MONEY is power, power corrupts. The BCCI is so flush with funds ~ admittedly raised by its own endeavours ~ that over the past fortnight or so it has rendered meaningless terms like “shocking, disgusting, unacceptable and unprincipled”. For what has the clamour about cleansing the management of the game achieved: a working committee meeting that fools nobody about the de facto position remaining intact, actually endorsed, and that the IPL-related scandals have merely set the field for future shenanigans with higher stakes. Little has changed, the BCCI secretary and treasurer who quit are bit-players, the “IPL chief” shed his feathers only because Rahul Gandhi indicated displeasure. It makes little sense ~ except within craven BCCI circles ~ that N Srinivasan “steps aside” when he retains virtually all authority: including representing India at international cricketing fora. Jagmohan Dalmiya has reduced himself to a menial, functioning sans a designation, with questionable authority and accepting the job without knowing who will replace Sanjay Jagdale and Ajay Shirke. Maybe the media created baseless hype that the working committee would pressure Srinivasan to quit, the meeting was “fixed”. That raises apprehension that the probe will go the same way, its terms of references have yet to be announced. The two former judges should reconsider their position lest they too wind up being suspected of falling prey to the BCCI&’s manipulative power. Right now Srinivasan is being dubbed the bad guy, what about his co-conspirators ~ the men who dared not press him to quit. Devilry hatched in Delhi saw the Pawar camp marginalised, Arun Jaitley put his principles in his pocket lest he lose support for his bid to head the BCCI later this year. Dare he demand action against corruption in future after he ducked opportunity to tackle it in the nation&’s second most-burning passion, politics being the first. That such acquiescence trickles down is sickening, Sunil Gavaskar&’s line about morality levels being a personal matter stinks as much as Lalit Bhanot&’s contention that foreigners had higher standards of hygiene than Indians.
The arrogance, authoritarianism and brazenness of the BCCI has reached such a sorry pass that even if M S Dhoni&’s men bring home the laurels a few weeks hence, the image of the game will remain tarnished. This is not a matter confined to the despicable men who send down no-ball after no-ball. What has willy-nilly been strengthened is the case for something potentially worse ~ a greater role for an equally unprincipled government in sport.