Bright Side of IPL Spot-Fixing, Globalisation.

The fiercely competitive match between Delhi and Mumbai police to investigate the ‘IPL spot-fixing’ scandal is reaching scurrilously exciting phase. While both have admitted for the time being that their respective ‘celebrity’ quarries have confessed to ‘betting’, none have pressed the charges of ‘fixing’ against them as yet. Mumbai police had netted Chennai Super Kings’ owner’s son in law, Gurunath Meiappan, some days back, had arrested him, and who is now out on bail. Delhi have at the moment grilled the owner of Rajasthan Royals’ owner, Raj Kundra, for over 12 hours and had him surrender his passport. He too is alleged of ‘betting’. Incidentally, Meiappan and Kundra are supposed to have placed bets mainly on matches involving their own teams, and both have reportedly lost money overall. What the police have managed with the periodic sensational leaks about the progress of their investigations is to have the media’s voyeuristic but fickle attention firmly focused on themselves.
Incidental bonus has been that the Page 3 personas have now moved center stage onto the front pages of national media with even yesteryear’s Bollywood queen and Kundra’s wife, Shilpa Shetty, having been named by Delhi police: “Rajasthan Royals co-owner Shilpa Shetty had placed bets on a cricket match on at least one occasion, a friend of the Bollywood actor’s husband Raj Kundra has told Delhi Police investigators“. Mumbai police had arrested Meiappan for ‘betting’, which Delhi police have ‘piously’ announced is not their focus, and their ’emphasis’ is on ‘fixing’ and ‘organized betting syndicates’ behind them: “A senior Delhi Police official had yesterday refused to specify whether Kundra is a “suspect or complainant”, stating he was an “important person” needed for questioning. Police sources claimed that Kundra was into betting but not into fixing. Their questioning was basically into betting, sources said“.  
Hopefully, when police move away from their own ‘spot-fixing’ for media limelight through ‘convenient disclosures’ in the garb of press briefings; they may manage to get at the bottom of scandalous organized rackets, which spin around **spectacles of mega bucks** such as IPL. But did we hear any outrage from the tens of millions of cricket crazy fans that India produces and harbours in abundance? Their unwavering eyeballs and transfixed attention on cricket were the raison d’être for creating the phantasmagoria of IPL. Yet, when the scandal blew up right in their face, did they turn their backs on the remainder of the show? One would imagine they would as there is no game of ‘glorious uncertainty’ left, but only of ‘money soaked certainty’. In fact, blissfully unaware of their schizophrenic cricket craze they queued up at the gates of the stadium in Kolakatta for their ‘fix of Nirvana’. Or have the unending corruption scandals managed through political spot-fixing, that have exploded in the press with sickening regularity, anesthetized them to not care? 
Like a senior fan -a retired surgeon- said, IPL match is sublime ‘enjoyment’!!, why let ‘spot fixing’ scandal spoil it? The ‘sport’ has finally and firmly turned into a ‘carnival’, where the high of breathless entertainment is the only thing that matters, everything else is passe. Here is why I see the bright side of IPL scandal. In Marathi we have a proverb, वाईटातूनही कधी कधी चांगले निघते (good sometimes emerges from bad). How? Cricket in the Indian subcontinent has always stood for and substituted actual ‘War’, especially when the game is between India and Pakistan. Such cricket match had the ability to ignite worst kind of parochial and chauvinistic tendencies. Every Pakistani and Indian worth ‘his salt’ reacted to the outcome of a match either as a monumental national loss or a triumph of buoyant patriotism. Lo and behold, had an Indian been caught in fixing the performance of  a player or a player caught allowing his performance to be fixed, then he would have been skewered for his act of high treason, no less. He or his home would have been stoned. Vilest abuses would have been his lot. And the crowd pack would have bayed for his blood.  The talking heads in media led by the anchor in chief of Times TV would have gone nuts frothing at their mouths to demand may be no less than ‘capital punishment’. Such is the jingoism at work when cricket is played between teams of nations with blatant or latent hostility. Even players would have been extremely wary in such situation to compromise whether out of fear or for a favour. It is difficult to imagine that case would have been any different had the game been Hockey, Soccer, Rugby or Baseball played between different sets of nations from different continents. Each Team in IPL comprises of a mix of Indian and foreign players; though due to 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai in which Pakistan is held to be complicit, participation of their players in IPL has come under a cloud. Be that as it may, this eclectic mix of players has softened the rough edges of races, languages, nationalities, or cultures; and have helped dampen prejudices and hostilities. May be that is why cricket crazy spectators in India see it no more as a patriotic sport but a exuberant spectacle, where anything goes even including ‘betting’ and ‘fixing’. All add charm and glamour to the market place that IPL arenas have turned into. Is that why -forget agitated protests or boycotts- even a whimper from आम आदमी (common man) couldn’t be heard? Global capital is blind to all distinctions of race, creed, gender, national boundaries, and such other identities; save except the overarching weakness for unchecked Growth and Profits. Its dazzling enchantress -money- seems surely to have spread its blindness. Would that always ensure that sports remain spectacles and don’t turn into battlefields for proxy wars? Would it be a blessing in disguise or a disguise of a blessing?? 
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