Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms. Jayalalithaa seems to have scored political runs on the Chennai wicket against the Sri Lankan players, in an attempt to garner public support ahead of elections. Her decision to call for protests against the participation of Sri Lankan players in the Indian Premier League is becoming a hot controversy. By declaring that the State government will permit the matches to be held in Chennai only if the organisers provided an undertaking that no Sri Lankan players, umpires, officials or support staff would participate in these matches, she has mixed up the two far apart poles- sports and politics.
But what’s astonishing to note is that, the IPL governing council has given into the demands and favored Ms. Jayalalithaa’s idea. Such a decision was least expected from the “good-samaritan-outlook” Council.
Undoubtedly, there will be long-term repercussions on this gentleman’s game. It is pertinent to note that India’s foreign policy has become shaky nowadays and is influenced by the state ministers. Ms. Jayalalithaa appears too eager to surrender her responsibilities. Far from extending assurances on the law and order front, she voiced her apprehension that the participation of Sri Lankan players “will aggravate an already surcharged atmosphere and further offend the sentiments of the people” of Tamil Nadu.
Why wasn’t this issue raked up in 2012, 2011 or 2010 during the then IPL matches? Just because the elections are scheduled in a couple of years, such ballyhoo has been created? Incidentally, DMK Supremo, M. Karunanidhi has voiced in the same line. If such is his plan of action, then he should prompt his grandson Kalanidhi Maran, to disband all Spicejet flights flying to Sri Lanka.
Sports is a medium where people come together and celebrate with each other. Why does one need to stop it? How are the International issues and this game of cricket connected? The effects of such divisive politics will surely deteriorate the game.
Ms. Jayalalithaa’s interference in a sporting event and its organiser’s meek surrender will only create more animosity between New Delhi and Colombo and will do little against the Rajapaksha regime. Former Sri Lankan cricket captain, Arjuna Ranatunga has already raised his voice on this and has expressed desire for pulling out of Sri Lankan players from the whole tournament. The tit-for-tat politics will achieve nothing at the end of the day. We will only end up creating another Kashmir-like situation in south. The human rights violation in Sri Lanka is for the Sinhalese and the Tamils in that country to settle and not the responsibility of populist Indian parties who do nothing but create more controversies for the country.