What security? Which concern?

I’d like to see the IPL being staged — and successfully — in India.

To paraphrase one of Virender Sehwag’s memorable quotes during the last edition in South Africa, this is the Indian Premier League, not the International Premier League. Besides, India needs to stage the IPL here to underline the point that terrorists from across the border cannot hold this country to hostage, that lunatic elements both internal and external do not get to dictate our lives.

That said, just stumbled on this WTF quote from the commissioner himself:

“We are going to have the tournament in India. I can’t see any reason why we should move it at this point in time. The media is reacting to every fringe group saying security is a problem,” Modi told BBC Sport in reaction to the concerns.

The media is reacting? The media didn’t sponsor this threat assessment — various countries did. The media didn’t put forward a list of security-related demands. And the media is certainly not the author of this quote:

“The guys were nervous before the game but we need to trust the process we have always used with CSA and the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA),” Smith toldSupersport. “We would prefer to play in a more peaceful environment but that’s the nature of the world we live in at the moment.

“Players remain concerned about the security issues for IPL. This is a big event with lots of different players, stadia, hotels and travel arrangements. The help and assistance we get for this event from our players association will be very important to us. Everyone is monitoring the situation very closely at the moment.”

Tony Irish, the SACA chief executive, said, “The Jaipur threat was investigated by CSA’s security consultants, Nicholls Steyn and Associates. We will rely on their advice as to its legitimacy, what level of risk it presents to the team and what security measures are necessary.”

He also agreed that the IPL represented a very different set of circumstances to a national tour where security was more easily controlled. “The IPL is an Indian domestic tournament and the players go there as individuals playing for eight different franchise teams,” Irish said. “The boards of the different countries can’t really be expected to review the security plans so it falls to the players associations in each country to do this for players. We take that responsibility very seriously. I can’t think of anything more important than player safety and we won’t compromise in any way on that.”

None of this is to suggest that the IPL panic, and shift base. Ignoring threats, or passing them off as media concoctions, could however be short-sighted, and the blowback if something does happen could be fatal to the future of the IPL. A far better option would be for Modi to take the various stakeholders’ concerns seriously, to work with the respective associations and the Federal Home Ministry to ensure immaculate security.

Or he can continue to play blind, deaf and dumb — especially dumb. And hope like hell hubris doesn’t bite him in the butt.

Meanwhile, we have a game on today. Thoughts, if any, on Twitter — and back on here tomorrow.

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6 thoughts on “What security? Which concern?

  1. Ah, so much distrust. I bet even an unfortunate incident during the IPL won’t deter Modi from his ways. He will just say “We did the best we could” and the millions of Indians will say “We rule the cricketing world, we make the rules”. No one will care about the people who might lose their lives if something were to go wrong. A lot of Indians don’t value human life as much as people in other countries unless it’s the life of one of their own. Having spent a reasonable amount of time here and abroad it’s there for all to see. We even voted back a government that couldn’t protect its people from the numerous terrorist attacks, is it really surprising that we fail to see the genuine concerns of people who are not willing to accept such blatant disregard for human life?

    • Ah, well said, Mahek!

      The reason we, as South Asians, don’t value human lives as much as the people in the West do is because we are constantly bombarded with death tolls that they all have become a statistic. However, you don’t often see 50 people dying in the West!

      As an example, as I write this comment, one of the 3 main news on the BBC News website is that a woman in US has died after being attacked by a killer whale. The first thought that flashed across my mind is of incredulity, “Really? That incident is really so big to deserve a mention on the main news, let alone the front page?”

      Besides, a majority of the people in Sri Lanka voted in a President (and is set to vote in a Govenment) who is continually curtailing the rights of the common man and turning this country into another Zimbabwe!

      The only thing that the leader of any organisation needs to do to get the support of the people is hyperbole!

  2. Prem, stop being a Gunga Din for a second and think about this. The issue is not about security at all. It is about cutting Modi and IPL to size. I am surprised you do not see this.
    Also, we see all kinds of stuff about BCCI being too powerful. How come there are no such writings when Eng and Aus were the ones running the show as “imperial” conference? Is it that BCCI does not have the sanction of god, queen and the mandate to go forth civilize the ‘savages’?

    Heck, even the dictator samaranch did not get this kind of press for far worse things he did with olympics.
    Today it will be about security, tomorrow something else. But it is always something…and that ‘something’ is for folks in eng/aus not able to stomach the success and money power generated here. Even recently, as IS, as recently as 1987 nasty things were said about a world cup moving to India. The generation that organized the show at that time still remember the insults. Was there terrorism then?

    • Well when it comes to interpreting our Co missioner’s utterances , you need to change your reference axes. He still lives in the pre- Galilean days and he thinks that he is the center of the universe.

      Voila…now you would know why the associations look like “fringe members ” to him. The brightest star who keeps rising high with each IPL and seems to be losing touch with the ground realities.

      A successful IPL is what everyone’s praying for and a little more sincerity and candidness on his part would help make it to much better….and as Prem said – Hoping he doesn’t get his ass bitten off.

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