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
July 12,2024

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Microsoft has reportedly closed the email accounts of Palestinians living abroad, cutting off their access to online services used to contact relatives in Gaza amid the ongoing genocidal Israeli war.

Some Palestinians told the BBC on Thursday that their email accounts were closed without any explanation.

They added that this closure prevented them from accessing bank accounts, job offers, and the Skype application used to communicate with family members in the besieged Gaza.

“They killed my life online," said Eiad Hametto, who lives in Saudi Arabia.

"They’ve suspended my email account that I’ve had for nearly 20 years - It was connected to all my work.”

Hametto also said being cut off from Skype was a huge blow for his family.

Microsoft alleged that the affected users had violated its terms of service, but the Palestinians rejected the claim.

“We are civilians with no political background who just wanted to check on our families,” Hametto stressed. 

Salah Elsadi, who lives in the US, said that his Microsoft Hotmail account and all associated services were deactivated in April.

"I've had this Hotmail for 15 years," he said. "They banned me for no reason, saying I have violated their terms - what terms? Tell me. I've filled out about 50 forms and called them many many times."

Another Palestinian Khalid Obaied said he had paid for a package to make phone calls, but he was banned after 10 days for no reason.

"That means it's only because I’m a Palestinian calling Gaza,” he added.

Israel unleashed its brutal Gaza onslaught on October 7 after Hamas carried out its historic operation against the occupying entity in retaliation for the regime’s intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, the Tel Aviv regime has so far killed at least 38,345 Palestinians, mostly women and children, in Gaza, and injured 88,295 others.

The Israeli aggression has disrupted telecommunication services (landline, mobile, and internet) in the Gaza Strip. 

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News Network
July 16,2024

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More than 9,000 students have been killed and more than 15,000 others wounded in the ongoing Israeli war on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, reports the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

The official Palestinian Wafa news agency, citing the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, reported on Tuesday that a total of 9,241 students had been killed and 15,182 injured since the start of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank on October 7, 2023.

The Ministry reported that over 9,138 students were killed in the Gaza Strip, while 14,671 others were injured there.

With Gaza's education system decimated, some 620,000 school-age Palestinians are out of school and more than 88,000 students are unable to enroll in universities, according to the ministry.

In West Bank, 103 students were killed, 505 injured and around 357 students were detained during the nine months of war.

The report also indicated that a total of 497 teachers and administrators have been reported killed, with 3,426 others injured in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

In the Gaza Strip, a total of 353 educational institutions, including government schools, universities, university buildings, and 65 belonging to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Refugees (UNRWA), were targeted in bombings and acts of vandalism.

Out of these buildings, 139 suffered severe damage, 93 were completely destroyed, and 133 government schools in the Gaza Strip were repurposed as shelter centers, according to the report.

In the West Bank, 69 schools and five universities have been attacked and vandalized.

The bloodshed in Gaza’s schools-turned-shelters, which Israel alleges are used by Palestinian resistance movement Hamas as hiding spots, has been a recurring scene throughout the war.

Only in the past 10 days, five UN-run schools have been hit by Israel forces, UNRWA posted on social X platform.

UNRWA in its recent report said that its facilities in Gaza had been attacked by Israel 453 times since the war began last October, and that more than 500 people sheltering in its buildings had been killed. The UN has also said that 80 percent of schools in the territory have been destroyed or damaged.

UNICEF, the UN children’s agency, has recently described the number of wounded children as “staggering” in Gaza.

Israel’s war has killed at least 38,713 people, including nearly 16,000 children, in Gaza since early October last year. Tens of thousands have also been wounded.

Some 21,000 children are also missing while 17,000 have been orphaned. 

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News Network
July 16,2024

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The Gaza Civil Defense says it has lost dozens of its employees ever since the Israeli military launched its relentless aerial and ground offensives across the besieged coastal terror in early October last year.

In a fresh statement, the organization put the number of fallen aid workers at 79, noting that the figure comes after one of its members succumbed to severe injuries sustained during the Israeli strike on a designated humanitarian safe zone at the al-Mawasi camp in southern Gaza, killing at least 90 Palestinians and wounding 300 others.

The fatality brings to three the number of aid workers killed in the attack, which was the deadliest in Gaza for weeks, according to the Gaza Civil Defense.

Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7 after Palestinian resistance groups carried out a surprise retaliatory operation into the occupied territories.

Concomitantly with the war, the regime has been enforcing a near-total siege on the coastal territory, which has reduced the flow of foodstuffs, medicine, electricity, and water into the Palestinian territory into a trickle.

So far during the military onslaught, the regime has killed at least 38,664 Gazans, most of them women, children, and adolescents. Another 89,097 Palestinians have sustained injuries as well.

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