Monday, March 23, 2009

Cricket Hijacked: The BCCI's high adventurism on taking the IPL overseas must be nipped

WHO will list the atrocities carried through in the Indian fan's? Let's ask Shashank Manohar, president of the BCCI and perpetrator of the latest outrage. In a statement on Sunday, he said that the IPL would be taken overseas. Cranking up the ego war with the government on the logistics of this IPL season, he apologized to the "people of India", but comforted himself by saying that at last they'd now be able to watch the tournament on television.

Really, Mr Manohar? Is this truly what's behind this effort to start a bidding war between England and South Africa to host the IPL? Because if it is the Indian fan's benefit that's on the agenda, the BCCI's latest announcement amounts to little less than the cricketing equivalent of high treason. It is nothing less than an attempt to abduct India's favorite sport.

The government was ill-advised to have initially given the impression that India could not stage an election and a sport tournament. But to its credit, it hastened to offer cooperation in reworking the IPL schedule. By then the BCCI's IPL czar, Lalit Modi, had made it a point of prestige, and heaven knows what else. Because every comment made by him since then - and we all know how much Modi likes to talk - has set new records for the crude­ness with which he has staked ownership of Indian cricket. Cricket administrators in India hold a copyright to a certain kind of arrogance. For them cricket has been a state within a state. But as long as the game has played on, they have been allowed to be. Now that they have gone one step too far, and challenged the legitimacy of the Indian state, the government must consider what the law is so that cricket can be retrieved from such thuggish adventurism.

Let's start at the basics. Cricket matters in India because the people take it seriously. The BCCI's clout accrues from this popular interest. And it was in the interest of the game that critics hushed reservations about some of the IPL’s suspect procedures. Its opaque decision-making, for instance, and turf wars with wannabe leagues. After all, domestic cricket would find new utterance with this league format. But now the IPL chooses to amplify that turf mentality by making it seem India is not safe for cricket as usual. That's certainly not the case in a country set to host the Common­ wealth Games and the cricket world cup. And that's certainly not fair to India's fans or its first-class cricketers. For starters, the government may ask Sharad Pawar, a key member of the Union cabinet and the cricket establishment, just what his views are and what he can do to retrieve the situation.

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WHO CAN deny the power of prayer?

Some of us pray only when we are in trouble. That means prayer is a sincere of great comfort and solace. It gives us a chance to be in commune with the Creator. Often, in adversary circumstances, nothing can give one greater strength than the feeling that God is with you, guiding your steps every moment.

One of the most important means for the treatment of psychological diseases, which often lead to organic diseases, is to improve the patient’s morale with prayers and spiritual talks. Let him be in touch, through prayers, with the Almighty for a source of end­ less fortitude and guidance.

Prayer does not simply mean the repetition of recital of certain words according to a fixed formula, with the expectation of a favorable response. He who prays in this manner does not really pray, and must not be disappointed if his prayers are not answered.

Prayer must be supported with sincere efforts, and we must remind ourselves that God helps those who help themselves. We have the words of wisdom from our saints that tell us, "do your job well, and leave the rest to Him." Prophet Muhammad had said this in a more beautiful and effective way: "Helpless is the one who allows himself what he likes, and then asks God for the fulfillment of his wishes.

Prayer molds your mind and purifies your soul, disciplines your life and enables you to per­ form what is noble. Its power has the strength to salvage the rejected and the dejected, and gives reason and hope to live life in a manner that is purposeful and caring. The basic purpose of life is to gain insight into the sufferings of others and to get them relieved of their pains. And ' prayer acts as an effective instrument in your struggle against pain and suffering.

One can say prayer is the best medicine for all ills ­ physical, mental and worldly.

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