iconimg Sunday, August 30, 2015

Pradeep Magazine, Hindustan Times
September 27, 2013
From a colossus who strode the cricketing world with an arrogance and conceit befitting a dictator, Lalit Modi has been consigned to history's dustbin. His tragedy is not just of a man kicked out of power by those who once kissed the turf he graced.

It is a tragedy in which no one, not even the man who once called him "Moses of cricket", would dare to shed a tear on his demise.

Audacious, daring men like Modi, who mock at the rule-book, yet conquer the world, are a rarity, unlike a majority who cringe before such men, bartering even their self-respect and dignity for the larger good of their bank balances.

For me, this dramatic episode is more interesting not for what it reveals of men like Modi; it is interesting for what it speaks of those who were part of his coterie, admiring and supporting every step of his decision-making, and who have now dumped him without even an inaudible sigh of regret.

When rats leave a sinking ship, self-preservation is their motive. When men in our cricket board desert a man, it is in the hope of greater self-aggrandisement.

It has happened in the past, it will happen in the future. It is a constant which nothing has been able to change, not even a wave of protests from the public, which is increasingly demanding probity and accountability from our "rulers", be it in the sports arena or in politics.

The Indian cricket board is one of the best examples of what ails our society, where money, power and patronage are used to remain at the helm. These are men who are a law unto themselves and occasionally find scapegoats to deflect attention from their collective misdeeds.

If there are allegations and even genuine suspicions of widespread possibility of "fixing" in the sport, hang a Sreesanth and some extras in the cast.

If the administrators are under a cloud, then a Modi comes handy for them to show their resolve in rooting out the corrupt elements from among themselves. And in this world, no one is a permanent hero or a villain. It is all a matter of convenience. 

This is a snake-and-ladder game which has been going on for decades. Yesterday, it was Jagmohan Dalmiya, today it is Modi. Tomorrow it will be…?