…or lowering the level of dialog? Here’s what happened:
First, Shashi Tharoor made a statement in Parliament that was a complete waste of time, and much money [remember it is costing us Rs 26,000 a minute, give or take, to keep those jokers in business]. Here’s the full text; it contains nothing that has not already been put into the public domain by Tharoor and others already, in various television interactions. Maybe the next time he is asked for a statement, Tharoor should just refer the Lok Sabha to CNN-IBN or whoever — saves time all round.
And then Modi got into the act, with this little number.
“This morning, I learnt from a colleague of mine that Mr Tharoor has approached that ‘he would like their support to move the team out to Abu Dhabi. I don’t know which way they are going. The theme is to play in India, We will not allow any team to play outside India,” he told ‘Times Now’.
“All these allegations are to digress from giving the truth as to who the shareholders are and that’s the key and that’s what we are looking for. I will raise it in the next governing council meeting,” he said.
The rules are very clear — a franchise has to be housed in the city the franchisees picked. It cannot even be moved to an adjoining city, let alone an entire other country. Modi knows that as well as anyone else. Better — he wrote the damn rules. So how could Tharoor, or anyone else under the sun, move the Kochi franchise to Abu Dhabi?
Just for the purposes of argument, assuming Tharoor could do that — then what? What is one franchise supposed to do sitting in Abu Dhabi while the other nine are in India: play with itself? [And I don’t mean that the way it sounds. Or do I?]
This is nothing more than an attempt by Modi to trump Tharoor: If you play the Kerala card and set yourself up as the defender of the state’s right to own a franchise, I will become the defender of India’s sole privilege of hosting the IPL. And it is faintly ridiculous when, earlier this season, Modi has been talking about taking IPL around the world.
Clearly, this thing Modi “learnt” from “his colleague” is merely another in the increasingly ridiculous series of charges and counter-charges being thrown around. As he says himself, the idea is to “digress from the truth”, and distract attention from the areas it should be focused on.
The sad part is, the principals are supposed to be responsible men: ministers and other government officials, administrators, and the like. Yet their behavior increasingly resembles schoolyard bullies having a hearty mud fight.
You don’t know whether to laugh, or to throw up your hands and, echoing the Bard, go “A pox on both your houses”.
PostScript: I’m heading off for the weekend, folks. Updates between now and Monday, only if something really happens to merit it. Else, see you next week. And during the weekend, occasionally on Twitter.