BCCI, Lalit Modi, Srinivasan - it's all about conflict of interest

  • Pradeep Magazine
  • Updated: Jul 01, 2015 19:33 IST

Most Indians believe that the outside world is a mirage, a maya, which need not be taken too seriously. The real conflict is within and the prime aim of life is to resolve this conflict between the body and the soul. The only way to attain Moksha (liberation from the cycle of birth and death) is to fight the demons of the body through internalising this fight which helps in resolving the dual nature of this world.

In this world view, the materialistic history of mankind is destined to repeat itself, condemned as it is to live a cyclical life full of hideous temptations. Only those who give up on their worldly ways escape this fate, and through rigorous self-control and meditation, become one with the soul.

You may ask, why on earth am I in a philosophical, rambling mood, when all I am trying to attempt is to decipher the Lalit Modi revelations, and not give a lecture on Advaitism.

Well, my own confusion stems from my inability to coherently describe why Indians don't understand conflict of interest, as the legendary former Australian cricketer, Ritchie Benaud, once said.

Simply put, which society on earth, other than Indian, would find nothing wrong in N Srinivasan having to adjudicate as the Board president on an IPL team of which he happens to be the owner.

And when the rot begins from the top, the fact that cricketers who are supposed to enlighten the viewers with their impartial comments, are in reality paid employees of the Board, may appear as a minor aberration. Or an Indian captain, running his own agency to hire players for endorsements, is seen as a just reward for his achievements as a player.

We don't even care if these compromises result in creating a conducive environment where bookmakers and potential blackmailers have become part of the clique which is running Indian cricket.

Similarly when a foreign minister of a country or a chief minister of a state, use their powers to assist an absconder, on the pretext that they are helping a friend in need, and see nothing wrong in it, what is one to make of it?

This problem gets more confounded when we look around and discover that this conflict of interest is not just limited to our Board officials, but infiltrates all spheres of life, none so blatantly as the politics of this country. We have businessmen masquerading as MPs and furthering their business interests through lobbying. Then we have lawyers who become ministers and if a proper scrutiny is done, you may discover how the line taken by their government is not different from what they have advocated in the court of law while defending their client.

It just multiplies and invades even our personal relationships to the extent that the lines have got so blurred that we scoff at a mere reference to a conflict of interest situation.

Seen in this depressing context, there is hope in the outrage - manufactured or real - which we see on our television channels and read in our newspapers today against this practice which is destroying the very soul of the country.

The Supreme Court took note of the Board's functioning and is trying to correct this wrong by having appointed a three-member committee under the former Chief Justice of India, Justice LM Lodha, to suggest ways and means to ensure these offences are not repeated.

In a much larger context, the Indian state too needs to wake up and realise that what may be good for a person's own "salvation" may not be good for the country's health.

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