Saturday, April 10, 2010

IPL = League of Priviliged Indians!!

IPL is not Indian Primier League. It is League of Priviliged Indians. Veteran writer, scholar and historian Ramachandra Guha writes in The Telegraph.

The promoters of the IPL claim to be speaking on behalf of Indian cricket. However, the polarizing instincts of their tournament run counter to — and threaten to defeat —the inclusive and democratizing trends that were inaugurated by the victory of the Indian cricket team in the 1983 World Cup and the boom in satellite television that followed. 

From the 1950s to the 1970s, Indian cricket was dominated by a handful of large cities — such as Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Calcutta and Bangalore. But from the 1980s onwards, smaller and previously more obscure centres started sending players to the national side.

Cricketers from towns in Bihar, Orissa, UP, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, from Vadodara, even Jharkhand, began winning India caps. Simultaneously, international matches, once held only in the big metros, now began being hosted by Guwahati, Cuttack, Gwalior, Jamshedpur, and the like.

The Indian Premier League may be more appropriately renamed the League of Privileged Indians. For this tournament both reflects and further intensifies a deep divide between the India of wealth and entitlement and the India — or Bharat — of poverty and disenfranchisement. 

Writing about the dangerous growth of inequality in India, the economist, Amartya Sen, warned some years ago that if present trends continued, half of India would look like the American state of California, the other half like sub-Saharan Africa. Since he made this comment, California has been beset with an acute — and apparently irreversible — fiscal crisis. Perhaps we might then substitute the state of Massachusetts for it. 

But the point remains; there are indeed two Indias, the one which is awarded IPL franchises, and the other which is not.
To read the full article click here.


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