August 31, 2010 Leave a comment
Even as the news channels are engrossed in the match fixing scandal, I have been wondering about certain priorities of those who matter.
I have been watching with considerable amusement the “alertness” of our new ICC President Sharad Pawar, almost jumping to “work” on the crisis and being seen “ in charge”. While the post of ICC president carries considerable importance and clout, I wonder whether there has been an instance of Sharad Pawar, the Agriculture Minister acting with such alacrity.
Saying so, doesn’t mean that I want cricket to suffer and I am not suggesting that Pawar shouldn’t be working on what it is a dark moment for the gentleman’s game.
Make no mistake about my love for the game of cricket and my concern about its well being. Despite all the high praise we can come up with for cricket, it is, at the end of it all, a mere game. The “mere” doesn’t signify any lack of respect but a reflection of the relative importance of the game vis-à-vis the other pressing issues of our lives.
The Maratha strongman is someone who likes to have power and flaunt it too. His running feud with Jagmohan Dalmiya to take control of the cricket mafia aka BCCI is well known. Even his political stunt of leaving the congress on the issue of “prestige” refusing to be subservient to “foreign leadership” and later striking an opportunistic alliance with the very same party is the least spoken about political folklore of our country.
So, as I said before, I am not begrudging the fact that Sharad Pawar demonstrates his leadership at this time of crisis. But I certainly do wonder whether he has ever been appalled by the plight of the poor farmers, rising food prices and the general state of Indian Agriculture.
In fact he went on record that the failure to check rising prices cannot be limited to him but actually the blame should be shared by everyone in the Government including the Prime Minister. While unwittingly he may have spoken the truth, his statement did leave the Congress very red faced.
While that is politics, I actually think that Pawar hasn’t contributed anything of worth as an Agriculture Minister. I don’t have hard facts or statistics to prove my point but a simple deduction : In the last 18 months or so, I don’t recall any significant announcement from Sharad Pawar in his capacity as Agriculture Minister. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if many didn’t know that he also held the Agriculture Portfolio.
Incapacitated by a facial stroke, Pawar may have missed the last bus to Prime Ministership and so it is understandable that he wants to make it big in the ICC : Chairman Emeritus perhaps for his “lasting contribution” to the game.
It does not however absolve his total lack of attention to an important portfolio that concerns the lives and livelihood of over 70% of India.
In my view, it is the height of apathy and extreme insensitivity Pawar chooses to be a full time ICC president and a part time Agriculture minister.
Be it in immediate organizing of conference calls on the match fixing expose or meeting a sworn political enemy like a Bal Thackeray, Pawar finds enough time. It is a pity that he doesn’t find time or worse still doesn’t realize the weight of his responsibilities as the Agriculture Minister.
The Indian voter dearly wishes that Sharad Pawar takes the issue of “Nothing in the bowl to eat” as seriously as he does with the issue of “No balls”