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Sight Screen

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Democracy daze

Jagmohan Dalmiya is one upset johnny. He asks, with some heat:
Dalmiya publicly condemned the new tendency among clubs to move the court against the country's apex cricketing body. "Suddenly clubs have started going to courts. Time has come when the board should say that all affiliate units should come and and talk with it and work out solutions to their problems," he said.

Hear, hear, JD-saab -- the country is going to the dogs, no? Last year, same story -- this Rediff archive might refresh your memory, of the number of cases that sprang up around the election.
Achcha, so why do you suppose this is happening? Could it be because the BCCI has insisted on functioning with a complete, and completely callous, disregard for the woes expressed by the clubs that are after all the building blocks of India's cricket administration? Could it be because they have sought hearings and been brushed aside? Could it be because any club that has asked for justice has been treated in summary fashion (I mean, not so long ago, you -- in the words of the Telegraph -- made a "briliant presentation" on why the TNCA should be deprived of funds because two of its member clubs went to court seeking transparency in the TV rights issue)?
Actually, this story might refresh your memory somewhat: N Srinivasan of the TNCA believed that the television deals had not been negotiated with proper transparency; you responded with some heat; the issue flared up; the compromise was duly put in place; Ranbir Singh Mahindra announced that all was well in paradise.
The key element here, JD-saab, was that one constituent of the board had a problem, and wrote to the board about it -- as you suggested.
The upshot? Within the month Srinivasan -- one of the most able administrators you have in the BCCI ranks -- was deposed as head of the marketing committee.
So could it be, JD-saab, that those who have tried approaching the BCCI and attempting to resolve problems internally have received short shrift, and are hence constrained to approach the courts -- a proceeding you object to so strongly, though it is in fact the inalienable right of every citizen with a grouse?
Oh, I notice you also object to the appointment of an outside observer -- but what to do, JD-saab, the thing is, in the last election, one gentleman -- we won't name names -- actually voted three times for the same guy. And even that wasn't enough to swing the vote, so then he used the casting vote and finally forced the election through. So see, the thing is, democracy mandates one vote per person; when one person votes four times (after having denied a couple of legit voters their rights), it subverts the process; on the once bitten forever shy principle, folks figure hey, best way to make sure it doesn't happen again, let's bring someone from the outside to enforce the rules.
So now that it is all clear, JD-saab, you must be happy; you now know why people keep knocking on the doors of the court to get justice from the BCCI, yes?


  • Prem:


    But, if I recall correctly, wasn't JD within his rights to vote those many times and I don't say this facetiously. It's the rules that need to be changed. Don't misynderstand me, I'm no fan of the bumbling, politicking idiots, but if the rules allow voting multiple times of course people are going to misuse the right. Especially when so much (read moolah) is at stake.

    By Blogger hjrsingh, at 14:34  

  • Nice Prem. I liked the style here,
    As hjrsingh says if its in the rules thats one heck of a ridiculous set of rules in so called domocractic (on the face atleast ) set up!

    By Blogger Anand K, at 14:43  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Ragav, at 14:45  

  • until loopholes in law making are fixed, decisions will be prone to controversies. JD incident no exception. JD was biasing the results to a greater extent with his 4 votes and its weird to see that no amendments have yet been been made to resolve such issues in the future. We are used to talking abt the cricketers lacking professionalism. With such a governing body its no surprise. Its time things start changing. I am yet to see Dilip Vengsarkar's talent search committee unearth a budding cricketer? how weird is that... its been years since it formed..

    By Blogger Ragav, at 14:46  

  • singhsaab: I know where you are coming from, and yes, the rules need to be tightened.

    But looked at another way -- had you noticed that the best criminal lawyers are the ones who know how to subvert the law, and use its many loopholes -- and not necessarily the ones who are faithful to the law?

    Same difference -- imagine, if JD spent half this brains and a fraction this effort on actually focussing on the conduct of the game, where Indian cricket would be.

    That is my grouse with him -- his entire focus is on perpetuating power; it never is on what to do with that power when he has it.

    Absolute monarchy, history taught us, can be wonderfully benevolent -- or appallingly bad. IMHO, the latter applies, here, and it is overdue for change

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 14:51  

  • Prem, Nice one. But I wonder, if this trend of undemocratic functioning will ever change, if we have politicians in power.

    By Blogger sv, at 14:55  

  • Prem....sure change from this is most welcome. But Pawar????

    By Blogger worma, at 14:58  

  • lolz..yeah he voted thrice

    first as president of CAB ( bengal)
    then as President of BCCI

    and then finally since it was still a tie, again vote as president of BCCI..

    and Mr. Srinivasan infact apologised to the BCCI or rather forced to, on behalf of the clubs.

    What I dont understand is, why cant the state associations that dont like Dalmiya, just start a parallel organization.

    By Blogger Ginkgo, at 14:58  

  • ragav, Not to deviate from the topic. I have read an article, prolly by Faisal Shariff sometime earlier, about Dilip Vengsarkar in which DV says that he posts about profiles and details for junior cricketers in some web site that they have. The funny thing is, from what I have read, that he does not even go to those junior selection committee meetings. He says that the junior selection committee needs to look at this website before making any selection. Needless to say, our junior selection committee members, does not even know the existence of such a website.

    By Blogger sv, at 15:02  

  • Pawar, Damrupur and Lele are going to change this process and will take Indian cricket to the new hights, Where it was till not so long ago. Damm Jaggu cant do one freaking thing. See all other sports association headed by top notch politicians...All are doing such an excellent jobs.

    By Blogger Vick, at 15:35  

  • pawar is another who could turn out to be worse than Dalmiya.

    After all, he is the one accused of being the mastermind behind our loss to Australia in the Nagpur test by preparing a fast pitch, just to rein in Dalmiya..

    By Blogger Ginkgo, at 15:54  

  • ginkgo...I think he 'wud' turn out to be worse...whether we get to know his real deeds ten years from now or never....I'm quite sure he would be bad for our cricket.

    vick, mate...sarcasm aside...yes sure Pawar is going to be bad...but that doesnt mean things are working fine here. But yes, atleast I dont see any reason for 'rejoicing' the end of Jaggu era...if and when it comes (unless it comes with a fresh professional org replacing this cottage industry)

    By Blogger worma, at 16:00  

  • hmm...he is in there for the money.
    esp the unaccounted stuff.

    The process can be made transparent only when there is no honorary 'person' holding any position in the board.

    By Blogger Ginkgo, at 16:03  

  • Prem, nice post.

    It appears like JD will be de-throned by Sharad Pawar. He left to Kolkata after Madam blessing.

    AP CM YSR would say...Madam blessing is key to everything.


    By Blogger Rajg, at 16:39  

  • In addition to Dalmiya voting 4 times, he also disqualified clubs from voting. The worst, most destructive lie in any democracy is "they're all the same, they're all corrupt, it doesn't matter who wins, nothing will ever change" Why? Because that's how the really crooked people maintain their grip on power.

    They don't have to convince you that they're good. They just have to convince you that all the other contenders are just as bad as they are.

    There is one Indian administrator who I trust, and that's Bindra (though I think he was foolish to accuse Kapil on CNN), for two reasons: 1) the job he has done running Punjab Cricket 2) because of the ideas he's put out in the article "Bindra's wishlist" http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/india/content/story/145891.html

    I don't know anything about Pawar, he's always struck me as a bit pompous and self-important. Raj Singh has struck me the same. But both Bindra and the Rajasthan cricket association, who are also reformers, are backing Pawar.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 16:49  

  • Sure Worma. But i know what we are gonna get in place of him. Cant stand of Damru and Lele they remind me of the worse time in Indian Cricket. I would rather start following gilli-danda when they head BCCI than follow the Nautanki.

    By Blogger Vick, at 16:50  

  • yeah bindra's greatest Idea was BCCI should run a sport channel. Freaking communist. Then why shouldnt the Indian govt run every damm thing in the country whether it can run them well or not.

    By Blogger Vick, at 16:54  

  • there are two big things left to do in terms of Indian cricket administration:

    1) reform the domestic system. Specifically, make sure the international players play in high-quality matches with the top and up-and-coming domestic players. And make sure those game are televised, and that the top domestic players are somewhat well paid.

    2) Make being a selector a full-time position, and try to de-link the selectors from the zonal system.

    That's what this BCCI election is all about, the reformers versus the status quo. Pretending that both sides are the same, and are equally bad, is just easy and mindless cynicism.

    And really, it's a choice between the game being run by politicians, and the game being run by hereditary club members. If I had to choose, I'd rather it be run by politicians. Theoretically at least, we can throw the bastards out.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 17:19  

  • smart dalmiya...
    Look @ him

    Interestingly, Bablu Kolay, a former CAB joint secretary and Dalmiya loyalist, is the general secretary of the Kalighat club, which filed a petition in the Calcutta High Court seeking appointment of an observer to deal with any dispute during the election process.

    He has got one of his guys to challenge in court and have another kolkatan appointed as the 'neutral' observer before anyone else thinks of it.

    So in all probability this guy is a Dalmiya man and now whichever club goes to court seeking a observer, they will now be told there already is one.


    By Blogger Ginkgo, at 17:31  

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