G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Friday, March 07, 2008

IPL is Not Rape of Cricket but a Promise of Million Mutinies

Vinod Mehta has called IPL and/or its auction of cricketers “the rape of cricket”. (Outlook March 10, 2008).

“…The BCCI is a destructive body determined to kill cricket. If anyone is planning a coup d’etat against it, count me in. The present lot must be removed before they inflict further damage. Meanwhile, all cricket lovers must hope the IPL is a complete and total flop. And the people who conjured up this dreadful scheme are badly burned.”

National leaders of all hue from Gurudas Dasgupta to Bal Thackeray via Sharad Yadav have already lambasted IPL, some of them calling for its ban.

I disagree with all of them as far as IPL is concerned.

While growing up, I played and watched gulli sports from kabaddi to cricket and I strongly feel that people should get an opportunity to play/participate in a sport locally. And those who do should make reasonable living out of the same.

Fan like me should get an opportunity to see a sporting action on a local ground and not just on TV. I have always enjoyed watching a gulli game far more than the one on TV.

IPL and ICL are those opportunities.

Many people have called auction of the players vulgar.

If it’s so, most other things should also be called vulgar: Highly educated people changing three jobs in two days for more money, film stars charging obscene money to inaugurate shops, TV serials propagating pseudosciences, citizens changing nationality like soiled clothes, goons lynching poor labourers because they don’t speak a particular language, society at large that holds the poor criminally responsible for their position, news media that will catastrophize anything they can, people that worry about their own children but don’t feel hurt or pained when they see others’ children exploited or treated badly…

I feel IPL is likely to give huge opportunity to young people from weaker sections of Indian society to make it big. It is a promising tool to promote social mobility in India. Today BCCI may be controlling this localization of Indian cricket but tomorrow may throw a lot of surprises at it.

If a boy enjoys his cricket, is prepared to work hard for it, cannot afford expensive higher education, with a bit of luck, he needn’t study his textbooks.

Therefore, following picture is no exaggeration.


Artist : R K Laxman Times of India February 25, 2008