Reclaiming The Discourse: Cleverly Timed IPL Hijack.

IPL! IPL!! IPL!!! IPL spot fixing has hijacked the entire mainstream discourse for the last several days. Delhi Commissioner of Police, Neeraj Kumar, just prior to these “sensational disclosures”, was facing tremendous heat over the spate of rapes that had cast a dubious shadow on women’s safety and general law and order situation in nation’s capital. Just a few weeks ago speculation was rife if he would be given marching orders “in the wake of recent rape of a 5 year old girl and police insensitivity in handling it“. The “poor guy” in exasperation had to ask at an Indian Express “Idea Exchange, “‘We don’t appreciate each other… When people ask me to quit, do you think it doesn’t affect me? And how often do you want me to resign?’“. There was another humiliating prospect of a “rotten egg” exploding in his face. The Delhi Police led by him had made a sensational claim on 21 March of foiling a “26/11 type” terrorist plot in Delhi. Such claims had been made by Indian security agencies even the past, but after the initial “excitement” died out no convictions were secured. Indians are yet to learn the art of setting up terrorists and then busting them successfully, not just sensationally, and of securing convictions to top it like the US masters in FBI and CIA. Delhi Police had their “terrorist” ready in Liaquat Ali Shah, a Hizbul Mujahideen operative, for media to photograph.
But, alas, they had not done their home work well. Jammu and Kashmir government and police claimed the same man as a surrendering ex-Hizbul Mujahideen operative, who had crossed over to Pak Occupied Kashmir decades ago in heydays of militancy but was keen to return to homeland to lead a normal life under its “Rehabilitation Policy”. The other Delhi Police-claim that they were acting on a tip off from central intelligence agencies was nailed without delay, “Even as the Delhi Police claimed on Friday that Shah was nabbed from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh on March 20 following a tip-off from the Multi-Agency Centre (MAC), sources in intelligence agencies and Union Home Ministry have revealed that no such report was sent to the local police recently“. The incident raised such a stink that center had to take the case away from Delhi Police and hand it over to National Investigation Agency. Just 4 days back, a special court in the capital granted bail to Liaquat Ali, who was slapped with very serious charges by Delhi Police, “A case was registered under sections 120 B(criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging war against government of India), 121 A (conspiracy to commit offences against the State) and 123 (concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war) of IPC against them“. To the abiding shame of Delhi Police, they have thus created a record of sorts in the country, where an accused in a very serious “terror” case was set free on bail in less than 60 days. Once in on terror charges it takes years to come out free, if at all, even if one is innocent, in India’s interminable criminal justice system. Depth to which Delhi Police had fallen could have in no way “improved”. Then there was the political tussle over who should control capital’s police, the central home minister who does it now or the Delhi government headed by the chief minister.

Something really outrageously sensational was needed to take away the humiliating spotlight in which Delhi police found themselves, and that is how probably “Operation Salvage Prestige” took shape. Though “crucial inputs” were provided by the “rank and file”, who it seems had been listening on to the conversations of “rock-stars of India’s cricket crazed public”, the top brass of Delhi Police was it seems in Driver’s seat, “Nineteen officers of the Delhi police assembled at the special cell office situated at Lodhi Road in the national capital last Wednesday were told to embark on operation Marine Drive U-turn without being told what it entailed.    The only instruction to the officers was to assemble at the U-turn at the end of Marine Drive opposite the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA). Senior officials were going to monitor the operation, which eventually rocked the cricketing world, from the special cell in Delhi“.
(The above photo gives “titilating” detail that cash was stashed in cricket bag)
The Blitzkrieg of Delhi police in “Mumbai” took the media world by storm and made Mumbai police look foolish in their backyard, where incidentally the fabulously rich presiding deities of Indian cricket, BCCI, and IPL organisers reside. Mumbai police swung into action to sniff out if any crumbs were still left after their counterparts had stormed their citadel, “Probing deeper into the IPL spot-fixing scam, the Mumbai police has seized cricketer S Sreesanth’s iPhone, laptops, data cards, US dollars and Rs 72,290 cash from his hotel room at the Sofitel Hotel at Bandra Kurla Complex. They have also confiscated the personal belongings of Sreesanth’s relative-cum-bookie Jiju Janardhan. Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Himanshu Roy, who is spearheading the investigations, revealed that the Mumbai police is also scanning Sreesanth’s diaries, which contain significant information pertaining to the scam“. This was hardly the kind of “impersonal” material that would have grabbed the media headlines. To spice up the dish and make it really attractive so that everyone would give at least a once-over, Roy added in good measure, “that the police were contemplating slapping the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) on all the accused after complying with the necessary pre-conditions“. Neeraj Kumar, head of Delhi police, is back center- stage, once again in the media glare, but now for all “good reasons”, and the past “ignominy” is almost forgotten, at least for the time being. He was expansive in providing “highlights” to media on these investigations as what he said to NDTV shows.
  • Original tip-off was the Mumbai underworld which is in touch with bookies in India indulging in fixing
  • That tip off came from human-intelligence, middle of March
  • We have been tapping phones for two months
  • No evidence to show Dawood is involved; we know the name but it could be assumed so
  • Mastermind using a Dubai number
  • Batsmen have no role whatsoever, based on our investigation
  • No other players or teams we know off but that may not be the entire picture
  • Nobody wants to believe, even I did not want to believe that these players are involved
    MCOCA is a distinct possibility
  • We will ask for the maximum police remand initially 

The critical point to note is that the tip off came in “middle of March”, around the same time that they got “26/11 style terror attack tip off”, and players had been under surveillance since then. That shows the timing of going to the media with the “results of the probe” was in the hands of Neeraj kumar, and he apparently chose his moment carefully to save himself from the blow back of “Liaquat Fiasco” and the “Callous treatment of the severely abused minor-rape victim by east Delhi police”. At least he can now walk into the sunset of his retirement in a couple of months with his head held high.
The day the IPL scandal broke out, the Indian Express front page was filled with news almost exclusively devoted to it. Media knows the hypnotic spell cricket, especially now a days Twenty-20 matches, hold over Indian masses. Tens of millions of eyeballs are glued to the TV screen wherever possible when IPL season is on. Wherever the media viewership is the mega advertisers are attracted in droves falling over one another with stash of cash for the “prime spot”. Big money, real big money has come to promote and hold sway over IPL. It has turned cricket into breathtaking spectacle through drummed up hype. When overground big corporate money makes hay, then its shadowy twin -the subterranean illicit money, can’t be far behind. Sreesanth, Chandala, or Chavan may have become the fall guys, and some more may follow, but the rot is in the system and its stain wouldn’t leave anyone untouched. Scandals haven’t been confined to Indian shores either. Even in Europe, North America and elsewhere, scandals burst forth at regular intervals- in soccer, cycling, tennis, baseball, basketball, even Olympics and what have you. In fact, I have a sneaky suspicion, that the corrupt systems just routinely purge themselves by allowing few scandals to breakout so that the rest can continue “whole” with “easy conscience”. The law enforcement agencies do catch from “time to time” a few violators of drug trafficking, sex trafficking, child trafficking, money laundering, or what not to serve many purposes: a) to show that they are vigilant and strict about enforcing laws, b) to assure public that system is not blind to offenders and is acting, c) to help ring leaders to get rid of”bad apples” that they don’t want (often the tip offs and canon-fodder are provided by crime syndicate), d) to settle scores with a particular syndicate that has grown too big for its shoes or to check a rival syndicate, and e) to arrest irrevocable loss of “trust” in the system, which would jeopardise the whole order. Were not leading Wall Street investment banks, Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, allowed to turn turtle, but others like Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley saved? This kind of sleight is routinely practiced though, each one was equally guilty, the bigger the more, of creating the Casino of exotic financial instruments and of toying with them by endless leveraging. The Financial System purged a few, called them the “bad apples”, so that “business could resume as usual”. Make no mistakes, that IPL itself is fixed, it is Indian Prefixed League (or like someone called it, Indian Punters League), and the fixing begins with the format of the game itself, which instead giving a fair chance to bowler and batman, has loaded the stacks so heavily in favour of the batman so as to turn a sport into a “fireworks display”. It has become a stage managed display, a spectacle, a money spinner, and as it has once again emerged, also a casino. It is not without solid reasons that the bigwigs of politics and business get into a slugfest to head, at first the regional cricket associations, and then lead the “god almighty” BCCI- Board of Control Of Cricket in India. Whoever leads BCCI has all his fingers in the pies of Prestige, Clout, Money, Media, and what have you. Pious announcements are already on to “cleanse” the system of the “stigma”. But stigma cannot be cleaned of the system, because the System is the Stigma. The only people who could really end this sleazy farce are, believe me, you and me, the man in the street. I have played and enjoyed watching cricket. Even today I do watch test cricket, where there is little money and oodles of real sport. If the common man decides to just withhold his attention from IPL matches, the whole Tamasha would end very quickly. Quicker than anyone can imagine. Would we do it?

A far more powerful, crafty and venal set of people will be merrily celebrating the unexpected reprieve they have got. Unexpected? Or are they partners and string pullers in this perfectly timed and staged disclosures of “IPL-Sting”? Well, doesn’t it look like an “official sting” operation staged to perfection; because it has put curtain, at least temporarily, on the “real gigantic spot-fixings”?
Unny’s cartoon says it all, though I differ with his punchline. It should have read, “This IPL spot fixing is really godsend, we are at least spared this unwanted attention“. “2G Spectrum Scam”, “VIP Chopper Scam”, “Coal Gate Scam”, “Iron Ore Scam”, “Interference in CBI Investigations”, “Railway Board appointment scam”, “Chit Fund Scams”, and ____, and ____, have all gone of the radar. Nothing may ultimately come out of it, even if they comeback, except giving some momentary “pleasure”, like when a few powerful persons like A Raja, Suresh Kalmadi, etc. cool their heels in jail. The men (or women) at the helm of  Indian Republic would ultimately allow a few rather too showy boils here and there to be lanced for a catharsis to occur; like they did after deliberately ruining the entire budget session of parliament by securing resignations of Law and Railway ministers. Opposition too proved it is in cahoot with the ruling party by passing important legislation such as Finance Bill, Railway Budget, without any discussion and legislative scrutiny. After all, opposition is “ruling party in waiting” whose fingers too are in the groovy train. How long would we watch helplessly when the Real Discourse is hijacked -case after case- by “Reel” Discourse? Even our silence can be made way too powerful to destroy the trivia that occupies the airwaves and our minds, if we simply choose to “boycott” IPL, and keep starving selectively the TV programs that feed us this opiate by simply withholding our viewership.
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3 Responses to “Reclaiming The Discourse: Cleverly Timed IPL Hijack.”

  1. Ashok Sharma Says:

    Dear Mr. Sadanand Patwardhan:Your post below makes all sense and I believe certainly the Establishment intends to instill fear and create distractions through purposely created relentless 24×7 relentless relay ofLoads of prescripted Media Lies to distract public attention fromMain issues.False-Flag is going to become Norm for them and is like Honey for cleverminds in control today. People must learn how to discern and arrive at thier own Truth rather than tricky Media Deceptions that this Sly and most unreliable Media Industry creates by nonstop hammering of passive viewers who start believing the lies this Monster Media feeds day and night.Wartm RegardsAshok Sharmafeed the help of

  2. Sadanand Patwardhan Says:

    Dear Shri Sharma,You have nailed the central issue. While reading your comment, it occurred to me that the fit case of applying MCOCA is the Government Crime Syndicate. If one were to examine this possibility carefully, I am sure it would pass all the criteria of its applicability with roaring success. Best Regards,

  3. Sadanand Patwardhan Says:

    My educated guess that IPL is Indian Pre-Fixed League have started proving correct even faster than I had anticipated. Even BBCI President's son in law is now arrested. I am sure that the betting has been going on in all the six seasons of IPL must have been known to police all along as police are always aware of such illegalities because of their close association with criminals in the course of their duty. The whole point is the timing of their action, which has come as a big relief from the unwelcome scrutiny that Politicians and Delhi Police faced.The drama of owners of Chennai Super Kings- India Cement whose MD is BCCI President- now claiming that his son in law is neither owner, nor CEO or Team Principal of CSK had began. ship starts to sink, Rats have no relaives.

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