September 28, 2020
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A Level Playing Field

Why single out cricketers for blame? It is better to accept the simple truth that cricket is no longer a sport. Cricket is commerce. As is politics, justice, media — or even religion. The crisis is moral.

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A Level Playing Field
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British media has uncovered how Pakistani cricket players in Britain are heavily involved in corrupt match-fixing. A high level Scotland Yard probe is on. Pakistan cricket officials have confirmed the news. It is expected that the probe may widen its net to scan other nations including India. Indian cricket already was tainted but its corruption has been downplayed. The IPL scam has already damned the reputation of what was reputed to be the most gentlemanly game. People are incensed with the greed displayed by cricketers. They need to take a charitable view. These are young men in their 20s and 30s living in an environment where money is all. Why single out cricketers for blame? It is better to accept the simple truth that cricket is no longer a sport. Cricket is commerce.

Many politicians have muscled their way into managing cricket. They don’t do this because of their interest in the sport. They want a share of the loot. The huge corruption cases launched against leading politicians of all parties that are never clinched do not seem to have satiated political greed. The brazen sell-out of their declared policies by politicians in exchange of favours in cash or kind does not abate their need to make more money any which way. Politics is no more about policy-making or about governance. Politics is commerce.

The courts are unable to halt corruption. Senior judges have called the judiciary corrupt. There are corruption cases under way against sitting senior judges and former senior judges. The legal system appears to be no more about dispensing justice. Justice is commerce.

The media often exposes scams. But more often that not it does so acting as the instrument of one warring party against another. The media is incapable of objective news coverage. It has institutionalised paid news. Leading media firms have entered into silent barter treaties with business firms offering advertisement space in exchange of ownership shares of that firm. The media has very little to do with journalism. Media is commerce.

One might think that morality would restrain people from corruption. Right now there is a huge Rs 50,000 crore scam involving a leading temple in the south. This is neither the first nor the last corruption scandal involving priests cutting across different religions. Religion is no more about God. Religion is commerce…

One can go on and on to nail every single segment of society. One can summon innumerable examples not only from India and Pakistan but also from the most advanced nations of the world to prove that institutions have crumbled and systems are collapsing because of human greed and corruption. Socialism, capitalism, democracy and communism have all collapsed at the altar of corruption. Technology has led to the growth of wealth. The lure of wealth has made mankind greedy. Greed has destroyed all sense of honour.

All this has made the world flat. The revolution to rescue mankind from the doom towards which it unthinkingly hurtles can emanate from any nation — rich or poor, western or eastern, powerful of weak. The crisis is moral. It has to be demonstrated to people that happiness does not depend on the acquisition of increasing wealth. It has to be demonstrated that wealth cannot be measured by the quantum of money. It can only be measured by the quantum of satisfied needs. The world awaits a moral revolution. Will it come? If so, from where? For a moral revolution the world, from America to Bhutan, has become a level playing field.


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