May 25, 2012

Indian Premier League

The IPL is bad for capitalism, democracy and cricket

Kanishkaa Balachandran

Ramachandra Guha, writing in the Hindu, says the Indian Premier League represents the negative side of liberalisation and power, such as the secrecy in the player auctions and the conflicts of interest involving team owners. He adds that the tournament doesn't necessarily connect with all social classes in India and also questions the right to call the league 'Indian'.

The IPL has given capitalism and entrepreneurship a bad game. But it has also been bad for Indian democracy, in that it has vividly and even brazenly underlined the distance between the affluent, urban middle classes and the rest of India. Consider the fact that no city in India's largest State, Uttar Pradesh, which has an excellent Ranji Trophy team, was awarded a franchise. Nor any city in Bihar, Orissa, or Madhya Pradesh either. To leave out four of India's largest States — all cricket-mad, and which collectively account for close to half the country's population — must seriously disqualify the League's claim to be ‘Indian.'

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Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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