Summer of controversies

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April 21st, 2010 Joydeep Ghosh

The IPL scam, Sebi-Irda spat… we are all set to have an interesting summer. Let me add my two bit.

Even if some ‘sweat equity’ was given to Ms Pushkar (if the allegations are correct), courtesy Mr Tharoor… does it really matter? Come’ on guys there is enough muck in the system. Here, politicians’ children and family members benefit just because their parents travel in a car with a ‘batti’ at the top (many times, it’s not even the child’s fault).

Coming from Bihar, I have heard this line several times. ‘Arre e to falanwa ka beta/bitiya hain’ (oh, he/she is ‘this person’s’ son or daughter). The rest follows…

Yes, if the government wants to fix the IPL, let’s go ahead and do that. And it’s because there are too many smokescreens in the IPL system.

Newspaper reports claim that crores were spent on post-match parties, clauses were inserted in contracts that models had to mingle with the guests, caps on earnings of junior players were introduced in days – Yes, it has become one crazy ride.

And then there is Lalit Modi.Though Jagmohan Dalmiya was blamed for commercialisation of cricket, he did it quietly. Modi, on the contrary, has turned cricket into comedy, that too, with a swagger.

Administrators, in my view, cannot even be seen to be siding with anyone (even if they are). No wonder, many of them are boring personalities because they need to make important decisions, and dispassionately.

So, a lot of people should thank Tharoor. He has suddenly given them a stick… a real big stick… to beat up both IPL and the cricket establishment that has eluded them for all these years.

Whether things will change or not, I don’t know or care. But this is one controversy that I will watch for sheer entertainment – just like the IPL.


When Chandhrashekhar Bhave, the Sebi chairman, banned 14 insurance companies from accepting fresh premiums on unit-linked insurance plans (Ulips), he surprised many of us.

Most so-called experts were not expecting this. The argument: The insurance lobby is too strong for Sebi to do anything. Well, smart guys, the matter has gone to the court.

Whether Sebi gets control, Irda continues to have control or there is a dual control really does not matter. By simply taking up the matter in a big way, Sebi has made it front page news.

Importantly, a lot of customers are now asking questions. Almost a year back, a Business Standard reporter tried to buy a simple term policy from an insurance company. However, everyone tried to sell him an Ulip. Being a young chap with no dependents, he just needed a cheap policy. But everyone advised him to buy something that was 5 or 10 times more expensive with the lure of ‘wealth creation’.

The outcome of this case certainly interests me, but for a different reason. More controversy means more information for consumers. And Sebi’s step has achieved exactly that.


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One Response to “Summer of controversies”

  1. Harish Kumar Says:

    Dear Sirs, I fully agree with Joydeep Ghosh. But I need to emphasize here that will something come out of this bag where so many big “fishes” are involved. I do not think this controversy will improve the system. We are a democracy which is more popularly known as Republic of Nexus where anything is possible if you have connections. This is not real democracy, this beloved great India which is run by handful of corrupt bureaucrats, politicians and business people who dodge the tax and befool general public. After few days this issue will also be dead like other scandals. There is almost daily a financial rape in India where ordinary citizens suffer and pay the price.


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