Suspension of IPL - an Overdue Decision

Mafazah Sharafuddin
May 4, 2021

The IPL is being suspended now in the wake of several players testing positive for COVID. This occurred despite the prior claims of the bio bubbles being an effective way to prevent transmission. 

Despite many accusation of insensitivity, the BCCI were content to let the IPL go on until this development. This is despite the massive COVID crisis India is suffering through.

As Indians on social media clamored for help due to the lack of beds and oxygen in the hospitals in the middle of the pandemic, names of cricketers fill the headlines. The IPL has always been a massive event in India. However, in the wake of a global health crisis that required the 2020 Olympics to be postponed, the fact that the IPL was conducted comes as a shock. 

Several cricketers withdrew from playing this year. Their reasons ranged from having relatives who have tested positive, being wary of putting their vulnerable loved ones at risk, fear of being unable to return home as international airport ban travelers from India etc. However, several big names still lent their support to the IPL being conducted mid-pandemic among players and patrons alike. Notably, there is Jay Shah, BCCI Secretary and son of the Home Minister, Amit Shah. A senior Indian cricket board official had told Reuters that the IPL must go on as it lifts spirits in times of such negativity. 

This of course, is a gross oversimplification as cricket does give entertainment, it is also a group sport. Despite claims of being extensive in taking precautionary measures, multiple players are now infected, and everyone who has interacted with the players have been exposed to the virus. 

This raises the question whether the BCCI will rethink its statements regarding T20. The BCCI had priorly stated that T20 would be conducted. They added that in case they are unable to conduct T20 in India due to COVID, their plan B is to have it hosted in UAE, rather than cancelling the event.

While the BCCI’s move to conduct the IPL can be considered disgraceful, the reactions to the same were not much better. Media houses, too, rushed at the opportunity of giving news coverage to the IPL. Several people like Faye Dsouza and Rana Ayyub are using social media to shed light on the severity of the COVID situation in India. This includes posting videos of crematoriums etc. that are not getting covered by mainstream media. Amidst this, big media houses seemed to be content in highlighting cricket. 

The New Indian Express stood out among other reputed media houses in India.  They posted an announcement from the Editor stating that they will not be covering the IPL as they disagree with it being held in the midst of such a tragic time. 

Each match so far has been extensively covered by several media houses. Meanwhile, the SC had to give specific orders to stop booking people for asking for help finding oxygen, beds or medicine in the wake of scores of cases of the same occurring in UP, Maharashtra and Haryana. 

There is no doubt that the move to suspend the IPL was a wise one, but the timing of it is still questionable. It seems as though to the IPL organizers and player, the issue that is causing people to die in thousands in the country did not matter until it reached their arena. It is also dubious to the ethics of news to have media houses covering cricket at this time. 

While ‘to entertain’ may be one of the functions of the news, it seems as though ‘to inform’ and ‘to educate’ have taken a backseat.

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News Network
September 25,2021

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that countries with "regressive thinking" that are using terrorism as a "political tool" must understand that it is an equally big threat for them also, in a veiled attack on Pakistan which is often accused by its neighbours of providing safe havens to terrorists.

Addressing the 76th UN General Assembly here, Prime Minister Modi also said that in order to strengthen the rules-based world order, the international community must speak in unison, in an apparent reference to China which is flexing its military muscles in the Indo-Pacific.

Noting that the world is facing an increased threat of regressive thinking and extremism, Modi said countries that are using terrorism as a political tool have to understand that terrorism is an equally big threat to them.

"It is absolutely essential to ensure that Afghanistan's territory is not used to spread terrorism and for terrorist activities,” he said. “We also need to ensure that no country tries to take advantage of the delicate situation in Afghanistan and use it for its own selfish interests.”

Pakistan’s neighbours, including Afghanistan and India, and the US have long accused Islamabad of providing safe haven and support to militants, a charge denied by it.

Modi said that oceans are also a shared heritage.

"Our oceans are also the lifeline of international trade. We must protect them from the race for expansion. The international community must speak in one voice to strengthen a rule-based world order,” he added. 

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News Network
September 17,2021

As farmers protest a year of the contentious farm laws, Shiromani Akali Dal leader and former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said the Centre is indifferent to the farmers' needs.

"A number of farmers have died and many are still sitting at the state borders but this government (Centre) is indifferent. We will continue our fight until the three farm laws are repealed," he said.

The Delhi Traffic Police on Friday alerted commuters about the closure of specific roads and suggested diversions to avoid any inconvenience due to the protests.

Taking to Twitter, the Delhi Traffic Police informed about closure of roads at Jharoda Kalan border and suggested commuters to refrain from using these routes in view of the farmers' movement.

A senior police officer said, "Members of Shiromani Akali Dal have gathered at Gurudwara Rakab Ganj on Friday morning in view of a protest march organised by them against the farm laws."

The SAD under the leadership of its President Sukhbir Singh Badal had given a call to take out a march starting from Gurdwara Talab Ganj Sahib to Parliament House against the "anti-farmer" laws passed by the Central government.

Due to a demonstration call by farmers to assemble at Gurudwara Rakab Ganj, police pickets have been placed in precaution at different areas in the national capital while traffic is being released after vehicles have been checked, a senior traffic police officer said.

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News Network
September 22,2021

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The World Youth Group, a globally renowned team of elected young leaders, politicians, parliamentarians and diplomats has appointed Bahrain-based businessman Mohammed Mansoor as the Director of their Council.

Mansoor, Founder & CEO of Saara group heads a series of ventures and organizations spread across the domains of information technology, energy, oil & gas, sports, seed capital investments, and are a well-known social activist and philanthropist.

The World Youth Group is a globally renowned team of elected young leaders, politicians, parliamentarians, and diplomats. Its mission is to Educate, Encourage, and Engage global youth in social and political sectors within the UN realm by supporting the United Nations initiatives. Apart from the UN and its Agencies, the entity to host the highest number of elected representatives in the 76th UNGA.

A total of 22 Members of Parliament, 6 Ministers, and UN Permanent Representatives, representing over 25 countries, will be participating in 5 Summits. The founding organizations are Collegiate Congress Inc. (USA), All-Africa Students Union (AASU), European Students Union (ESU), Organization Continental Latinoamericana y Caribena de Estudiantes (OCLAE), Young Democrats of America, and Young Republican National Federation (YRNF), and the founding members are then heads of the respective organizations.

Adding heft to the organization is the Advisory Board which comprises of ten Permanent Representatives (Ambassadors) of UN Member States. Each Ambassador also acts as Chief Advisor for a Committee on SDG. With 108 national student unions, a dozen national youth political leadership, and over 45 Youngest Members of Parliament, they are to be the largest only elected youth leader's consortium in the world.

Speaking on the appointment, H.E. Ambassador Collen V. Kelapile, Permanent Representative of Botswana to the UN and President of UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) quoted, "Mansoor's credentials as an entrepreneur and social activist speak for themselves. We, at the Advisory Board, are delighted to have him as our partner. We are confident that under Mansoor's able leadership the Council, which comprises of top experts in various fields and is the only non-parliamentary, the non-diplomat team at the World Youth Group, will serve to further strengthen our group as we actively work towards United Nations Agenda 2030 - the Sustainable Development Goals and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development especially during these challenging times."

Cristo Thomas, Chair of, World Youth Group added, "Mansoor's association with us will add the much-needed impetus to invigorate The Council, I am confident that we will grow by leaps and bounds and accelerate our progress towards our common goals."

Founded in 2019, the World Youth Group, is a globally renowned team of elected young leaders, politicians, parliamentarians, and diplomats. The group's mission is to Educate, Encourage, and Engage global youth in social and political sectors within the UN realm by supporting the United Nations initiatives.

The World Youth Group endorses and supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aimed at transforming our world by 2030 in accordance with the United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/70/1, adopted on 25 September 2015 entitled: "Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development".

The World Youth Group stands firmly in its commitments to promoting the United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/73/25 adopted on 3 December 2018 by the General Assembly proclaiming 24 January as "International Day of Education". We focus on legislative reforms in its implementation.

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