Recently, two major events grabbed the headlines of newspapers. The first was the massacre in Chhattisgarh. Salwa Judum, whatever it is, should be immediately banned and thrown out. Some time back the Supreme Court had made serious remarks against this State supported counter violence by non State actors. After the Supreme Court remarks, they changed the name from Salwa Judum to something else but the activities were continuing. Now, the person who was reported to have started this whole thing has been killed. The earlier the Government of Chhattisgarh understands that this kind of counter violence cannot be successful the better it is. The whole Naxalite movement is a sensitive socio-economic issue and the violence of the Maoists cannot be finished by counter violence, whatever it may be. One can understand the police and sometimes the army taking action, but this kind of counter violence certainly does not befit a democracy like India. The Central Government is not showing much interest in this matter, I do not know why. The Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh should be summoned immediately by the Prime Minister and the matter should be taken up at the highest level. If the Chief Minister does not agree, there is no harm in temporarily imposing President’s rule in Chhattisgarh. But this kind of inhuman behaviour should stop. At the same time a method should be found for opening a dialogue with the Maoists. The real issue is the displacement of tribals from their habitat. Orissa is a peaceful State but because of the mining rights being given to the corporates in the tribal areas it has become a beehive of Naxalism or Maoism. When Mr. Chidambaram was the Home Minister, his view was that this can be eradicated by the police and tough action but it will take a few years. The present Home Minister is a non-serious person and his portfolio has to be changed without delay. Even after the massacre he was in the USA and extended his stay instead of rushing back. The UK Prime Minister rushed back, cutting short his foreign trip when only a few soldiers, or a few UK citizens were killed. We are taking this matter very lightly and the Prime Minister himself should intervene. Salwa Judum should be buried forever.
The second issue that has come up is betting and some match fixing syndicate in the IPL matches. Again, IPL should be stopped immediately. If the BCCI wants to save itself from dilution and wants to retain the primacy that it once had, it should rid itself of IPL. IPL was brought in by one Mr. Lalit Modi clearly telling the BCCI that it will bring good money and BCCI does not know how to earn money. He brought it as a money scheme. It was not for raising the standards of cricket. It was not for creating a good cricket team to play abroad or even domestic cricket. It was not for protecting cricketers. It was an inter corporate tamasha. Betting and match fixing were an inherent, integral part of this scheme. Why should anybody be surprised, I don’t know. Late night parties, fashion shows, cheer leaders, are all recipes for disaster. In normal Test cricket and One Day cricket all Boards the world over including BCCI discourage cricketers from late night parties prior to a match. They never allow cricketers to be indisciplined. IPL has only indiscipline writ on its face. It is time to clear the dirt from Indian cricket. IPL should be discontinued immediately. The BCCI should get into its original task of conducting international cricket and domestic cricket within the parameters for which the BCCI is mandated. The BCCI Constitution is clear. Unfortunately a senior political leader was the President of BCCI when IPL started. He fell into the trap of Lalit Modi. It was cleared that a cement company owned by Srinivasan could own an IPL team. Now the same people are saying Srinivasan should quit. It is not relevant whether Srinivasan quits or does not quit. That is not the issue. The issue is what is this whole IPL? How can BCCI run IPL, which is a tamasha, which is like a circus. The only solution is for BCCI to discontinue IPL and return to its original mandate which was to conduct international and domestic cricket. Some seriousness should come. There are lot of senior political leaders in BCCI. The whole thing started from Rajasthan. The then Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje inducted her close friend Lalit Modi, though Lalit Modi had nothing to do with cricket nor with Rajasthan, except he was a personal friend of the Chief Minister. She enacted an ordinance and later an Act that only local people could run Rajasthan cricket. And, what is the definition of local people? Any person who has a property in any district of Rajasthan. By that, Lalit Modi got into Rajasthan cricket. He has nothing to do with Rajasthan. I do not know if she again comes to power she may perpetuate this. The present Chief Minister should take immediate steps to see that Rajasthan cricket is cleansed. The normal cricket administration of Rajasthan is disturbed now C P Joshi, the Central Minister is heading the association. He knows nothing about cricket. If Indian cricket is to be saved, a cleansing is required and it should begin with IPL.