A little bit of everything

That trip to my hometown took longer to recover from than I anticipated — not so much physically as mentally. Maybe when I feel more settled, will use the trip, and feelings emanating from it, for a more personalized blog post.

Just back at work, and trying to clear the backlog. So I’ll leave you with a prophesy of things to come, something to listen to/debate, and a stray thought that occurred to me the other day, when I saw the lead headlines in the print media.

First, the stray thought: What do you make of the Congress-led government at the Center finally “getting tough” on CWG corruption? The other day, to big-type headlines, the government announced that it has sacked Suresh Kalmadi from the post of Chairman of the CWG Organizing Committee. This move, apparently, is to “prevent him from interfering in the ongoing investigation”.

Did a mouthful of scalding hot coffee go down the wrong way when you read that?

I don’t know what I dislike more: that there is widespread corruption of humongous levels, or that the government, under whose umbrella most of this is happening, takes the public for idiots.

The CWG is over and done with — ergo, the “Organizing Committee” is de facto defunct because there is nothing left to “organize”. So how does sacking Kalmadi from a defunct body become a punitive measure?

That leaves the “interfering in the investigation” bit — which is if anything even more laughable than the other. If such a move was to have any impact, Kalmadi should have been suspended from that post, pending investigation, when corruption allegations first surfaced. That is something the government carefully refrained from doing — instead, it allowed the man to continue in that post for months; it telegraphed its intention to probe the various scams, thus providing the officials plenty of time to get rid of the evidence; it allowed Kalmadi and gang to derail the investigation in every way possible — and now that the damage is all done, the government makes a move that is intended to fool everyone, but is so amateurishly transparent that it only makes the government a laughing stock.

What I don’t get is, why did the media — both print and electronic — which played up the news of Kalmadi’s sacking like it was a bold move for the government, not ask these questions?

Next, a straw in the wind: Kolkata, at the rate things are going, will likely lose its rights to host the World Cup because the stadium is nowhere close to being ready. Professor Ratnakar Shetty, who has for the duration been named the official Dr Pangloss of the BCCI, will tell you this is one more instance of the media being alarmist. What he will not tell you is that not only is work at the Gardens proceeding at less than desirable pace, there is within a section of the BCCI the hope/expectation that Kolkata fails to meet the final deadlines. If that happens, the games to be staged at that venue will have to be re-allocated — and Chennai would love to add the India-England game to its kitty, since it believes India-West Indies is not sufficiently attractive enough to ensure a full house and maximize the money-making potential.

Then again, what do I know? Shetty says everything is kosher, all work is on schedule and will be completed “on deadline” (never mind that two deadlines have been missed already). And Shetty should know — shouldn’t he?

Now for the listening matter: on Cricinfo, a debate on the increasingly intrusive advertising that spoils our experience of watching cricket. I have some thoughts — but I’d like to hear from you guys first:

The Cricinfo debate