A middle aged man has this niggling dream. He works intently, intensely, relentlessly to make his dream a reality. Then, we called him a visionary because he made his commercial dream become a money-making, foot-stomping, scintillating extravaganza – Yes the Indian Premier League! Never before had we seen this cricketing feast – where the world’s renowned cricketers and our extremely young unknown cricketers from small towns came together on one platform. We had players being auctioned and huge sums of money became the order of the day. Yes Lalit Modi – I had never heard of him before – became the IPL Commissioner. He made his dream come true. How often is one able to do that?
There were many wary of this entire scheme of events. Many criticized. Then there were the risk-takers or I would like to call them, the dream weavers who jumped onto this bandwagon. They didn’t know if their investments would really be wise – but they invested anyway. The ‘hoohaha’ was “Oh! A third world country trying to achieve this magnus opus.” Consequently, it became an overwhelming success. It made me and so many millions happy just to have these exciting matches to watch. It was a delightful and absolutely awesome experience.
In a country like ours if you talk different or walk different, you are looked at with disbelief. Now here was a man who spoke with a passion for the extravaganza and then delivered it with aplomb and pizzazz. Somewhere along the way as Lalit Modi got popular and was looked at with such fondness – there were others who now wanted a piece of that very delicious pie. Don’t you think that if he made that pie, he deserved a generous helping? After all, that’s why it was commercial. Yes; so he led the good life – didn’t he deserve it? Where were all of you when the dream was in the making? If you were behind it, where’s your support now? I find it amazing, that now that the man you fronted as your IPL commissioner suddenly has feet of clay, you’re accusing him of some 22charges – so what were all of you doing backing a venture like this for three years?
Why is it that in a democratic country like ours, instead of being supportive and letting ventures like these flourish, we want to drag down the very cornerstone that we inaugurated? Do we treat someone so badly and make him out to be a common criminal when simple communication could do wonders? We ostracize him before we find him guilty. We break his belief and everyone else’s belief in him.
To Mr. Lalit Modi, I say to you – Fight back! Let every young person in this country know that justice prevails. Don’t let them get to you. The youth of this country want to see commercially viable projects like these where our country and its citizens can stand tall and walk with cricketers who looked down on them and wanted to sledge. This is not just a sports bonanza – it’s an amalgamation of nations and culture. It’s looking at people with a new perspective. See how we look at Gilchrist and Shane Warne as part of our teams. We can see Brett Lee, Keiron Pollard and so many others just as part of a team; not a nation. Mr. Lalit Modi, there are those who have seen the sparkle and gleam in your eye and caught the tremor in your voice when you have declared the game open.
I ask all those who sat behind closed doors last evening to plot against Modi – where was your love for cricket? Did you ever bother that cricket was the chief guest? As you schemed, Mr. Modi was present there enjoying the matches. Yes, you want to have someone new at the helm – the sloppy, burpy, pot-bellied slobs who do not represent sport. If cricket has to win, let the visionary continue his mission. To Mr. Modi, I say, “May the force be with you”! Don’t let anyone drag you down!
To the ‘so-called powers that be’, take a hard good look at yourselves. Do you think you fit into those squeaky clean polished shoes or do you want the ‘chappal’ brigade brought on? (here it’s not used to adorn feet but more to fling them at each other…)
Let India count! Don’t let Indian cricket down! You encourage and raise someone high and then you say – this demi-god must topple – why don’t you dream your own dream where a lot of the green-eyed monsters surround your never-ending thirst?!