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
June 24,2022

Mumbai, June 24: Even before the Bharatiya Janata Party could officially speak about its support to Eknath Shinde’s revolt in Maharashtra, the rebel leader himself admitted on Thursday that he has been promised all support by the ‘mahashakti’ that has taken on Pakistan, giving clear indication of the BJP’s involvement. 

After his meeting with the party MLAs, MPs and leaders, Sharad Pawar confirmed the BJP as Shinde’s partner. Shinde made the reference while addressing the rebel Sena MLAs at the hotel they are staying put in Guwahati, Assam, after he was elected as their Legislative Party leader.
 
Shinde’s speech was recorded and the video was released by his office, after a few NCP leaders sarcastically commented that they didn’t see the BJP’s hand in the entire episode. “Let’s be together in happiness and in trouble. The victory is ours. A national party, a mahashakti that has taken on Pakistan…has told me that the decision I have taken is historic for the country. It has promised to provide us all help. You will see it,” Shinde says.

It was evident that Shinde and his group had already made up their minds to align with the national party [BJP]. The statement was seen as a rejoinder to the chief minister’s faction that appealed through party’s chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut, and gave the rebels 24 hours to return home. Thackeray would consider their demand for exiting the Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition, they were told.

“If you are Sainiks, be brave and show guts to land in Mumbai,” said Raut. It sounded like an appeal laced with warning and instruction for the party workers to be ready to give a Sena-style welcome to the rebels.        

The video from Guwahati was released immediately after the Nationalist Congress Party leaders, including Ajit Pawar and state president Jayant Patil, commented sarcastically that they didn’t see the BJP’s hand in the entire episode. Congress party’s state chief Nana Patole, however, saw the BJP as a driving force. Patil wondered who was making all the arrangements, like the luxury stay and the aircraft, for Shinde’s group. Ajit Pawar and Patil said their party would stand by Thackeray to save the government. 

An hour before Shinde’s footage was made public, Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis left for New Delhi, in a signal that the BJP would come out with guns blazing to topple the Thackeray government. So far, the BJP has maintained a stoic silence. In fact, it issued a gag order to its leaders, especially the verbose ones. Sources said the BJP high command is in full control of Operation Lotus, and Fadnavis has been playing an important role. Neither Fadnavis nor other BJP leaders were available for a comment.   

After his meeting with the party MLAs, MPs and leaders, NCP chief Sharad Pawar confirmed the BJP as Shinde’s partner. “I have seen the video in which Shinde says a national party has supported him.” He then took out a list of Election Commission-approved seven national parties, and said that only the BJP among them could do it (because others are anti-BJP or have no stakes in Maharashtra).

“Ajit Pawar does not know about the situation or the (BJP) people in Gujarat and Assam. But I know people who are managing (the rebels) in Assam and helped them out in Gujarat,” the NCP boss said. He then went on to name Gujarat BJP president C R Patil, the BJP-led Assam government and the party leaders there.

On the crisis, Sharad Pawar said the rebels will have to come to Maharashtra Vidhan Bhavan. “The BJP may not guide them here. The majority will be proved on the floor of the House. We know why the MLAs went to Assam only after they were here.”

Cautioning the rebels about disqualification, the NCP president said their action was against the anti-defection law. “History proves that those who defected have lost by-elections as well. Similar possibilities cannot be denied in this case as well,” he said, recalling the defeats of Chhagan Bhujbal and others who had quit the Sena to join the Congress.

He also dismissed the Congress’s allegation of injudicious allotment of funds by Ajit Pawar, who also holds the finance portfolio. “The complaints are not factual,” he said while responding to Nana Patole’s accusation.

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News Network
June 22,2022

Mumbai, June 22: A Maharashtra Shiv Sena minister, who is among the dissidents led by party leader Eknath Shinde, on Wednesday said they do not have any complaints against the Sena leadership, but they have been upset with the style of function of the NCP and Congress, the other two ruling alliance partners in the state.

The Shiv Sena MLAs, who have rebelled against the party, plunging the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra into a crisis, arrived in Assam's Guwahati city by a chartered flight on Wednesday.

Speaking to a TV channel over phone, Maharashtra minister Sandipan Bhumare, who is among the dissidents, said, "We do not have any complaints against the Shiv Sena leadership. We have raised our complaints with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, that it was getting difficult to work with the NCP and Congress ministers. It was very difficult for us to get our proposals and work requests approved from their ministers.”

To a query, Bhumare said he was given a cabinet portfolio and was satisfied with it. "What else do I need in life. But, as a people's representative, I need to address the grievances of my people. I could not do it properly because of these two alliance partners,” he added.

Meanwhile, another dissident Sena MLA Sanjay Shirsath told a TV channel that 35 party legislators were in Guwahati. "A couple of more MLAs will join us by today evening. We also have the support of three independent MLAs,” he claimed.

Shirsath also targeted state NCP and Congress ministers and claimed their "hostile behaviour" forced the Sena legislators to revolt. 

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News Network
June 21,2022

mla.jpg

Mandya, June 21: JD(S) MLA M Srinivas allegedly tried to slap a college principal several times in full public view for not providing prompt answers about the ongoing work at a computer lab.

The ugly incident came to light after a video had gone viral that showed the Mandya MLA purportedly making several attempts to slap the Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar ITI College principal Naganand.

Huge public outrage is pouring in on the social media against Srinivas for his misconduct.

The video purportedly depicts the MLA scolding and trying to slap him twice before his college staff and local politicians.

The principal appears to be in trauma and astonished while the onlookers are trying to pacify the MLA.

Meanwhile, the Government Employees Association on Tuesday took cognizance of the incident and pledged to bring it to the notice of Deputy Commissioner.

The association convened an emergency meeting and collected details of the incident. The members including association president Shambhu Gowda met the victim and assured him relief.

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