Wednesday December 12, 2018
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Has the IPL taken away more than it has given?

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By Harshmeet Singh

‘Cometh the Indian summer, and comes the money spinner IPL with all its glitz and glamour!’ If the crowds at the stadium and the glamour of celebrities present are anything to go by, the success of IPL can’t be denied even by the staunchest of critics. But the ever debatable question remains, ‘Can something which includes dancing cheerleaders, late night parties and allegations of fixing be called a ‘gentleman’s game’ anymore?’ The recent allegations from a Rajasthan Royals player about being offered money to play ‘according to a predetermined plan’ has again brought the IPL into question.

Like any other form of entertainment, the IPL has its own set of controversies. The ugly face of match fixing resurfaced yet again through the doors of IPL in 2013 and engulfed three Indian players with it. Some say that corruption is inevitable when millions are at stake. But can this be taken as an excuse for hurting the dignity of the game which is worshiped by billions across the world?

Did IPL come into being for cricketing reasons?

In 2007, the Zee Entertainment Enterprises launched a private T20 cricket league, known as the ‘Indian Cricket League’, with teams from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and World XI. Not pleased by ‘invasions’ into its territory, the BCCI wasted little time in banning most of all the players participating in the league and the stadiums that hosted the matches. Seeing the revenue potential of the ICL, the BCCI came up with the idea of IPL and roped in the best cricketers from around the world, using its deep financial reserves.

The first of the many controversies attached to the IPL took down Lalit Modi, the brain behind the league. Charged with misconduct and indiscipline, Modi was subsequently removed from the IPL and banned for life from the BCCI. Modi, in return, blamed the BCCI for conspiring against him and hatching his ouster.

IPL or the honor of representing the nation?

During a press conference at the world cup, when asked about whether associate nations should get a chance to play more games against top nations, MS Dhoni said, “Yes! But not against India! I don’t see even a few days off to play any more cricket than what we play. If you see the cricket fraternity, the nations, they have a calendar of 12 months in which they play a lot of Test matches and ODIs. I don’t know what’s the number. Our calendar is nine and a half months because in the other two and a half months, we play the IPL and the Champions League. And yet, we match every other Test-playing nation when it comes to the number of Test matches and ODI cricket. I don’t see India playing any more games.”
Citing IPL and the Champions League as an excuse to deny International matches to the associate nations isn’t in the best interest of the game. But Dhoni can’t be blamed for such scheduling. Playing for the country is, undoubtedly, the biggest honor for any sportsperson. But to say that money doesn’t matter at all would be incorrect too. A player with average skills, in the IPL, ends up making over $2 million from the 8 week long tournament, which is much more than what an Indian player would make in an entire year, if he plays regularly for India in all three formats of the game. A number of West Indies players have, in fact, refused to sign national contracts to make themselves available for domestic T20 leagues played around the world. There is no guarantee that the same won’t happen to the players of other nations.

Where is the off season now?

The rigor of International cricket results in frequent injuries to players. The ‘off season’ is usually the time when players get a chance to cope up from their stress and be available for the next International tourney with all the vigor. With the off season now being taken by the IPL, the injury management program for the players has gone for a toss! The frequent matches and daily flights give no time to the players to attend to their body and nurse their body niggle.

Where is your technique Sir?

The boom boom format of the IPL means that the players’ technique is no longer important. India’s gloomy performance in test matches in the foreign land in the past few years stands testimony to the declining technique of Indian players. The Indian players have been found wanting on alien pitches which are nowhere close to the friendly domestic pitches where the ball hardly bounces above the waistline. These days, seldom do you see any Indian player playing in England’s county cricket to sharpen his skill set. Some of the best Indian players of all time, including Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Saurav Ganguly, Ravi Shastri, Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev, have all had notable stints in the county cricket with their respective sides. In comparison, hardly any present day cricketer (apart from Pujara) has turned towards county to play on challenging pitches to fine tune his skills.

This festival of cricket also brings a number of high points with itself. Out of the millions of aspiring cricketers, only a handful gets to wear the Indian jersey at the International stage. For the others, an opportunity to share dressing room with their idols is a dream that only an IPL contract can fulfill. The humongous pay gap between the Indian International crickets and domestic players is filled by the IPL to a certain extent, giving the much needed financial stability to lesser known players. The opinions about the IPL would always remain grey, but certain fine-tuning to minimize the shortcomings would only make the league better and brighter.

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Brazen show of sensuality frightens away the soul of love and marriage

The under-nourished marital relation may find hard to survive when the sharpness of the sensuality goes blunt.

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Both opposite genders pray for the successful marriage --- though it mostly falls apart pretty too early.

By Salil Gewalli

Even in the West, the marital relationship is still a treasured subject. Both opposite genders pray for the successful marriage — though it mostly falls apart pretty too early. Of course, the reasons are various. While some are clearly understandable, some are little beyond one’s mental grasp. True, our conditioned mind swayed by modern proposition and narrow likes and dislikes always fail us to see the thing as it is. Again, for one’s flawed discrimination and sensibility, coupled with the false expectation and its fulfilment, one often witnesses too many crises after marriage and also after the break-up. One just likely to fall into an unpleasantly unexpected situation and run into troubling issues. Thank God, nature, so designed by the Almighty, itself teaches some, with a few hard blows, to come to terms; while other weak lots, who can’t cope with, just plunge into the sea of depression.

 The Guardian of UK/USA, which has recently published a beautiful article, attracted my attention. A discerning female writer from Michigan – Ms Rose Hackman chooses the long title for the article, as   – “Is marriage really on the decline because of men’s cheap access to sex?”.  Ms Rose should be appreciated for not trying to bury her head in the sand. The discussion in the article is concerned with the modern makeup and the increasing failed marriage. The writer logically reasoned out some of the important factors in the article. She quoted an eminent sociologist from Texas — Mark Regnerus who paraphrased an adage – “nobody will buy the cow if you’re giving away the milk for free.”

Moreover, every philosopher has proposed that an object/subject of utility is valued when it is obtained with difficulty. The scarce availability always makes one’s heart ache for it. But, however, people start finding less appealing, even wants to “keep away from” an object/subject if they are flooded with that only. Again, going by the comments on that article, which run into 5/6 thousand, one comes to believe that the unsuccessful marital relationship and incidental crises of the west will surely be going to affect our country too.

The discussion in the article is concerned with the modern makeup and the increasing failed marriage.
The discussion in the article is concerned with the modern makeup and the increasing failed marriage.

I don’t think one needs to go deeper into sex phenomenon and its inherent “binding force”. But here the main concern is that its “binding strength” is rapidly getting weaker and weaker. Many ascribed this situation to the easy availability of sex. One scholar thoughtfully remarks: “So much splurged on the media, so much on display, and so much abused, the “sensuality” is no more sensual. Then what is there in store to attract the opposite sex?” Yes, “desensitization” of sensuality is already the bane which ails everything. In the similar vein, science as well explains many natural phenomena with the theory of “saturation”. A dry cotton absorbs the moisture/water more quickly while the wet cotton cannot do that. “Mind” that is fast becoming like a wet cotton, cannot respond to the moisture of the sensuality.

 On the other hand, if you have a lot many opportunities to eat delicious food outside, your “lovely kitchen” at home will be just ignored, you don’t even turn your head to pay a glance over it. You would never care whether the kitchen is clean or untidy, or even infested with sneaky rats, mice, and cockroaches. Figuratively, in the situation, ones have to call out only the virtues from within, if any available, to salvage the marriage.

Subsequently, one also just becomes less respectful of that which is ubiquitous. I don’t think it is a healthy trend in the society. However, for instance, if the same “sexual sensuality”, which is in existence for the purpose since the dawn of the creation, could have been achieved with difficulty, and with struggle, if it’s a private affair, it would have made ones definitely go “crazy after”.  Mind would just become keener on it.  Then, one even would love to “get lost” in the romantic imagery. The serenades by the likes of Keats and Shelley would have been burst out.  But now, in the midst of the brazen show of the immodest indiscretion that poetic romanticism cannot find its emotional expression.  There is no space for the healthy imagination.

Have we gone too far by overdoing? Have we not over-exposed what should have been relished in the hallowed privacy? William Shakespeare rightly says,  It provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance”.  Is it not then that by sipping the drink of modernity and shedding values of decency we have almost killed the goose” that would have continued to lay golden eggs? A renowned economist Alfred Marshal had thought out a golden principle as “Diminishing Marginal Utility” in order to bring home the market situation with respect to an object of importance/value/utility. And, it well explains how an object is detested by the senses when it is over-supplied. I notice the same principle perfectly applies to sex and sensuality which the modernity is casually and brazenly juggling with. Phew, the under-nourished marital relation may find hard to survive when the sharpness of the sensuality goes blunt.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’.  Twitter: @SGewali.