Lalit Modi was a hero. Till yesterday. Actually, much more than just a hero – Modi’s flamboyance was apparently lending some extra shine to the Shining India. Today, Modi is a crook. Actually, more than just a crook – an intransigent corrupt megalomaniac.
I have no sympathies for Lalit Modi. I share every bit of the Indian middle-class prejudice against him. But Modi was never on his own. He merely reflected the general attitude of the BCCI in recent years. Today, BCCI President, Shashank Manohar tried to convince us through this press conference that the BCCI is only an innocent bystander and cannot be help responsible for Lalit Modi‘s actions. Deft placement and clinical footwork on display –
- “I don’t think the autonomy of the BCCI is threatened because allegations and counter allegations are made” – yes, because the BCCI is a non-political, non-partisan charitable body
- “Basically I don’t understand what is the concept of professionalising an institution. Everyone here (BCCI) works as honorary members and don’t charge anything” – I can totally believe the first sentence. We need to send him to a b-school. Now! And the rest, less said the better…
- “…most of the contracts which are entered into have been entered into without the consent of the GC or they’ve been brought to the GC after the contract was signed” and “There is no question of failure on the part of the GC because a professional set-up was appointed” and “if the funds are coming from Mauritius or Virgin Islands, I do not have any machinery to find out where the funds are coming from” – right! and hence, when even the IPL Governing Council is not responsible for this mess, how can you even wonder if the BCCI should be docked for the scandal?
- About Kochi’s sweat equity – “we’re not concerned if they give sweat equity to someone or not. That’s their problem; they can give hundred percent as sweat equity” – please no! let Shashi Tharoor at least R.I.P.
- On Patel (Minister for Civil Aviation) and Pawar (Minister for Agriculture) – “Those allegations, to the best of my knowledge, are incorrect“, just after having said “I don’t think there’s any political pressure and I can assure you that as far as I’m concerned, there’s no political pressure which can influence my decisions“ –totally credible. I trust him. After all, “a public organisation functions on trust because each and every person can’t go and check every aspect or each and every document“. Oh sorry, the privately held club, BCCI is in fact, a public organisation. And political heavyweights and their near and dear ones holding top jobs obviously doesn’t imply any politicisation.
In the middle of all this – someone won IPL 3; the T20 World Cup starts in a week…and the show goes on.