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Monday, 25 February 2008

Prosecuting Som Mittal - a rhetoric

It was only a few years back that a BPO employee was raped and murdered by her cab driver and the entire nation (atleast metros) were shell shocked. The accused is yet to be convicted, for reasons better known to the concerned, because for most it seems an open and shut case. As if this was not sufficient, now the then CEO of the HP, Shri Som Mittal is proposed to be convicted because he did not ensure security in the vehicle and for making women work in the night shift (which is not permitted by the Karnataka Shops and Establishments Act).
First things first, what if the security and driver of a vehicle convene to rape a women employee. What next, one more security in the vehicle? In the instant case, the lady was tricked by the cab driver into believing that his was the vehicle which is meant to ferry her to office. Thus, a company cannot provide security in a vehicle which the employee was not meant to travel.
It is common knowledge that women in BPOs are required to work in night shifts. What were/are those officials meant to implement the sacrosanct "Karnataka Shops and Establishments Act" doing, hatching eggs in their seats? Why no action is being taken against BPOs in Karnataka which still continue to employ women in night shifts. Are they waiting for one more lady employee to be raped and killed, so that they can prosecute one more CEO and grab media headlines because it is known fact that they cant do so with their performance. Are they scared that implementing such a rule will lead to a flight of BPOs from the state.
Are the Tax Officials prosecuted for every case of tax evasion? Is the top cop of the city prosecuted for every custodial death that takes place? Is the municipal commissioner prosecuted for the disgusting roads, choked drains and encroached Government lands. No, then why the Corporate Sector alone?
A CEO of a million dollar company has other issues on his head than ensuring whether every vehicle of his company has a security guard in it or not? That does not mean the female employees are their own risk. But nobody in a company wants such ghastly incidents to happen. This is just the act of a perverted mind. The State if any thing has to ensure that stringent punishment is given to the accused and take steps to improve safety on our roads.
Last but not the least, even if Mr. Som Mittal is convicted he is going to be fined a princely sum of Rs.1000. How much of the state resources has been spent to ensure this prosecution, there are far more important problems in the country demanding a similar attention, even in the case of women security in the country against rapes. Lets concentrate on those.

Will the IPL connect emotionally and financially?

The IPL organizers and bidders seem to have understood that watching and appreciating a cricket match is an habit or an obsessive compulsory disorder for the Indian public, whereas it is actually an option. Otherwise, why else would such mindless money be invested in IPL.
Attachment to the teams cause is what attracts the eyeballs of a viewer to a sporting encounter and not the fact that his favorite sporting star bank balance is going to add a few zeros. In a game like cricket, if you have to be attached to a team, you have to connect with all the eleven players and this happens only when they are representing your country. Nobody is going to feel disappointed if an X city loses a match nor there is going to be a great attachment to all the 11 players representing your city. I come from Bangalore but I would like to see Ishanth Sharma knocking the day lights out of Kalis rather than the otherway around. English Press is not going to take a team to the cleaners if they lose a match because viewers in the winning city are going to be terribly disappointed.
The most important assumption of the IPL business model is the love of Indian Public for Cricket. This love is very limited and specific to the matches being played by India alone. Our public cannot take a defeat lightly and come to the streets burning effigies and attacking players homes when the team loses important matches. Will the lose by a city team result in venting of such ires? Our love for cricket is more because of a certain TINA (There is No Alternative) Factor rather than genuine love for the game. These are the reasons why Cricket has become such a passion in India. How many of our self professed cricket fans know who was the Man of the Match/ Series in this years Ranji Trophy? How many know who is Sangwan and which grade of cricket he plays for India? Not more than an handful.
Will the players have the same competitive edge that they posses when they represent their country. Failure in IPL would not cost them a place in their national teams nor is it going to affect their records in any way. Some of the players are going to get three times of the amount that they will get by representing their country for a whole year. Even a year or two of playing for IPL is sufficient to take care of them post-retirement. They are not going to stretch themselves while playing for IPL. Nobody would like to get injured playing IPL and risk the chance of playing for their country. Thus, the contention that IPL would improve domestic cricket is as true as a lamppost being a rain shelter. Moreover, will two cricketers from the same country representing opposite city teams sledge each other. There is no emotions that are going to be involved in these matches. In that aspect the ICL players are better placed because once they join this league their international career is effectively over and they have to perform well in the ICL for their earnings to continue.
I am in no mood to waste 40 plus evenings of mine watching two city teams sweat it out for the profit of a franchisee. How na?ve the cricket administrators can be? Was it not a few years back the super series involving Australia V Rest of the World, a damp squib, though performance in these matches added to the records of the individual players.

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Banglaore, Karnataka, India