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    The Lalit Modi Controversy


    Who is this guy, anyway?

    Once upon a time, a little prince was born to a wealthy king. They named him Lalit Kumar Modi. He was to inherit a most precious business of his grandfather’s: The Modi Enterprises, a promising empire already worth USD 5 Billion. As the prince grew up, he was groomed with the finest education in the Bishop Cottons School, Shimla. He was later sent to North Carolina, USA, for higher studies.

    To no one’s surprise, all this pampering didn’t craft a disciplined man. As a young man, Modi served 2 years in American prison for drug-trafficking, assault and kidnapping charges. A few years later, a grown-up Modi came home with a wife and step-daughter. Then on, he took to looking after his legacy.


    What goes up…

    He joined the family business and soon became the President and the Managing Director of Modi Enterprises. But he had the taste for expensive and “better” things in life. Since 1992, Mr. Modi has been Executive Director of Godfrey Phillips, a leading name in domestic cigarette and tobacco brands. He ventured further, taking India with him…

    1993: A partnership with Disney Chanel made it possible to air Fashion TV and other Disney content in India.

    1994: He partnered with ESPN in a joint venture worth $975 million, which made T20 IPL Championship the highest valued Sports series ever. This was a 10-year plan where ESS was given global commercial rights for the Cricket event.

    2004: Elected Chairman of Board of Control for Cricket in India (that’s BCCI to you).

    2005: Demoted to Vice-President. He is also the leader of many regional Cricket Associations.

    2008: A huge milestone: launching the Champions League’s franchise – The Indian Premier League, as its Chairman and Commissioner.

    Modi did many noble deeds in his life… He cared for the sports clubs of India which needed it, and well deserved the profits and returns. If it were not for him, India’s biggest cricket production: the IPL T20 wouldn’t have been born. Nor would it be an international phenomenon worth $4 billion, as it is today!

    2012: For his extensive and innovative work in commercializing Cricket (more than it already was), he was titled “Second Most Powerful Person in Indian Sports”.


    Must come down!

    However, all that power intoxicated Mr. Modi… to an extent that he swayed too far. In his entire Sport-Business career, Mr. Modi had seen so many ups and downs and done so much for the Cricket society single handedly that perhaps he started seeing himself as the protector and guardian of the sport in India. He became possessed with it. IPL was his baby, and he would do anything to foster it. In the way, it seems he did some really BAD things…

    Rajasthan Cricket Association: Entry in 2005. Elected President in 2014. As soon as he won, Modi replaced the pre-existing administration with an ad-hoc team, in an attempt to prevent BCCI from banning the RCA with the charge of letting a “criminal” run its affairs. Modi stated that BCCI’s ban was unjust and biased.
    In Rajasthan (and everywhere else he went), Modi made friends… One of them is the present Chief Minister Mrs. Vasundhra Raje.
    In March 2015, the board impeached their Prez from the Board. He left without protest, and his colleagues erased his name from the system. All his duties as the chief were allotted to the impromptu committee (appointed by HIM) who were to take care that Rajasthani cricketers didn’t suffer. We imagine that wouldn’t have been very pleasant…

    BCCI: Becoming President of the RCA made Modi eligible for running for the Chair of BCCI, but he landed as VP. Sans grudges, he raised the BCCI’s income sevenfold. And that was BEFORE IPL was born! Then, two years after T20 took the TRP by the storms, BCCI kicked Modi out too. They alleged that the man was involved in misconducts with the tournament and made fraud deals.

    He has been sued for falsely accusing cricketers with match-fixing, while his own record of con and spotting is supported by evidence. And the funny thing? After getting permanently exiled from Cricket, Mr.Modi is playing the saintly martyr, advertising Sport misconducts as “death penalties from sports”. Damage control? Sarcasm? Or genuine regret?


    The Bad Guy:

    Mr. Modi, in his own words, is “a bad enemy to make, because he always wins”. Well, in light of the current news, we give him that: The man knows his game play. He has the attention of more people than Kardashians could demand, and yet he sits comfortably untouched in his European home, sipping Earl Grey.

    He has a long list of foes and a longer list of follies…

    There is a committee called ED – Electorate Directive (pfft! Not us silly!) in India. This Intelligence agency ensures that monetary rules are followed, by civilians and others alike. These people just LOOOVE Lalit Modi! Apparently, he has done so much laundering and scamming with foreign money under the authorities noses (with them in fact), and left no real marks, that even convicting him is tedium. Delhi’s Commonweath games committee should feel like toddlers before this guy! A whopping INR 2148.3 crore of (just) foreign money has been single-handedly swapped by Modi, all the while everyone thought that his silence on being removed from “parties” was punishment enough. Good riddance, eh?

    Modi ji, your business, political and criminal skills are all admirable! You always stayed ahead, didn’t you? So bad, that you’re actually good! We bet you are good at chess, too. You know to sacrifice your pawns when they are useless, and save your court till the end… You leaped off the edge before the bridge collapsed, and then cut off any possible ways back.

    Mr. Modi took help from all this political alliances – which secretly exist in EVERY party of the nation – to flee the country. You told ‘poor’ Mrs. Raje (sarcasm intended. Her hands are far from dirty) that you needed her to help you get out and go to your sick wife in Portugal. How is she now? Your wife, we mean. Mrs. Raje doesn’t seem to be much of a concern to you since you exposed her, is she?

    Also, how about our honorable External Affairs Minister Mrs. Sushma Swaraj? She too was an accessory in your impropriety, yes? And if our Prime Minister wills it, she will have to step down. So Mr. Modi, this way you have very well managed to land our beloved yogi PM in a predicament too, raising questions on him and his judgements. Two birds with a stone.


    We say…

    We want to thank you, for merging Cricket and Entertainment. Thank you also for bringing so much more exposure to India. But sir, with great power, comes great responsibility (Spiderman was a wise man). But you only misused it, when you were such a potent star! However, we Indians have a saying, “Dosti kari hai, toh nibhani padegi!”, and we don’t like back-stabbers. As a population, we could maybe forgive you for all the corruption, because we don’t know anyone who doesn’t do it. But you know why we wish you would be caught and penalized? Because you cut the hands that helped you. And THAT… is not prince-like at all.

    Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.

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