Perceptions

The way I see everything!!!

Archive for April 2009

The Indian Premier League and the Indian Political League

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Disclaimer: This post was actually conceptualized and drafted before Rajdeep Sardesai’s post on IBNLive.com, which does a better coverage of what I wanted to write. However, since I did draft this one, I have decided to put it up, with a disclaimer that the contents are original. 

Two of the biggest entertainment blockbusters have just released in the television set near you. The IPL and the IPL. The Indian Premier League and the Indian Political League. The resemblances that both share are uncanny, right from their heroes, to the controversies to new strategies, the money involved, to the way the nature of the game (cricket and politics) has changed / evolved / degenerated. 

Of multiple captains and multiple PMs:  The Kolkata Knight Riders have announced their multiple captaincy theory, which can be summarized as, their team will no longer have 1 on-field captain, but 3-4 captains based to improve efficiency. The United Progressive Alliance is currently on a similar ground with Manmohan Singh being pronounced as the Congress’s candidate, while Sharad Pawar harbouring his Prime Ministerial ambitions. That the ‘third front’ as as many PM Candidates as the number of parties that constitute it is another example of the ‘multi-captain’ theory. Whereas, the National Democratic Alliance has claimed it has only 1 PM candidate, the problem is that the alliance has shrunk from 23 parties to 6 (4 of which are a political joke).

Bottomline: Too many cooks spoil the broth. More so in politics that in sports. I would fancy Kolkata Knight Riders’ attempt becoming successul, but post elections, with everyon wanting a powerful post in the centre, loyalties are going to be sold, resold and stolen. Clearly, an unstable government awaits us in the centre, with jackasses holding important portfolios. 

Thou shall entertain the masses: What does Shilpa Shetty know about cricket? For that matter, what does she know about anything at all? With an IQ of -250 and a body to die for, she definitely adds glamour to the game. So is the case with Preity Zinta. Shahrukh Khan is a marketing genius who will make profits again even if his team performs with the same level of ‘expertise’ as it did last year. Vijay Mallya’s team might not be favourites to win this year as well, but, there is ONE reaason why I would want them to perform well. Their cheerleaders redefine HOT. 🙂 The fact is, to win the masses, you must entertain them.  Our politicos have understood this centuries back. That is why people like Hema Malini, Vinod Khanna, Dharmendra, Shekhar Suman, Shotgum Shatrugan have joined the bandwagon. Unlike southern actor politicians like Chiranjeevi,MGR, NTR, Jayalalitha who had brilliant political acumen, the yesteryear’s Bollywood ‘Superstars’ are there for the exact same reason like Shilpa Shetty and Preity Zinta. Look pretty and hot and make fools out of themselves!

Bottomline: For every marketing genius (Shahrukh Khan), there is an equal and opposite bimbo (Shilpa Shetty). For every populous leader (Jayalalitha), there will continue to be an equal and opposite bimbo too (Hema Malini and others).

NEWS channels prefer Bad Boys as Bad boys = More TRPs, Less News: We all love bad boys and the controversies. Last year, we had the ‘Slap-Gate’ controversy between Harbhajan Singh and Sreesanth. (That suffixing ‘Gate’ after every action word that creates a controversy shows our media’s obsession with the US is a rant I save for later). This year, the bad boy for the IPL was chosen even before the tournament began. John Buchanan for removing Dada from captaincy. Thank God the IPL is in South Africa. The communist party and Trinamool Congress would have possibly added this in their party manifesto, and reinstated as captain after elections. Needless to say, 7500 effigies for John Buchanan would have been burnt before every KKR match. Not to be outdone, the political parties needed to feed the media channels their bad boy too. Enter Varun Gandhi with his ‘Diplomacy and Secularism for dummies’. The only dummy to be slapped with an NSA, just like Harbhajan Singh after slapping Sreesanth, Varun Gandhi’s expression was priceless when he was being interviewed by the NEWS channels the day after he made the speech. Both looked like they would crap in their pants! 😀

Bottomline: Without controversies and bad boys, the NEWS Channels shall fail in their attampt to create a hysteria-type situation, and without such an environment, we shall not have the Civil War that these channels aim to create. Also, we need these bad boys to remind us, what a bunch of fools we ‘worship’. Be it in Cricket or Politics.

I am Stupid!: In the Indian Premier League, we are yet to have a contender for the ‘Duh!’ award for brilliance. Last year’s winner though was Sreesanth who thought it was funny to make fun of an angry sikh, and in the process got slapped, and cried like a baby, lost his place from the team, managed to get a stress facture without playing a single game, and now is the official male-cheerleader / break dancer of the King’s Eleven Punjab. However, in the political scenario, we already have quite a few contenders.

1. Sanjay Dutt for his homocidal / suicidal tendencies with his offer to give the jaadu ki jappi and pappi to Mayawati (of all people).

2. The Congress Party for their decision to field Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler, after the CBI submitted theit ‘neutral’ observations and gave them a clean chit. That a shoe had to be thrown at the Hon. Home Minister of India, to ensure that the Congress revokes Sajjan Kumar’s and Jagdish Tytler’s tickets is not something that highlights their ‘foresight’.

Many more… 

Bottomline: With such representations, we are hitting rock bottom pretty fast.

What game are we talking about???: The Indian Premier League and the Indian Political League have both redefined the nature of the game. Gone are the days of Hit-Consolidate-Hit in cricket. Now its Wham-Bam-Thank You Ma’am. One good over can be the difference between a winner and a loser. If its a tie, we can have a bowl out. The good old fashioned cricket is… almost extinct. As in the case of the England’s Tests against the Windies. Its city based loyalties, where Kolkata boos when Sachin bats or Mumbai boos when Sehwag blasts away to glory. Indian politics has changed too. Regional parties have grown in power. Mayawati can dream of becoming the Prime Minister. Soon, the nation will have statues of Mayawati in every apartment. Andhra politics has evolved from fancy (green shirt / pink pant wearing) filmstars based campaigning to promises of Color TVs and set top boxes. Politics is maturing, with Samajwadi Party claiming to BAN ENGLISH. We shall soon get back to bullock carts. Meanwhile the ‘National Parties’ are busy discussing issues of national relevance like who is a weaker PM. The common man doesn’t care! He really doesn’t! 

Bottomline: Whether we like it or not, regional parties are here to stay and take us to the neolithic ages! Yaba Daba Dooooo!!! 

The backstage guys: The Election Commission and the Indian Premier League organization committee kick ass! This election is by far the most thought out elections, with so much thought going into each phase. Starting from the Naxalite infested zones, the phases have been planned such that the deployment of troop is easy and smooth. In such uncertain times, the EC had to get together and put up a show that truly demonstates the democracy India is. And it has done more than that.

2009 Loksabha elections map

2009 Loksabha elections map

The same must be told of the Indian Premier League. IPL1 was a HUGE success. It was entertaining, exciting, and the best reality show I have ever seen. IPL 2, despite the last minute setbacks promises much more, and I have no doubt, it will be a bigger success. 

Bottom Line: As always, we never give credit to the people who made it happen. What would we do without them?

Young Guns… Missing!!!: The Congress talks of itself as a ‘Young’ party. Except that the ones who are allowed to make speeches, talk to the media are Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Wadhra. The Jyotiradityas and the Milind Deoras are well, missing!!! The BJP doesn’t even have such faces, except probably people from the ABVP (their youth wind) who are known for murdering professors (Prof Sabharwal anyone???). The regional parties… Ah! Why am I even trying!

If the opening match of the IPL 2 is anything to go by, then this IPL is going to be dominated by the Seniors. A lot of them have been treated like dirt, thrown into a dustbin. Yes, IPL last year did manage to bring in a lot of youngsters, but the ones who are in the current team are pretty much the ones before IPL. Except maybe Yousuf Pathan! But to be honest, the IPL cannot be compared to the political system in this regard. IPL gives the younger cricketers a lot to look forward to. Not so, with the Political system.

Bottom Line: Talk all you want about us being a young nation, but eventually the reality is we have a choice between a 76 year old PM (Manmohan Singh) and 82 year old Advani. The next time some one talks abt the ‘Youth’ and ‘Gen Next’, I shall be throwing a chappal on them!!!

And Lastly… 

What is the point!!!  A fundamental question… What is the point!!! This election is the most pointless election in Indian electoral history. Not ONE national issue. You mean to say, we as a nation are have risen above national issues!!! So, why exactly are we voting? So that the politicians can rake in moolah while we are struggling to retain our jobs in the recession!  What is the point of the IPL??? To say, Rajasthan is a better team than Chennai (except Chennai team is lead by someone from Ranchi, Hyderabad by an Australian, Rajasthan by an Aussie too, Kolkatta by a Newzealander and 3 more people, Bangalore by an Englishman). The IPL is for the BCCI to rake in moolah, when we are losing jobs too! Ofcourse it is recession proof! Lalit Modi will become richer, and we will contribute to the same, while he makes statements about cricket like he is a statesman!!! 

Bottom Line: Just as pointless. But we are a part of it. ‘Cos, lets be honest, both the IPL’s are entertaining as hell!!!

Written by shivnarayan

Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 4:45 pm