Saturday, January 23, 2010

The IPL drama-failure of diplomacy

"No Pakistani cricketers in IPL 3" hit the headlines both in Pakistan and India. Indian Minister for External Affairs,Mr.S.M.Krishna, clearly washed off his hands stating that Indian Government does not have any role in IPL selection process despite his counterpart in Pakistan saying that this will damage Indo-Pak relations and Pakistan will give a befitting reply.

The man behind the entire drama, Mr.Lalit Modi,IPL Chairman, has not come out till date with clear cut explanation on why Pakistani players were left out. As cricket is more than religion in the sub continent, IPL management should have acted more responsibly. Mr.Modi, has aggravated the mess by stating that IPL does not owe any explanation and its the IPL owner's discretion on selecting who will play. The so called IPL owners have also acted irresponsibly. Shilpa Shetty and Preiti Zinta, who generally are good in making publicity stunts failed miserably this time. Its also very hard to believe that not even a single Pakistani player was worth bidding.

Indian Government instead of washing its hands, should step in and order for a new bidding process or else it may hit diplomatic ties with Pakistan. If it was a conscious decision by India to isolate Pakistan due to recent Mumbai Attacks, then it can tell openly so that it will send a strong message to Pakistan.Instead of that, India's silent approach will affect India's diplomatic image. People like Shilpa Shetty and Preity Zinta will have money as the only motive. We cant expect them to behave diplomatically. But its pathetic that even seasoned administators like Mr.Modi did not have the diplomatic sense. Its high time for Indian Government to step in.


  1. There are so many Pakistani players very deeply involved in India, I mean ISI, LeT, Jaish, etc etc that the IPL sought to minimise Paki monopoly.

    On a serious note yes I fully agree that Indian Diplomacy is in permanent mess.

    K. Vijay Iyer

  2. What diplomatic ties are we talking about?Do we really need to hav a diplomatic relationship with a country which is led by people who are influenced by mafia and terroists?What happened to their diplomacy when one of the top crickter of pakistan and a politician now told on an Indian news channel that Indians were also involved in the attaks of the Srilankan team in pakistan?
    And are we so crazy to believe that the pakistani cricketers come to play IPL for the love of cricket or to strengthen the bonds of both the countries? It is plain truth that IPL has means money and fame....
    As far as Mr Lalit modi is concerned...he didnt budge for the Govt of India (Everybody knows y Last year's IPL was shifted to SA),and nothing can shake him this time too.He is right in saying that the media is blowing up the issue.We dont owe any explaination to anyone as rightly said by the franchisee owners.Let the ppl of pakistan know that we ppl of India will not take it anymore and smile diplomaticaly.I am happy that in someway this bubble has burst and atleast we r finding power to vent out our frustration thru the common religion between the two countries CRICKET.
    PS...Hope our corropt govt officials wont spoil the fun by ordering a new bidding process ;-)

  3. I appreciate your view.The crux of your message is,"Let the people of Pakistan know that people of India will not take it anymore and smile diplomatically".If this had been the view of Government of India, then there is no problem at all and it would have sent a strong message to Pakistan.But Government of India has cleared the visas of Pakistani players and our Home Minister Mr.P.Chidambaram has snubbed IPL for not selecting Pakistani players.So what we can understand is, IPL owners alongwith its Chairman Mr.Lalit Modi have decided to boycott Pakistani players for reasons known only to them.
    If it was just a commercial decision regarding their movie or Industry, then IPL owners can take a call and no one has the right to question.But it has implications diplomatically. Atleast they should have handled it properly.They gave clearance to Pakistan Cricket Board and got clearance from both Indian and Pakistan Governments, and finally decided not to select. My question is, when there are diplomatic implications, whether this bunch of rich people whose only qualification is that they have bought the teams with money, can decide. If this trend continues,next year Shilpa Shetty may boycott Australian players because in Australia her movies are not seen .Mumbai Indians IPL Team may boycott South African players because Reliance's business interest is not served in South Africa.Whether Tom, Dick and Harry who do not have accountability can decide the diplomatic policies.
    I do not blame the IPL owners because they are just Tom, Dick and Harry who are not accountable to people.I blame Indian Government for not taking a stand either way.Instead of snubbing IPL managemnet, Home Minister could have issued a directive for rebidding if Government thinks IPL's boycott was wrong. If government of India would have thought the other way, then it should have told openly so that strong message would have been conveyed to Pakistan.

  4. I think Mr.Israel has a point.IPL people are not Indian Government.How can they decide.Do you have answer for this question Ms.Smitha.

  5. Exactly Mr Kannan.IPL people are not Indian Govt, so they are bothered only that they get their money's worth.The govt actually made it clear that they had no problems in paki players playing IPL,whether the owners wanted to bid for them or not is completly up to them.Y would they even care to take pain to announce it before? in a way it shows that omitting the pakistan players wasnt pre planned.They made it very clear that they cannot afford to bid such huge amount for players who r not sure about their availablity.Ofcourse if they find problems with players of other countries they wont think twice before letting them go.(And news rooms will hav a heyday accusing of the owners being undiplomatic and intelligent ppl wasting their time to find a motive behind it)Cricket is not politics...ppl and news channels r making it so.Y cant ppl just take what the bidders say as true?That apart..if we really want to talk about it in a political way...My point is should our govt bother to give a clarification to them?
    did they give a clarification to 93 blasts? or to the kargil? or to the recent 26/11? these r just the tip of the iceberg.y do ppl and govt of India bothers to be diplomatic all the time? Correct me if i am wrong but what kind of economic ,cultural,financial,social or for that matter any kind of benifit do we hav with these ppl that we hav to think of their sentiments?All we get from them is critcism for evrything we do and terroism.
    news channels need something to up their TRPs. so everything is a breaking news to them...but i dont think there is a need for the govt to intervene or there should be a new bidding process.Doesnt indian politician's snub against IPL sound just like pakistan's stand against terroism in india? They say it just for the sake...everybody knows that they cant and actually not willing to do anything about it.
    i say that they r just not worth of giving that much importance.

  6. BTW Mr Kannan.I dont hav any answers...i just hav my point of view.A civilian point of view.

  7. At least the IPL owners had the *%$&s to give a strong message to Pakistan, though covertly. Why do we need to give any blatant explanation for this, given Pakistan's covert support of terrorism and the blatant denial of their involvement in disrupting peace in the region.

  8. "When you think about it, Pakistan and India have much more in common than there are differences. We need to build our relations rather than break them. Sport should be used to build peace between our great nations, not break them... Although Pakistan and India have borders, these borders cannot divide humanity",told Pakistan's Shahid Afridi.This level of maturity was lacking in IPL bosses.

  9. We had welcomed the pak players in IPL 1.Guess i should remind u that it was PCB that did not give permission to their players to play in IPL2 last year when it was scheduled in India citing security reasons and we didnt even bother about it.
    Now when we gave the same reason for the same ppl for the same sport they r crying foul.Doesnt it show whose level of maturity is lacking?
    If we were doing it to disrupt the peace then we wouldnt welcome their artists,musicians young students and many others from diff platrorms into our country. we wouldnt hav let their patients to come to our hospitals and and get the best possible treatments and go back smiling.
    ppl both in india and pak r making a mountain out of a molehill in this issue just for the heck of it.anyways they r all done with blaming and already ready to come if they r invited...who knows the franchisees might even take them.after all they r the T20 champs and what matters to the owners is the win at the end.And for us,another great series of IPL matches.

  10. Its time we stopped being naive and trying to please all in the name of maturity,diplomacy,panchsheel etc. and assert ourselves. If the government does not have the will to do it its time all of us step in.

  11. Smitha, you are right that they did not participate in IPL 2. There is lot of difference between one not participating and one being rejected. Many Australian players are also not participating in IPL 3 citing Shiva Sena threat.Can we reject them next year after giving initial clearance.Moreover my central argument is, whether few bunch of rich people can decide just because they have bought teams with their money.You may argue that its afterall their business and they have the right. As per Indian Constitution, there are reasonable restrictions on any business whenever it affects relations with foreign countries. There is an established system for everything. There are democratically elected leaders who are advised by professional bureaucrats to advice on foreign policy and my contention is that they have failed because they have allowed Shilpa Shetty to decide.
    Mahesh, I feel that if everyone steps in, then there will be anarchy.It is like taking law in our hands. It may sound good initially but later it will lead to chaos.

  12. I didn't mean that we step in and take law into our own hands. I just meant that we should accept facts and let the truth prevail. Not support news channels who twist the truth into "breaking news" to increase their rating. Last night, all the channels were very upset about Afridi biting the ball. Do you honestly believe that this is what we should occupy ourselves with?

  13. My opinion in this issue is..we cannot come to any conclusion without knowing the real reasons behind this IPL drama..If there is really any vested interests behind it then the Government of India should strongly step in and set aside the religious tenets from the sports arena and should ensure that no activity in our country especially this kind of most HYPED sports events, do not shatter the diplomatic relations with any other country..Anything could be solved only by means of diplomacy(here we could better call it as sports diplomacy) and not by any other means.IPL is not a sacrosanct thing for Government of India, it's a business..and no business comes before the country's sovereignty.People like zinda(fond of carpet bombing Pakistan after the 26/11 tragedy) and shetty doesn't even knew the impact of such incidents and their lousy speeches..

  14. Karthik, I agree with you that people who deal with, like Shilpa Shetty does not know the impact.