Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Kaminey!

Am(a)n Ki Asha, my ass. After seeing what happened with the Pakistani players in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction today, rather than the Gulzar-penned, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan-sung "Sur Bulaatay Hain", here's what the theme song for Indo-Pak relations really should be:



But let's backtrack. It would do well to remember that the Pakistan T20 team is the reigning World Champions and the #1 ranked team on the planet. Forget about proper cricket, like Test and even one-day, as far as the T20 format is concerned, we have the players everyone wants to see. Game-changing short format players like Shahid Afridi,  Umar Gul, Kamran Akmal and Rana Naveed, to say nothing of explosive upcoming talents such as Umar Akmal and Mohammad Aamer that have drawn praise from every commentator in the world. So what happens when they are put up for auction at the IPL? No bids. Nada. Not for a single one out of 11 Pakistani players up for grabs.


Shahid Afridi: "The best T20 player" not good enough for IPL

A bit strange? You think? Remember these are the same "franchises" that were falling over themselves two years ago for prima donnas like Shoaib Akhtar (Kolkata Knight Riders) and even relying heavily on workhorses like Sohail Tanveer (Rajasthan Royals). Yes, the recession has hit even the IPL and only 11 of the 66 players on offer were signed up, but compare the players on offer from Pakistan with the players actually signed up:






- Kieron Pollard (WIS) to Mumbai Indians for 750,000 dollars
- Shane Bond (NZL) to Kolkata Knight Riders for 750,000 dollars
- Kemar Roach (WIS) to Deccan Chargers for 720,000 dollars
- Wayne Parnell (RSA) to Delhi Daredevils for 610,000 dollars
- Mohammad Kaif (IND) to Kings XI Punjab for 250,000 dollars.
- Eoin Morgan (ENG) to Bangalore Royal Challengers for 220,000 dollars
- Damien Martyn (AUS) to Rajasthan Royals for 100,000 dollars
- Justin Kemp (RSA) to Chennai Super Kings for 100,000 dollars
- Thissara Perera (SRI) to Chennai Super Kings for 50,000 dollars
- Adam Voges (AUS) to Rajasthan Royals for 50,000 dollars
- Yusuf Abdulla (RSA) to Kings XI Punjab for 50,000 dollars.




Aside from three or perhaps four, the others are either retired, semi-retired, or relative unknowns. To add insult to injury, this is how IPL Slimebag-in-Chief Lalit Modi explains the lack of a single bid for Pakistani players:


"There were so many players left out in the auction and each team had its own strategy. I have no reason to believe there could be any other reason," Modi said. "Availability of the players was a key issue with the franchisees without doubt," he said.


Oh come on! Strategy? Availability? No other reason? At least admit that you told the team owners that they would pick Pakistani players at their own risk because the Indian government might not give them clearance at the last minute. I'd rather have your bigotry than your doublespeak!


Lalit Modi: slimebag extraordinaire

But here's what I really think about this whole sordid business: it may be, unintentionally, the best thing to happen to Pakistan cricket. For one, it may get our stupid, stupid cricketers mind off the money-making T20 format and let them focus on getting their cricketing basics sorted out. Secondly, it may wake up the sleeping Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) into setting its own house in order and stop relying on tournaments like IPL for reflected glory. (Wishful thinking, I know, but what's the harm in hoping for miracles?) And finally, I think the under-performing and overpaid Pakistani cricketers really do not deserve a high after their crap performances Down Under.

As for Modi and his double-speaking compatriots, I hope they get the IPL they deserve. They've probably lost out on most Australians thanks to Bal Thackeray's threats. Most of the better English players have stayed away because of other cricketing commitments. By excluding Pakistani stars in this way - a decision that is sure to haunt them politically - the IPL may well end up with viewership like any other domestic tournament. I guess Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Shilpa Shetty will really have their work cut out for them.

The question remains, however, will Geo Super back out of broadcasting a tournament that has made Pakistanis so pissed off?


Addendum-That-Should-Have-Been-Part-of-the-Post:

Actually, this should have been part of what I wrote earlier, since it was basically why I referenced Am(a)n Ki Asha in the beginning, and I have been reminded of the need to clarify this after a comment in the responses. (What can I say? It was late and I was pissed off AND sleepy...)

Basically, what has pissed me off the most about the Indian treatment of Pakistani cricketers is precisely the fact that it has probably strengthened the hands of the hyper-nationalist nutters on both sides and that an excellent opportunity to move things along on the path to normalization of relations between India and Pakistan has been squandered. The disdainful treatment meted out to Shahid Afridi et al will reinforce the opinion in Pakistan that the Indians are out to humiliate and isolate Pakistan any which way they can and that the Indian establishment is not really serious about even rebuilding cordial relations, leave alone dealing with outstanding issues like Kashmir, water etc. Liberal Indians may dispute this but that is how things will be perceived in Pakistan. And the only ones to benefit will be those out to sabotage relations in the first place. Particularly sad considering that Indians never tire of lecturing Pakistanis about the need for regional cooperation and good neighbourly behaviour.

28 comments:

anoop said...

Man, aren't you pissed! lol.. Your last line takes the prize- "As for Modi and his double-speaking compatriots, I hope they get the IPL they deserve. They've probably lost out on most Australians thanks to Bal Thackeray's threats. Most of the better English players have stayed away because of other cricketing commitments. By excluding Pakistani stars in this way - a decision that is sure to haunt them politically - the IPL may well end up with viewership like any other domestic tournament. I guess Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Shilpa Shetty will really have their work cut out for them."

Dude, IPL,Bollywood,Cricket(I dont consider IPL real cricket) and everything else is not a flash in the pan. It is based on the vibrancy of the society. You know there was a tournament like IPL in Karnataka,where I come from, called KPL. It was a grand success even though only 3 India players were given the permission to participate. Why was it a success?

The larger point that I want to make is India is a entertainment hungry country; It is a country which has a free,vibrant society. That has given rise to all the things that come to associate with the uniqueness of India. IPL is not a flash in the plan and on its current growth it is poised to becoming the BIGGEST sporting event,surpassing the Super Bowl by a long shot,in 5 God-Damned years.. Thats fucking huge,man. Does Hollywood cease to function if the top 5 men and women die tomorrow?? The same I ask for Hindi Film Industry?? No.. Because they run on different set of dynamics that you are used to in a country like Pakistan where entrepreneurial skills and encouragement is lacking. Its a very closed society compared to giants like India and the US.

IPL is a entertainment phenomena that cant be stopped. Who benefits at the end?? India. It generated millions of dollars of revenue for the govt,contributing to the GDP and provides thousands of jobs although temporarily.

I love when Pakistanis get annoyed by silly things and start loud-mouthing India. A bunch of them said that since the IPL was shifted to South Africa it would be a disaster and they said this after Pakistani players were not allowed by Lalit modi(For good reasons,ofcourse since they weren't willing to come to India... Suckers.. ). I remember those words clearly.. Ah.. What joy to see IPL getting bigger and better in SA and going global for the 1st time in its 2nd year itself. Do you seriously think its going to be smaller and stop even Pakisanis watching IPL?? Initially, ofcourse; but I bet they will get considerable number of people to watch in Pakistan. These are the same people who vow not to watch Indian Movies and TV serials but cant resist to watch them. India is too brilliant and colourful to Ignore,my friend.
You can call it a cultural juggernaut.
I know people in Pakistan will watch the IPL.. Its too glamorous to ignore,isn't it??
I agree that Pakistan players were humiliated but I dont think it was intentional.

P.S. I'd rather like Pakistan to send cricketers and Artists to India than its current big export- Terorists. Please stop sending them to our country. Also, I would like to request LeT guys not to take offense to this imaginary humiliation and send suicide bombers or gunmen to disrupt IPL. Pleaaaaase! I beg you..

Monkey said...

Anoop you have completely missed the point. The IPL that Pakistani players did not compete in was before they became t20 world champions. Now they have proved themselves to be masters of the game at which India and Australia miserably failed. Afridi has been christened the best t20 player in the world. This is the fact that makes the difference. It can't be entertainment at it's best if the best entertainers are not around. As for pakistanis not being 'able to resist' IPL, well let me tell you that the way Pakistanis feel about films is very different. Plus sulk all you indians want...Pakistanis are the masters at t20 and missing out on a stupid series like IPL doesn't affect, only affects the league itself.

Monkey said...

Going back to the question raised in the post. I don't think geo super will scrap IPL. And I don't think they should because it'll be a huge monetary loss to them. Of course viewership in Pakistan will be negligible so some losses they cannot escape. I would however suggest them not to get into the deal for next season (and to also give up on the idiotic Aman Ki Asha because clearly nobody cared very much for it in Pakistan) because this is the second time that IPL has left them in hot waters.

XYZ said...

@Anoop:

First of all, apologies for sounding like a defensive hyper-nationalist. My biggest peeve with the pettiness of the Indian treatment of the Pakistani cricketers is actually that they have strengthened the hands of the hyper-nationalists on both sides and lost out an opportunity for moving things along on the path to normalization of relations. I am going to add that as an addendum to the post.

However, dude, let me just comment on some of your other points.

1. Karnataka Premier League? KPL?? Dude, case in point. NOBODY has even heard of it outside of India.

2. You write: "[IPL and Bollywood] run on different set of dynamics tha[n] you are used to in a country like Pakistan where entrepreneurial skills and encouragement is lacking. Its a very closed society compared to giants like India and the US."

I don't know if you've ever been to Pakistan. But I have been to India many times. And let me tell you one thing I know for sure: there is absolutely NO difference in entrepreneurial skills or the red-tape bureaucracy. Yes, the state structures are very different but, if anything, Pakistan's is a much more chaloo society precisely because it often needs to find a way around the state structures. Plus, Pakistani media is far more critical and questioning of authority than Indian media, believe it or not. Only someone who has never actually been in Pakistan would ever call it a "closed society." You know everyone does not wear burqas here either.

3. You write: "India is too brilliant and colourful to Ignore,my friend."

I love it when desis begin to repeat the cringe-worthy exoticisations of the West about themselves. Eeew. For the record though, nobody is trying to deny India its accomplishments or its potential. Criticising India for its bigotry or its pettiness (despite being a regional hegemon) does not invalidate its regional or even global position...unless you think that criticising America's foreign policy arrogance or its neo-imperialism is also equivalent to belittling US accomplishments in science, domestic governance, etc. or denying its global cultural power.

4. You write: "I'd rather like Pakistan to send cricketers and Artists to India than its current big export- Terorists. Please stop sending them to our country."

Ok, so, I'm not even going to bother responding to the usual hyper-nationalist rhetoric of Indian hawks that refuses to even acknowledge the issues that divide us. But here's a thought: when you discourage artists and cricketers from coming across legally, guess what is the result and who benefits?

Jaydev said...

@XYZ
You are missing the point in bashing IPL franchises. There was another event that happened in between 26/11 and IPL auction that is discovery of Headly-Rana(LeT-Brigade313)..who sucessfully penetrated Bollywood circles and went around with them to Taj Hotel and other big targets without questions being asked coz of the "celebrity company". Now coz of that many careers/brand like Rahul Bhatt have been ruined.
So in future..Bollywood circle and other super-elite would be very wary of hanging around Pak citizens. So there is a proper logic in keeping Pak citizens out..
Besides many Pak players works for Tableeg and Jamaat-ul-dawa (or allied)charities..so flipping them for a recce mission like Headley-Rana is not far fetched..

XYZ said...

@Jaydev:

Er... so Pakistani cricketers have been kept out because they might be recce-ing for Lashkar-e-Taiba??? And Indians should be wary of ALL Pakistanis and keep them out since they are all potential terrorists??? God, you're more racist and fucked up than I thought!

By the same logic, all Indians are potential child rapists since Indian designer Anand Jon Alexander was convicted of at least 16 rape and sexual assault charges.

http://blog.taragana.com/law/2009/09/01/indian-born-designer-anand-jon-gets-59-years-for-rape-11637/

Just to set the record straight, however:

1. Rahul Bhatt had NOTHING to do with David Headley, other than befriending a seemingly innocuous stranger in his city and actually reporting his contact to the police once Headley's name came up in the media. If his "career/brand" is ruined because of this, that says more about the bigotry and stupidity of Indian attitudes than it does about him.

2. David Headley was an American citizen and, despite his Pakistani father, had grown up and lived all his life in the US. Rana was I believe a Canadian citizen. Should Indians be wary of and keep out all Americans and Canadians as well then? How insular do you think you can be?

Jeez.

Jaydev said...

@XYZ
I dont know how you can throw racist tag at me..coz I dont see any particular "racist difference"..I was alluding to potential trouble from Pak citizens in general way.Americans & Israelis are lucky in terms of easy profiling suspects. There was no provocation/profanity on my part as far as I can tell to resort to calling names..but at the same time..its pretty immature to force political corrected-ness down other's throat. Since Pak is waging for most part a half-century old open proxy war and still on it despite some Frankensteins turn-coats biting back..Pak is therefore an enemy country and its citizens potential troublemakers...Its too pretentious to feign offense.

anoop said...

@Monkey,

"It can't be entertainment at it's best if the best entertainers are not around. "

--> Dude, there are only 4 slots allotted for a foreign player in a team. There are 8 teams. So,that would make it 8x4=32. There are 3 or 4 IPL worthy Pakistani players. Afridi,Gul,Razzaq and who else? Oh ya Sohail Tanvir. Its not that all the Pakistani players would have been bought. So 4 to 5 players wouldn't make a difference would it??
Also,IPL is for Indian consumption. As long as Sachin,Dravid,Kumble,etc are playing do you really think Indians are going to care who plays and who doesn't?? Look at the number of people already employed by each team(Foreigners). All have more than 10 available foreign players with them.
Fuck it,man, even Glen McGrath played only 1 match since he had no place in the playing eleven. Whats-his-name-from Holland bowled brilliantly and didnt let McGrath play. What does this tell you??
Pakistan players would have added to the fun but I'd think again before declaring that IPL looses out or it will loose its sheen. It didnt suck the last time(when no Pakistani player played) and being back in India it will not suck this time. Infact, quite the opposite!

"I don't think geo super will scrap IPL. And I don't think they should because it'll be a huge monetary loss to them. Of course viewership in Pakistan will be negligible so some losses they cannot escape."

--> I bet and hope Geo or whatever its name is doesn't scrap the IPL. It has probably signed the deal to broadcast and contractually its obliged to broadcast. Last time too everyone thought nobody is going to watch IPL in Pakistan. But, what happened??
This kind of verdict is similar to the idiots out there who claim Pakistanis dont like Indian movies. But, they are dead wrong. Everytime the "awam" bats for,get this, Indian movies. Same, with IPL. :)
Geo will broadcast it and people will watch it. Period.

"because this is the second time that IPL has left them in hot waters."

--> Hello,Mr.Monkey, have you forgotten already what had transpired?
Pak govt didnt give permission for Pak players to play in India because it "unsafe"! Okaay.. But, then when IPL shifted to South Africa,after all the auctioning process was finished and the Franchises were ready with their teams suddenly Pakistanis wanted to play. Tell me,Is it our fault? Wasn't Pakistani govt to blame for the Pakistani player's loss? Please tell me, I beg you, how on earth are we responsible? This is a canard going around in Pakistan.

Monkey said...

Anoop, you are so delusional. You have obviously never been to Pakistan and do not know any Pakistanis. I will not even bother wasting my words on you. Happy IPL-ing to you.

anoop said...

@XYZ,
"Karnataka Premier League? KPL?? Dude, case in point. NOBODY has even heard of it outside of India."

---> When did I say that??? I just said it was a success. The money put into the league was got back. That is what I meant by success. And, people had fun. That is what I meant by success.
I just gave you an example how novel ideas take root in India and how vibrant and consumerist our society is. Sorry, my society is.

"I don't know if you've ever been to Pakistan. But I have been to India many times. And let me tell you one thing I know for sure: there is absolutely NO difference in entrepreneurial skills or the red-tape bureaucracy."

--> You are half right. India is changing dude. Fast. I agree there are structural bottlenecks in India but democracy is self-healing and its working,man.
Free media,govt which listens,fucking-high-growth are all indications of a country on the upward swing.
Pakistan has to take the step that India took 63 years ago- Democracy. By democracy I dont mean the kind of one practiced in Pakistan but the real one where civilian supremacy is present. Pakistan, I think, was better under a dictatorship. Atleast you knew who to blame for the country's mess.

"Plus, Pakistani media is far more critical and questioning of authority than Indian media, believe it or not. Only someone who has never actually been in Pakistan would ever call it a "closed society." You know everyone does not wear burqas here either."

--> Pakistani media has occupied the vacuum left by absence of proper democracy. I dont know why you said the thing you said about India but let me tell you Media is very efficient here. Switch on any TV channel here and catch the quality of debate and news. Catch the innumerable number of popular newspapers in India(I am talking about the popular ones only) and compare it with the Urdu crap you get in Pakistan. Have a see who is liberal and who is offering constructive criticism.
I dont know why you dont think the Media doesn't criticize the Govt but that is not the case at all. Also, not only through the media,people also have a pressure valve in terms of elections- State and Central. They kick out the non-performers and vote in the performers. Case in point- Bihar. Ruled by Lalu for 15 years,Bihar opted for Nitish Kumar. He has made Bihar,believe it or not, 2nd fastest growing state in India. Result: Out of 29 Parliamentary seats he won 27.
Just read the regional news in any Indian newspaper and you will get to know the kind of criticism Media employs. Its not direct and tasteless as in when Urdu Media attacks Zardari. It is constructive.
I am critical of the govt whenever it deserves but I stick for it whenever we are dealing with outsiders. Maybe this kinda thing has resulted in shaping your opinion.

anoop said...

"Ok, so, I'm not even going to bother responding to the usual hyper-nationalist rhetoric of Indian hawks that refuses to even acknowledge the issues that divide us"

--> I understand the issue that divides us. Kashmir.
But,man, dont you think Kashmir is better off in India's control(not that there is a need to question India's control over Kashmir..after all Kashmir was and is a part of India)?
You want Kashmir. Why? Because its Muslim Majority. My brother, India's flag has the saffron and the green. A country with 80% Hindu worships Muslim Heroes in Cinemas. Can you Imagine India giving Kashmir up because of Religion? What will be the state of Muslims in India?? Are you selfish enough to risk their safety?
Solution on Pakistani lines isn't possible. The ONLY solution is status-quo recognition.
I wish Mushy was running Pakistan. Atleast we could talk to him knowing he represented the only stable institution in Pakistan. If he were around for a few more years probably we could have reached an agreement.
Check out this article on the blog,dude..

http://www.newslinemagazine.com/2010/01/heads-the-army-wins-tails-zardari-loses/

Sums it up quite nicely. Get your acts together and try for peace. India is a peace loving country and she has no territorial ambitions.

danil said...

hahaha we all suck. IPL is pure business. Why make it a yardstick of international relations unnecessarily?

On a positive note I read about how the Indian Railways released compensation for a Pakistani couple's sons, who had died in the Samjhauta Express blasts (blamed on LeT by the indian agencies). The money was released in Indian Rupees which was of no use to the poor Pakistani citizen, and so the railways got the external affairs ministry to send the compensation through the consulate. A record time of three years when tribunals and inter ministry dealings were involved, is not too bad i'd say.

Nadir Hassan said...

The mistake this post makes is in confusing the motivations of the franchises with those of the Indian government. The franchises have a legitimate fear, given the state of India-Pakistan relations, that the players will not be given visas. They felt that having Pakistani players would not be a prudent investment. Sure, that will lead to a worsening in relations between the two countries, but its not the job of a bunch of businessmen to worry about that. And please take Shane Bond of that list. I can think of very few players I would rather have on a T20 (or Test and ODI) team, and certainly not any Pakistani.

Also can we stop using Aman ki Asha as a punchline? Its already been so overused its no longer funny.

Indophile said...

Well you made it sound like India was always treating Pakistani player in a similar manner, but in IPL1 all the major Pakistani stars were fetched as per their market values, entire ICL was made up of Pakistani players, even most of reality shows were full of people from your country. All this changed only after Mumbai 26/11; it may not be the correct thing to do , but putting all onus on India to rebuild any relation is unfair. May be putting somebody actually behind the bar for a long duration will help.

Neha said...

Hi.
Firstly, I would like to categorically state that the manner in which this situation was handled was beyond appalling, and positively shameful. There is a level of respect one accords to human beings in general,next-door-neighbours in particular. I really can not justify this reaction, and in fact, see no reason to. The act has to be abhorred, by all ends, particularly Indian. Such is the tragedy of the times we live in, that a reaction from those affected by the madness of another is ridiculed and cross-questioned, and by none other than the mad! In any case, they tell us that they could not possibly have bought (terrible use of the term by the way!) the Pakistani players because there was no GUARANTEE of their availability, and they couldn't possibly invest those huge sums without being absolute certain that the players are going to be playing. Even IF, I were to buy this argument, that still isn't a good enough excuse. If you know this is a sensitive issue, there is some amount of sensitivity, actually forget sensitivity, BRAINS, you may choose to use to deal with it. Could, or rather should, they not have confirmed before-hand whether or not the sponsors were at all keen on buying (I repeat, ugh.) the Pakistani players, before parading them on virtual ramps? It is disgusting. And as an Indian, I am truly ashamed and apologize. Though it means nothing, my apology, like starfish on sea-shores. One stupidity, and it cracks all that is good.

On a not-so-side note,I desperately wanted to go for the Rahet Fateh Ali Khan and Kailash Kher 'Aman ki Asha' concert in Purana Qila in Delhi? There was an ABSOLUTE madness that ensued for tickets. Everyone from Sonia Gandhi to her nail-polish remover wanted to be there. It made my day a little batter. Just glimpses of sanity, in this mad mad world...

Anonymous said...

As a normally sane Pakistani who fervently hopes and prays for better ties with India I was bitterly disappointed by the recent IPL fiasco. As this blog points out, such things can only strengthen the hands of the hate-mongers on both sides of the border.
Thank you Neha for speaking up for sanity from across the border. Just as myself, and millions of others like me in Pakistan, who watched with horror and disgust the events unfolding in Mumbai on 26/11 and condemned them, it is time for the silent majority to speak out against what we feel is unjust, regardless of which side of the border we are on. Only then can our voices drown out the voice of bigotry that seem to dominate the blogosphere in particular.

Kream said...

Of course it's an organised snub. If we can get complete unknowns from across the world then we can definitely get the star players in from Pakistan. And it's bullshit that the Pakistani players don't have a star following in India - they have a huge fan following.

And yeah, one excuse is that there's no guarantee of availability but that's only hiding the truth. Any team could have taken the Pakistani players AND some standbys in case they were not made available.

So this was an organised boycott and in very poor taste indeed -- but only if you look at it devoid of context.

For a nation like Pakistan which has suffered so much from terrorism the past 15 or so months, India's focus on 26/11 is understanably myopic. But for the reality that the Indians live in, 26/11 was a monumental, iconic blow. And even after the Pakistani state accepted that the plot was hatched in Pakistan, even then there has been precious little movement on the case. One year on, after Rehman Malik's admission of Pakistani involvement (after an orgy of denial) there's a request to transfer the case to LHC because the lawyers are supposedly "too scared" of travelling to Rawalpindi. Effective and firm action in the case would be worth a million peace overtures from the Pakistani government and strengthen the hands of the Indian peace lobby.

This is a crude boycott and very disrespectful. And it helps only those who don't want peace between the two countries.

And seriously can we stfu with the Indian triumphalism? It's a little sickening. Here's a hint: telling people how awesome your culture is is one sure way to piss them off about it. freakin morons.

Reverse Swing said...

Modi tried to get away with accusations of not allowing Pakistani players in IPL even he did know in November that they will not make it but he kept it for the last moment. But this back fired and now it is considered as a disgust.

Well he surely should have told them and world that this time again IPL will not be able to welcome Pakistani players well ahead. case closed.

XYZ said...

Ok, responding to all here might take a while but I'll try and keep it short...

@Jaydev: Do some reading on politics and racism. Citing racial profiling by the US and Israel does not really bolster your defence.

@Anoop: I'm not going to get into a pointless debate with you over democracy or Kashmir, but would like to point out

1) I do think India is far ahead of Pakistan in terms of democratic traditions and Pakistan would do well to emulate India in that regard

2)I never ever said I "want" Kashmir because it is has a "Muslim majority"... in fact, all I said was that the issue of Kashmir needs to be addressed, not swept under the carpet. Personally, I do not subscribe to the casting of the issue as a territorial or religious dispute as you have; it should primarily be about the Kashmiris.

3. I find it hilarious that for someone going on about democracy in India and the need for Pakistan to have the same, you say more than once how you wish for a military dictator to be running the country. Democracy only when it suits you, eh?

4. You also write of the KPL: "I just gave you an example of how novel ideas take root in India and how vibrant and consumerist our society is. Sorry, my society is."

Do you know that Pak has its own T20 domestic tournament that is as successful (by your definition) and sees great participation? Do you have any idea of a million other non-cricket-related "novel ideas" that have taken root in Pakistan? Do you know the level of consumerism in Pakistan (not that I equate that with vibrancy, but let's stick to your defs)? Why would you assume that India is unique in this respect?

5. You write: "I dont know why you said the thing you said about India but let me tell you Media is very efficient here. Switch on any TV channel here and catch the quality of debate and news. Catch the innumerable number of popular newspapers in India(I am talking about the popular ones only) and compare it with the Urdu crap you get in Pakistan."

I actually know the Indian media scene quite well and base my opinion on what I have seen over more than two decades. This may be subjective but the level of debate on Indian electronic media leaves much to be desired (as it does on Pakistan's electronic media). Indian popular newspapers have steadily become far more tabloidy than Pakistan's (so far) and the questioning of officialdom is far more ingrained in the Pakistani press precisely because, as you said, the press has filled the vacuum left by the absence of democracy.

I admit I do not know enough about the vernacular press in India since I cannot read the scripts. From your claims, it would seem you can read Urdu. If so, I accept your defence of India's vernacular press compared to the Urdu press of Pakistan.

6. You write: "India is a peace loving country and she has no territorial ambitions."

Are you really saying that with a straight face? "Smiling Buddha" and Sikkim and all that? Look, I'm not an India-baiter but isn't it about time Indians become a little more circumspect about their country's role in the region? There must be some reason India has serious disputes with all of its neighbours (not just Pakistan). I am even willing to accept them as the outcomes of realpolitik and a natural attempt at regional supremacy, but you really should stop pretending otherwise.

But getting back to the topic at hand, here's a courageous Indian writer on what he calls "undeniably... a shameful episode in Indian cricket history." Obviously, the Pakistani perception is not off the mark.

http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Addictions/entry/no-pakistani-in-ipl-is

Will follow up about other comments in separate response.

XYZ said...

Ok, so carrying on:

@danil: Precisely because it was more than just a business decision and involved international relations.

@Nadir Hassan:

1. You write: "The mistake this post makes is in confusing the motivations of the franchises with those of the Indian government."

I think you are making the mistake of accepting the version of events put forward by the franchises and misreading the post. Here's Times of India exposing how, contrary to their initial claims, the franchises agreed on an organised boycott:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/cricket/ipl/top-stories/Inside-story-All-IPL-teams-agreed-to-shun-Pak-players/articleshow/5482239.cms

More importantly, my post actually lashes out at the double-speak of Lalit Modi et al, who claimed there was no boycott, not at the franchises. I still think it is a squandered opportunity of improving relations and will lead to all sorts of unanticipated nasty reactions (some of which we are seeing in the calls to boycott the Hockey World Cup and ban Indian films). But my point was simply that Modi and his fellow countrypeople should at least admit that the snub was NOT based on cricketing strategy and the like.

2. Take Shane Bond off what list? The only list I have on the post is the official list of cricketers bought. I think he's a great bowler too though with his being prone to injury (he's currently injured too) he may not be the most reliable cricketer to buy. And I did make an exception for certain cricketers in the list, if you would read the post carefully.

3. You also write: "Also can we stop using Aman ki Asha as a punchline? Its already been so overused its no longer funny."

Punchline? Dude, I mentioned it at the beginning of the post and that too not in a humourous manner. I had no clue it was ever "funny." Are you sure you're commenting on the right blog?


@Neha: Thank you, thank you, thank you. Voices of sanity are desperately needed at this time.

For the record, though, the franchises are the ones who had expressed initial interest in the players. All the cricketers up for auction had to have been recommended by at least one franchise for them to be on the bill. So yes, given the sensitivity of the situation and its potential to impact other aspects of relations between Pakistan and India, even if the franchises were worried about their investments going to waste, the issue should have been handled in a more tactful manner. The way it was eventually handled (organized silent boycott) has actually caused worse problems. I feel particularly sorry for people on both sides who have worked so hard towards bringing their peoples towards normal relations and countering jingoistic rhetoric. It seems like we are forever taking one step forward and two steps back.

@Kream: Agree with all you've said.

@Reverse Swing: Ditto.

Nadir Hassan said...

XYZ: If what the Times of India says is true, then it makes complete sense for the franchises not to bid on Pakistani players. When the Indian government said Pakistanis should be treated no differently than other cricketers, the franchises expressed their interest in a lot of our players. When the Indian govt became more ambiguous, they decided it wasn't worth the risk. And its hard to blame them for that. It is a squandered opportunity to improve relations, but on the part of the government not the IPL.

My bad on Shane Bond. I thought you were listing all the players who were bought and were worse than the Pakistanis at the auction.

I was also unclear on what I meant by using Aman ki Asha.I didn't meant punchline to any particular joke but that its become a punchline to the joke that is India-Pakistan relations. Every journalist I talk to has used some variation of "Aman ki Asha my ass" (I've probably done it half a dozen times myself). I think Aman ki Asha is a great venture and we should be a little less cynical.

Pramod said...

I'd second XYZ's views completely. I think the whole thing was a really bad move, whoever took the decision, the IPL or the fucking government. It's rather sad that it's only giving more ammo to the nuts on either side.

And hey anoop, personally, it's upsetting to read your comments. they are as hyper-nationalistic and as incoherent and as ignorant as they can get.

anoop said...

@XYZ,

You point #1 and #2 agreed. Regarding you point #3, it would be better if democracy takes hold in Pakistan. But, the current system is the worst possible situation. As long as Civilian supremacy is absent in Pakistan I'd rather prefer a dictatorship. Atleast you know you can deal with someone. But, its not important what Indian's feel but what the Pakistanis feel about it. Anti-democracy feeling has already started to take hold of Pakistan and in a few more years,perhaps withing the next decade, military will be back to power. This is a vicious cycle that I cant see Pakistan getting out of.. So between the current system and the system under Musharaff for India I think the latter is good.. This is just not here nor there..

#4: Good Pakistan has a League of its own. I quite loved the Cheer leaders on a clip I saw on youtube of a match. :)

#5: I dont agree with this at all. India has never attacked Pakistan. Even in '71 Pak attacked 1st in anticipation of an attack from us. Also, we left Bangladesh to chart its own course after we won the war. If we were territorial we would have taken some or all of its territory.
Regarding the nuclear explosions, India is a potential superpower and has big future ahead. India is going to be the 3rd largest economy by 2050. Even 2nd largest if its going to increase its growth rate,which its on its way to do. So, comparing India with Pakistan,which is a middle level power, is not right. Besides, we have China to think of. We are the only country in the whole world to have 2 nuclear powered nations as neighbours to have fought a war with. And, one of them is one the verge of meltdown.
India is left with the mess Britishers created. We have opted to resolve the issues diplomatically rather than militarily compared to Pakistan which attacked for no reason in 1948,1965 and 1999. Besides, its easier to deal with a democratic neighbour than a dictatorial regime or a Communist one.

anoop said...

@XYZ,
Lets get back to the topic in discussion. Pakistanis have taken great offence to this so-called snub. How can the govt of India and Indians be blamed for a calculated decision taken by a bunch of corporates? BCCI doesn't take orders from the govt,nor is it the job of the govt to dictate terms. IPL is even more independent and it has done the right thing in inviting the Pakistani players to submit their names. Its all it can be accused of. If Franchises who have invested millions of dollars and dont want to risk their money think Pak players are not worth it how can India and Indians be blamed???
Canceling a parliamentary delegation to protest this "snub" is highly uncalled for and is just plain weird. Govt of India has better work to do than to sit around and plot "how to humiliate Pakistanis next time".. BCCI and IPL are the biggest benefactors if Pakistan players get picked. Also, another reason is that it wasn't an auction to select the whole team but an auction to fill a few,limited number of slots.
Pakistanis feel bad,especially the govt, if a few people dont pick their players to play for their teams but when the Americans strip Pakistanis in airports Parliamentarians dont cancel their trips. They only protest the required amount when American drones kill Pakistanis in their own land,thus violating the Sovereignty of Pakistan. This is not Humiliation, but yeah, a bunch of Indian corporates not picking up pakistani players for their teams is really,really,humongous-ly humiliating. How pathetic..
Saudis treat people from the Sub-continent like shit and Muslims(mainly) from Indian and Pakistanis bend over backwards to go and work in that country. Still Pakistnis call them "brothers" and pledge loyalty. Atleast in the case of Americans Pakistanis protest but you guys dont even protest when people from here are forced to work for 15 hrs straight and are treated like animals by the spoilt Saudis.
When the Americans give you free money you bring about Ghairat(or,whatever) being violated. But, when Saudis give LOANS,mind you not aid, you speak about undying love for them.
Get over your inferiority complex(I am beginning to think this is also one of the reasons for this outburst) and start treating the world the way it treats you.

Bolshevik said...

Abb Zaid Hamid aur Ahmed Quraishi ki hyper-nationalist hyperbole kon lagaam dega? :-(

2 Tok said...

Anoop is right - Indian gov. & normal Indians can't be blamed for this planned exclusion of Pak players. It is mere bias and hatred of Hindu fundos.

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Anonymous said...

@anoop -

Though it has been more than a year and I know you might never read my comment but I cannot help saying that either you do not want to admit the truth or you are delusional.

You really believed that the Franchise recommended Pakistani players and Lalit Modi et al invited them INSPITE of knowing that they will NOT be Available most of the time and Suddenly, on the auction day- the franchise became aware of the situation and they did not bid?!!!!

Do you really believe that the Franchise owners did not bid for the players just on the reasons related to cricket? BCCI and IPL might be an independent bodies but it does not mean that they will not be influenced by bureaucracy.

I am an Indian and I think the way the matter was handled was most disgraceful and unprofessional.

Considering the post 26/11 situation, it would have been completely OK ( for Indians and I think for Pakistanis too) if the Franchise would not have recommended the names of the Pak players and IPL would not have invited them just to snub them in front of everyone.
That would mean a snub too but at least done in a better manner.