It was once said that it cost a great deal of money to keep Mahatma Gandhi in poverty. Well, it would seem that preserving the democracy that Gandhi fought for is a no-less exacting task. Now no one loves a spectacle more than we do. And as with all things Indian, we have to have things on an operatic scale be it our IPL matches or the Indian elections. But even for us boisterous Indians, a two-in-one tamasha would have been too much.
So after the home minister nixed the prospect of adequate security for the IPL while elections were on, the show moved bat, ball and wicket to South Africa. Where, ironically elections are about to get underway any moment now. Will that queer the IPL’s pitch? Apparently not. The South Africans, unlike us, are a little more contained in electoral matters. They may have emerged from a long struggle with apartheid but seem to lack our zeal to be disruptive and riotous. So the IPL can get off to bat even as the country decides the next president. Elections here, as Mr Chidabaram knows, are also an occasion for some of our more volatile brethren to make their feelings for political aspirants clear. So, the security forces here cannot afford to take their eye off the ball even for a minute lest someone with a gripe disrupts the public peace. And we the public are not complaining even though we are cricket-crazy.
How much more amusing it is any day to watch Lalu bash a few boundaries, or Advani fling a bouncer at the PM than the elegant strokes of Sachin Tendulkar. So bring on the confusion, we say. The IPL can wait another day.