving his baby, the Indian Premier League (IPL), out of India this season. But faced with a clash of schedules between the ongoing general elections and the IPL matches, and the resultant security concerns, he coolly took the game to South Africa. Modi, one of the vice-presidents of the Board of Cricket Control for India (BCCI), was unconcerned about the elections and suggestions that the IPL schedules be changed. The series started with a bang yesterday.

    His friends say he has a mulish streak in him. But it’s this never-say-die spirit that has largely made Lalit Modi what he is today — a shrewd negotiator, a marketing whiz and one of the men behind the success of the BCCI. But who is Lalit Modi? Little is known about the man who cocked a snook at the government. What’s known widely is that he conceived the IPL — a 20-over cricket game that has become wildly popular ever since its start in India last year. Lalit Modi hasn’t responded to the questions or the reminders The Telegraph emailed him, but insiders explain how it all happened. “He saw cricket was played only for a month in India and realised there was not much to show on television despite it being the most popular game in the country. So, he wanted a format with foreign and Indian players that would be played through the year, spinning money for television networks and its advertisers,” says a source.

    Modi’s gamble worked. But then the man has always had a reckless streak in him. In his early teens, he zipped through the roads of New Delhi in his family car without a driving licence, much to his parents’ concern. Keen to go to the US for higher studies, he skipped his school-leaving examination in India. Since he was no longer eligible for any of the Indian colleges, he figured this was one way to make his reluctant parents send him to the US. To his credit, he had scored well in SAT, or the Scholastic Aptitude Test, essential for admission to American colleges. Modi’s life is the stuff of racy fiction. As a student at Duke University, he got sucked into the world of drugs, winding up with charges of possessing drugs, kidnapping and assault. “It was very upsetting but we stood by him and helped him come out of it,” says his father. But it’s clearly a subject the family would like to bury. “I don’t know why anyone needs to dig into his past, which has no bearings on him now,” says an annoyed Charu Modi Bhartia, Lalit’s sister who runs a private university in Delhi in collaboration with an American institute. Charu argues that Lalit had acted under peer pressure. “These are the normal things kids do in colleges to fit in. But in Lalit’s case, it was blown out of proportion because of the famous family name,” she says, sitting in her farm house on the outskirts of Delhi. At 46, Charu is the protective eldest of the three Modi siblings. The youngest, Samir, 37, runs a retail chain called 24X7, a direct marketing venture called Modicare and ColorBar Cosmetics Private Limited, all under the Modi Enterprise. But the story that rocked his family and friends was Lalit’s unconventional love affair. While he was still a student in the US, he fell in love with a married woman called Minal, who was his mother’s friend. She was nine years his senior and was then living in London with her family. Minal got a divorce, and she and Lalit were married in Mumbai despite his family’s initial disapproval.

    “We tried to dissuade him. But he made it clear that he would marry only this friend of my wife, no one else,” says K.K. Modi. He says the family finally relented and attended his marriage.

    His past was, by all accounts, quite a tumultuous one. No one in the family remembers exactly how many schools Lalit had changed before he moved to the US. Lalit hated life in boarding schools in Shimla and Nainital. Charu still remembers the “ingenious” way — though she declines to spell out the details — Lalit ran away from Bishop Cotton School in Shimla.

    Lalit was not “bookish”, friends say, but neither was he greatly interested in sports. A childhood friend recalls he played cricket as a student but was more interested in football and tennis. “As far as I remember, Pele and Bjorn Borg were his sporting heroes, not any cricketer,” he says. Cricket came into his life much later when he started distributing ESPN as part of a joint venture he floated with Walt Disney after a short stint in the family’s textile unit in Mumbai. Disney then owned ESPN. “He spurred ESPN to get into cricket despite the American company’s initial reservations,” says K.K. Modi.

    It is, however, another story that Rupert Murdoch’s STAR network later formed ESPN STAR sports with Walt Disney and the Modis lost their distribution rights in India. Murdoch had met Lalit and his father in the Fox Studio in Los Angeles with the proposal of acquiring ESPN for the media tycoon was then “not on talking terms” with Disney, a Modi family source says. No wonder Lalit Modi counts Murdoch’s son, James, among his friends.

    Eventually, the family sold off the joint venture, WD Consumer Products Limited, to Walt Disney for Rs 60 crore, making a cool profit of more than Rs 59 crore against an investment of Rs 50 lakh or so. Modi Entertainment now distributes Fashion TV in the country.

    But by then, Lalit, whose friends include actor Shah Rukh Khan, had got a taste of the cash-rich, glamour-studded world of cricket. His father says Lalit decided to get into the country’s cricket administration when the Jagmohan Dalmiya-led BCCI “blocked” his efforts at starting a year-round, limited-over cricket league.

    Dalmiya refused to talk about Modi, whom he had earlier accused of hounding him with “false and fabricated” cases after he lost the BCCI election a few years ago. But Lalit had begun to find a place for himself in the cricket administration.

    In his bid to enter the BCCI, he bagged the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) in a 2005 election of the state body, using a controversial government ordinance (later made into law) that took away the voting rights of 59 RCA members and allowed only 32 district cricket associations to vote. Only office-bearers of state cricket associations can contest the BCCI elections.
    “It was grossly unfair to individual RCA members but Lalit Modi used his clout with the then chief minister (Vasundhara Raje) to bring about this ordinance and the subsequent law to ensure his victory,” says present RCA secretary Ashok Ohri. He says many of the individual members were loyal to the rival camp, headed by former BCCI treasurer Kishore Rungta, a Modi critic. “It was morally and ethically wrong,” adds Rungta, who filed a case in the Supreme Court challenging the act. The case is pending.

    One of Modi’s most powerful backers is Maharashtra strongman Sharad Pawar. Though few know for sure how the two came together, sources say former BCCI president I.S. Bindra may have played a part in it. Bindra is the president of the Punjab Cricket Association, while Modi is its vice-president. “They are very close and consult each other all the time,” the sources say.
    A BCCI insider says Modi and Pawar were “united in their intense dislike” for Dalmiya, who had aborted Pawar’s bid to enter the BCCI in 2004 by backing Ranbir Singh Mahendra. “They made a common cause and went after Joguda (Dalmiya’s nickname),” says a Dalmiya confidant.

    Pawar took to Modi’s idea for IPL almost instantly and saw it as a money-spinner for the BCCI. “Their opposition to Dalmiya was the intial glue that held them together, but it has now been cemented because of the success of IPL,” he says. Figures are hard to come by. But a BCCI source says the success of IPL has jacked up BCCI revenue beyond $ 1 billion. Modi himself is worth millions. He is on the board of all Modi Enterprise companies and actively involved in the running of blue-chip Godfrey Phillips and Modi Entertainment.

    His in-your-face style rankles critics. But Modi is anything but a wallflower. He still drives a Mercedes, wears his Armanis and likes to spend his New Year’s Eves at Amanpuri in Phuket, listed by the American Conde Nast Traveler magazine as one of the world’s best resorts.

    A source says he had almost talked Hollywood star Russell Crowe into buying an IPL team, using his old Walt Disney contacts. Crowe apparently got cold feet after the prices of IPL team soared.

    Modi is businesslike, generous with money but not with time. “His words are clipped and he can be abrupt at times, almost to the point of being rude,” says a former RAC office bearer. “He wants you to be on the ball all the time and wants tomorrow’s things done yesterday.”

    The IPL boss was in the news again last year when his critics called him a “super chief minister” because of his closeness to Vasundhara Raje, who is some 10 years older than him. Family sources point out the Modis’ ties with the Gwalior royal family go back a long way. Lalit’s grandmother and Vasundhara Raje’s mother were close friends and devotees of spiritual leader Anandamoyee Ma. The anti-Modi camp says the vegetarian and teetotaller Modi was a powerful entity in the former Raje government. “There was always a long line of IAS and IPS officers outside his plush suite in a five star hotel whenever he came to Jaipur,” says Anil Shekhawat, general secretary of the Samajwadi Party in Rajasthan.

    The Congress, too, pointed a finger at Modi, accusing him of being behind several lucrative land deals signed in the BJP regime during its November 2008 poll campaign, a charge both Modi and the BJP have publicly denied. “Who is Lalit Modi?” reads a Congress poll ad, seeking to make a political issue of him. Barely four months after the BJP lost Rajasthan to the Congress, the Lalit Modi group tasted defeat in the March 1 election to the state cricket association, with Sanjay Dixit, a senior IAS officer, replacing him as the RCA president.

    “There was tremendous political pressure to remove him in the last election,” says Jaipur Cricket Association president B. R. Soni, who was deputy president of the Modi-headed RCA.

    Raje was unavailable for comment. BJP state president Om Mathur too refused to speak on the Opposition charges that Modi had emerged as the de facto chief minister in the Raje regime. “All I will say is that we lost the assembly election not because of Lalit Modi but because of the rebel candidates who cut into our votes,” Mathur says. Modi loyalists say as RCA president, he spent some Rs 20 crore building cricket infrastructure, turning Jaipur’s once-decrepit Sawai Mansingh Stadium into one of the best in the country with two new blocks, media rooms and galleries.

    “Lalit Modi is a man with vision. Earlier, there was nothing at this stadium. He has built everything,” says former Rajasthan Ranji player Shamsher Singh, who was operations manager of the Rajasthan Royal team.

    Modi spent Rs 7 crore building a state-of-the art cricket academy, complete with 28-appointed rooms, a gym, a restaurant, two conference halls and a swimming pool. RCA officials say it was contracted for three years to a private company, which acts as a service provider and pays the RCA Rs 7 lakh a year. “It’s nothing short of a scandal. We own this academy but we have had to pay this service provider Rs 1800 per room per day if our cricketers stay there,” says RCA secretary Ohri. The RCA has now appointed a four-member committee, headed by an IAS officer, to probe the alleged financial irregularities during the Modi regime.

    Samajwadi Party’s Shekhawat, a member of the inquiry committee and a chartered accountant, says the report will be submitted in three months. “There will be more surprises for Mr Modi,” he says.

    But when it comes to money for cricket, he doesn’t hesitate. “If you ask for Rs 2 lakh to do something, he will give you Rs 5 lakh,” says Soni. The RCA secretary agrees. “He is always generous with money and in each of the few weddings that he attended in Jaipur in the last few years, he gifted the newly-weds Rs 1 lakh or more,” says Ohri. But it’s not all well with the present committee either. Within a month of the election, an unseemly fight has broken out between RCA president Dixit and Ohri over sharing of power. “We drove Modi out of the RCA because of certain compulsions but now things are going back to square one,” the RCA secretary acknowledges. And that could only spell good news for Modi, who has publicly expressed his desire to return to the helm of the Rajasthan cricket body. Both his backers and detractors say that Modi never takes no for an answer.

    At the moment, Modi — a self-confessed family man who lives in his Juhu bungalow with his son Ruchir and daughters Aliya and Karishma (who is from his wife’s previous marriage) —is possibly going through the most difficult phase in his life. As he remains busy in South Africa overseeing the IPL, Minal, who has acted as an anchor in his life, is in the United States, undergoing treatment for cancer. But Modi soldiers on. When he is down, a family source says, Lalit Modi draws strength from Robert Frost’s famous line: “I have promises to keep,/And miles to go before I sleep.”

  9. gogbot

    gogbot Regular Member

    Oct 2, 2009
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    This is depressing.

    Sigh , no one needed a reality check.

    everyone more or less knows or has an idea or what's going on.

    Politically i was a fan of Shashi Tharoor sad to see him go.

    IPL has just been covered in controversy and terrorism. while the games them selves are played without a hitch.

    And we have an increase of 100 million people to the government subsidized programs. while this shows only the surface of what is likely a massive cover-up by the various states involved , what does this say about all those figures saying poverty was going down.
    Now i don't know what's happening to reduce poverty in India.

    and i don't know what's happening to take down the Maoism.

    and what's being done about the state governments useless inefficiency.

    But all this is not what is depressing.

    what is depressing is that we know all this , its in our face. But there is nothing we can do about.


    the only solace i take is that these figures don't show the truth about poverty in India.

    800 million no way.

    that is for starters a disproportionate number spread out between the states. Some states have done well to reduce poverty while others have not.
    That numbers also fails to take into account double income earners and of course children, who work or study or even do both.

    and of course there are then difference kinds of poverty, Millions of people who just live in villages fall into this 800 million number. They may not earn more than 2 dollars per day.
    But they are not homeless or beggars.

    This poverty line fails to take into account numerous social and individual circumstances.

    While they may give us a decent estimate for the poverty in cites ,
    Their rural poverty figures are not very well done.
    And we need to know these kinds of things. How else are we going to be fight poverty if we don't know what it is we are actually fighting.

    We need to know these things so that we can adapt solutions to their solutions, poverty is systemic but it is also wide ranging, we need to know everything we can about it so that we can stop it.

    Despite it being the primary price of every politician that has ridden into office, we have such little information about it.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
  10. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Oct 2, 2009
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    IPL - or India's predictable larcenies

    By Chan Akya

    For over a month ago, India has been hosting the third instalment of the now wildly popular Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament. Despite involving the mind-numbing sport of cricket, with its traditional image of interminable five-day matches interrupted by breaks for tea and scones, the tournament features a new format of the sport with big-hitting thrills and fast action geared for television audiences.

    Launched in 2008, the IPL has quickly become the center of the global cricket calendar: trust me, there is one, and even more incredibly, it is followed by a claimed audience of over 500 million people. As a symbol, the IPL could represent something momentous for not just India but emerging markets (EM) in general, for how often do you have a single country confidently

    using its own audience power to change the rules of a global sport and in essence, take it over?

    Imagine if Japan had taken over (American) baseball in the 1980s and reset the global baseball calendar so that Americans would see their best ball players being unavailable in the domestic tournament for over half the year. Or if Brazil launched a football ("soccer") tournament that attracted all the globally famous players for six weeks every year, making them unavailable to play in the various super leagues of Europe. This is precisely what India has done in the world of cricket with the IPL.

    How does this grand tournament of one of the world's most obscure sports differentiate India from, say the grand spectacle that was the summer Olympics hosted by China in 2008 (see Anatomy of an Olympic winner, Asia Times Online, August 8, 2008)? It became incredibly clear in that year that China had not only arrived on the global stage as the main player of the next century; it had also done so with rare aplomb and a grandeur befitting one of the world's oldest civilizations.

    China played a grand host, but also followed the rules set by the Olympic Committee to the last detail. It did not change, nor seek to change, the rules of holding the Olympics; indeed even the timetable was set to suit television audiences in the world's biggest markets. Like a dutiful supplier delivering car parts to an automobile factory, the primary objective was to meet the conditions of the contract rather than taking over the car company.

    The IPL on the other hand is hosted within India and caters primarily to the Indian television audiences. Its first and third tournaments were hosted in the country, while last year's was moved to South Africa due to a clash of schedules with India's general election.

    Going back to a theme that I have explained in these articles frequently, the IPL represents the triumph of the EM consumer over his global counterpart. As an idea for other EM countries to emulate, this isn't half bad.

    Having established that what India sought to do was daring, innovative and very successful the question then becomes - what's with the scandals?

    Unfortunately, and almost predictably in the case of India for every one of its breakout moments in the past 50 years, all isn't what it seems in the IPL. A waft of corruption has been gently blowing from the sewers below the country's establishment and was unleashed just as the IPL approached the semi-final stage.

    Eight teams have competed in the IPL since its inception in 2008. Starting with a revenue base of precisely nothing, the tournament had gone to be valued in the billions of dollars; with television contracts alone helping to net the organizers more than US$1 billion. Any such successful tournament would of course be expanded, and sure enough two new team franchises were auctioned this year.

    Sex, sleaze and sport
    And therein, as the bard would say, hangs the tale. Following from a decidedly opaque process, bids for both franchises came in at more than $300 million. Each. That kind of valuation immediately set the IPL in the same league as major European soccer clubs; not a bad achievement for something in existence for only a couple of years.

    With this scale of money involved, corruption may have been unavoidable without the right governance and ethics. As it turned out, the process had been skewed to produce desirable outcomes for India's high and mighty. They could well have pulled it off had there been a concept of honor amongst thieves - which was distinctly not the case.

    After the successful bids were announced, the commissioner of the IPL, Lalit Modi, let it be known through Twitter (entirely another subject about the role of new media in democracies like India) that the country's junior minister for foreign affairs, Shashi Tharoor, had pressured him into accepting the winning bid for one of the two franchises.

    Further questions revealed that one of the members of the successful consortium that ponied up over $300 million was a woman that the media quickly speculated to be a "lady friend" of the minister. Tharoor immediately responded, also on Twitter, that Modi had followed an opaque process in selecting the winning bidders that was possibly slanted to favor his friends and family.

    So there it was - sleaze, sex and sport all combined into one gripping package. In a cricket-mad country, this kind of scandal was always going to become intensely scrutinized and thereby generate a number of follow-up stories. Tharoor was asked to resign by the prime minister, who has also requested a full briefing from the organization in charge of the IPL. There will be a number of other replacements in the near future, according to the media.

    I have written before about corruption in emerging markets (see Wages of corruption, Asia Times Online, August 19, 2006) and pointed to the need for transparency and good governance as a means to resolving the problem over the longer term. China has adopted ad-hoc measures to curb corruption but these have been targeted essentially at politicians who exceeded their "quotas" for bribes or perhaps more insidiously were caught in the act of taking bribes.

    In the case of India, despite a freewheeling democracy and ostensibly free media, there has been an escalation of corruption in the past few years by all accounts. A growth rate of over 8% in the official economy (perhaps 10% if the unofficial economy is included) over each of the past five years has meant a range of new opportunities for investors and businessmen even as it keeps the vast number of the country's dispossessed away from outright revolt (with the notable exception of the Maoist movement that infests central India and may well morph into the country's greatest threat in the next few years).

    Despite the heady growth, the country's fiscal deficit has remained virtually untouched over the period due mainly to rising government spending on social welfare programs that also bear the hallmarks of endemic corruption. Meanwhile, government revenues have increased, but not quite to the extent that 8% economic growth should have provided. The difference is of course due to revenue-side corruption, that is, the government not pursuing tax collections in order to keep certain businessmen happy.

    That some of these very businessmen own the existing IPL franchises is one point. Secondly, and almost incredibly, the government itself hasn't made money from the sale of the IPL franchises or indeed from their significant revenues for the past three years, due mainly to the non-profit status of the the controlling body of the IPL, the Board for Cricket Control of India (BCCI).

    With gargantuan revenues and little accountability, the BCCI effectively operates as its own agency, which benefits mainly the interests of its office-bearers. If one looks at the status of the BCCI officers, it is clear that India's politicians have had a disproportionate representation in the body over the past few years; it also amusing when you then look at their photographs that not one looks anything like a sportsman. Other office bearers of the BCCI also own the various franchises operating in the IPL, adding to the problems of governance.

    Operating without accountability has shown the BCCI to be nothing more than yet another sham country club operating for the high and mighty. The IPL scandal also points to the dangers of overestimating the potential for emerging markets to supplant their developed country brethren, tripped as they may well be in every turn by their own inability to adopt adequate governance standards.
  11. mehwish92

    mehwish92 Founding Member

    Feb 24, 2009
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    ^^ corruption will always keep our country down. it's a sad fact.
  12. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Oct 2, 2009
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    Sleuth scanner on IPL betting ‘crores’
    New Delhi, April 19: The betting on IPL games may be generating between Rs 25,000 crore and Rs 40,000 crore a year from India, taxmen say.

    “We believe that the amount of bets placed on IPL games could be as high as Rs 700-1,000 crore per match. After all, bets are placed on almost everything ----- wins, losses, runs per ball, the number of runs scored by a batsman, the number of wickets taken by a bowler, the Man of the Match, third umpire decisions…” a tax official said.

    The punters place their bets from illegal betting rooms in various cities that feed a master betting room in Dubai. They also use online betting sites such as the UK-based Bet365, Ladbrokes, Victor Chandler and Paddypower as well as the London Stock Exchange-listed William Hill, besides the popular Betfair, BetClick, BlueSquare and others.

    The odds for the Chennai Super Kings versus Delhi Daredevils game on April 15 were close: 20/21 and 19/20 respectively. It meant that a bet of Rs 2,000 got one Rs 2,100 if Chennai won, and a bet of Rs 1,900 fetched one Rs 2,000 if Delhi won, officials said.

    All the betting sites accept Indian registration. Payments to the foreign websites have to be made through legal money transfers and usually in dollars, pounds or euros. Some, Bet365 for example, accept rupee accounts too.

    The tax officials said betting on the foreign sites might be checked to see whether the bets from India were legal under Indian laws. The exercise will try to identify the big Indian punters and whether there is any insider trading — profiting from information not made public — within the Indian cricket board, the BCCI, officials said.

    However, the Dubai connection is illegal. This betting is controlled by the underworld and the cash generated is black money which, intelligence officials suspect, may be feeding narcotic-crime syndicates, especially those controlled by Dawood Ibrahim. They believe the wealth is being ploughed into a maze of other illegal businesses.

    The officials said a proper investigation into the Dubai racket could be done only with the help of UAE police and India’s intelligence agencies.

    One of the theories doing the rounds on the low-intensity weekend blasts in Bangalore is that they were the handiwork of punters. These people had apparently developed cold feet on the huge bets they had placed and did not want the match to take place.

    Several states’ police have busted betting rooms in places as widely separated as Jharkhand and Haryana. Mumbai, Surat, Delhi, Pune, Jaipur, Indore, Raipur and Chandigarh are among the leading centres for rupee betting.

    The racket operates in Pakistan too. Cable operators there had decided not to telecast the IPL after the league’s snub to Pakistani cricketers, but had to start beaming the matches last week “on popular demand”.

    A Pakistani cricket official, Shahzad Khan, recently said the “bookies (in Pakistan) are stronger than the government” and the country’s cricket board, which had recommended the ban on the telecast of IPL matches.

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