April 22, 2010


Poor Lalit Modi. He went a little too fast with his scam and partied a little too hard in front of public eyes. As per a confidential income tax report, he bought a luxury yacht, a private jet, a fleet of Mercedes S-class cars and what not! All in the last three years! He gave every possible deal to do with IPL to his relatives and family and friends or to people whom he owed money – so that they don’t come behind him. Again, this is as per that report which came out in The Economic Times. More, he took personal stakes in disguise in three of the IPL teams and is supposed to have been himself involved in fixing the outcomes of IPL matches along with a prominent page 3 personality; again according to the same report.

He is linked to Betfair – a UK firm that runs one of the world’s largest betting syndicates on the internet – and is helping it to enter the casino and hospitality business in India! This is what the Income Tax Department scooped out from Lalit Modi’s email box. And all this an unbelievable six months back. But then the government didn’t take any action till Modi in his stupidity tried to publicly challenge Tharoor because Tharoor gate-crashed into Modi's IPL party while he wanted to give that franchise to another big industrial house along with a couple of more film stars! And then Tharoor broke free and brought in the counter allegations, which everyone knew about but was maintaining the conspiracy of silence hoping to join the party at the right time. Of course, a number of government people are already involved!

But this is what you all almost already know by now. This is not what I want to elaborate upon. The bigger issue is something else. This is not something new. It’s something that is happening in India all the time. Ever since Independence, our focus has been to privatise every public good available through unfair means to allow private businessmen to profit, and in the process helping government middlemen make money. Sports in India is a public good. Cricket is a national craze. Then, is it fair to privatise this activity, is the bigger question in hand. Well, truthfully speaking, I am not against privatising sports. Worldwide privatisation of sports has helped nurture and encourage sports at a local level and bring in amazing talent. Case in point is the European football clubs, the British premier leagues. It’s the working class people whose children are the star players today; kids from the streets getting into the various clubs and making it big regularly. Club games and such leagues necessarily promote sports and encourage fresh talent. So privatising sports – especially cricket which Indians are so passionate about – is not a bad idea. And there is hardly any encouragement. But what is wrong is privatising it through a coterie and distributing it amongst themselves. Cricket is nobody’s father’s property. No one has the right to privatize it and distribute it between friends and family. It has to fairly go to the best bidders, because it is guaranteed money and valuations. Readers of this magazine will remember when IPL franchisees were distributed, I had written in this same column that there surely is unfair play. Many people couldn’t have surely afforded the teams on merit. Then, of course, I came to know that people who paid Rs.300 crores for a team never actually paid it. They m u rk y p i t c h had to pay it in a span of ten years at Rs.30 crores every year. That’s only Rs.2.5 crores per month. That too I doubt how many people had to actually pay. For it was decided that all the sponsorship money being earned on IPL would be divided in a particular ratio and distributed amongst the franchise holders. So there is all probability that if the due to the franchisee was Rs.25 crores in a year, he actually only paid Rs. 5 crores the differential! That too divided amongst a few partners per team. So, of course, all of Modi’s friends and family could afford it!

And as I was saying, this is not an exception. Look at mining licences in India. Look at the way top oil companies have done all the researches, identified the oil fields and then instead of digging for oil, closed it saying there is no oil. And secretly sold the reports to private players, who then suddenly reach the fields, discover hidden oil like magic and make millions! Or look at the way government would take over failed companies through BIFR and then sell assets worth ten times at a tenth of the value and take kickbacks in return.

So at every given moment, we have done bigger scams than IPL ever since Independence. And done it shamelessly. That’s India. Privatise all profits and nationalise all losses. Every public property which can yield money, distribute it between a select coterie, fool the public and enrich a few.

To undo the IPL scam, what we must do minimum is take away all the franchisees given unfairly and re-auction them fairly including those given out in the first round of auctions. And see to it that such shameful privatisation of everything public through unfair means should stop with immediate effect. Otherwise, we will only have more and more of BPL (below the poverty line) while IPLs and such similar scams keep thriving. Utter shame!

Worldwide, privatisation of sports has helped encourage sports and talent at a local level

But what is wrong is privatising it through a coterie and distributing it amongst themselves




"PRIVATISE ALL PROFITS AND NATIONALISE ALL LOSSES"-this apparently sums up the essence of this wonderful article.It's indeed an eye-opener for us....

Adi said...

India needs to privatize! Corruption exists whether you privatize or not. However, the benefits of privatization are far too much to ignore. We've had enough of socialist rhetoric. Time for some actions.

The article is narrow minded and does not delve into finer aspects. It can be nest summed up as sophistry, but I'm not buying it.

Anil said...

Privatization!! How could people like us be away!! How could we forget the dramatical changes brought after LPG era not we push away socialist perspective.
Recentl in B&E there was cover story about WHY INDIA NEEDS MORE SAHARAS IN SPORTS? Are not they private player? leave it for a moment whatever the hype Cricket or any sports can create, just talk about the upcoming proposal of PRIVATIZATION OF EDUCATION, ALLOWING FOREIGN PLAYER INTO INDIA......... what would they do?

If one Lalit Modi can make us such serious how these budding shrewd businessman ruin all the genuine aspiration, expectation and dream of poor-common people.

Sir I am avid reader of all your magazines and really touched by all your cause and concern and found myself very close to them.
But how could we handle all such serious and nation-making cause to those person whose main or say SOLE VISION is to increase shareholders values.

Nepotism, favourism, kinship, corruption.....is what the legacy of Indian politician & business fraternity is all about. So Mr. Modi if can avail all the Mercedes , Yacht, ownership is only possible by his godfather sitting in cabinet and making his way simple.

They all are helping hand for each other and same game is ready to start in Education too.......FOR WHICH YOU ARE VERY PASSIONATE ABOUT!!!!

CAT2009 said...

Hello sir,

We are MBA aspirants across the country who have been aggrieved by CAT 2009 conducted by IIM-Prometric. We formed a group called http://protestagainstcat2009.org to voice out the concerns of all.
The candidates are deeply upset with the manner in which cat 2009 was conducted and we have serious concerns about the evaluation methodology employed.

We are going legal in SC as none of our RTI queries were answered and information has been suppressed, and misleading information has been provided.

i am writing to you as i believe people like you could provide us with a platform for our voices to be heard.

i have been trying to contact you but could not connect to you. I would like to talk you over the phone and would like to take an appointment with you as well.

Kindly reply back to cat2009.petition@gmail.com
and kindly visit our website - http://protestagianstcat2009.org

The premier institutes in india, the IIMs, have not lived up to their names. We do not want to sit back and accept things shown to us, we are fighting for justice. Kindly help

Akshay Kothari said...

Respected Sir,

The only word after reading description of your blog comes to my mind is " SUPERB".
That's the naked truth for this nation.Everything is given to Indian public Love,emotional connect,Big Dreams, glamor they just have to do one thing in return bring their hard earned money to this big players and keep their mouth shut if they misuse it.
Thanks again for the great message.
Akshay Kothari

priyanka said...

truly said sir.........
a fabulous article to expose the faces of persons using thier power n position for thier own luxury...........

In India where their is scarcity of food,water n lack of education,where a poor n common man has to think ten times for buying simple things,the big n richest businessmen are wasting money in a game....n not only wasting money,the game which they are supporting is an integral part of indian life....every second person in this country is related to cricket and lalit modi has made fun of it.....he has not only hurt the sentiments of the people related to cricket but has also wasted and misused a lot of money which could have been used for the developement of the country.

And m a regular follower of your blogs,the way you write is enough to bring a change in the society as well as counrty.
the messages that you give on your blog are just superb!


asmita said...

summing up the article....'privatising profits and nationalising losses' well stated mr.chaudhuri!
Your articles are indeed worth praises...thats the way every indian should speak up...
if we make a proper use of this "Freedom of speech" (which we aren't utilising at all though) INDIA WOULD BE FAR MORE BETTER THAN WHAT IT IS TODAY..
A mSg To AlL tHe ReAdErS oF tHiS BlOg..."spEaK uP"..!!!!


asmita said...

summing up the article....'privatising profits and nationalising losses' well stated mr.chaudhuri!
Your articles are indeed worth praises...thats the way every indian should speak up...
if we make a proper use of this "Freedom of speech" (which we aren't utilising at all though) INDIA WOULD BE FAR MORE BETTER THAN WHAT IT IS TODAY..
A mSg To AlL tHe ReAdErS oF tHiS BlOg..."spEaK uP"..!!!!


asmita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MOHANAN said...

Privatise all profits and Nationalise all losses. It is indeed due to the nexus between politics and gundaism. No biting teeth for law and anyone who have power and money can escape the clutches of law.

It was indeed a thought provoking articles and KUDOS to Anindam.

rupmala said...

This is the first time when some body has dared to say on how government exploits its own resources to benefit handfull of rich corporates. This fact is known to each employee working with PSUs. I will really appreciate if big intelluctuals of young India will come forward to reveal & rectify problems faced by PSUs on account of blunders created by Indian Government..

Sridhar said...

"India privatises all profits and nationalises all losses" How true!! Very well written article. Oil fields, IPL and now medical council of India. Corruption is the only thing that has no boundaries or limits. It is the only "cult" that is religiously followed by all humanity.

Mohan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mohan said...

Thank you, Professor for blowing the lid off IPL and drawing parallels to other business areas where a similar art is practiced, albeit, without cameras.

What is striking is the Business Model adopted by Lalit Modi. I can vouchsafe, no marketing guru can dream of such things as back-fitting the basic inputs based on possible targets (revenues) and selling it to the world for 3 years, making a whale of money in the process. No wonder, the beneficiaries (franchise owners) are bound to support Modi shamelessly.

I await when the final thing comes out - foreign players involvement in FEMA violations and foreign bank accounts of celebrities involved in the franchises.

Vijayan said...





Sumit said...

i read ur 26 jan article on last page of the hindu , that how shamelessly india privatise and also the freeedom of speech and expression. it was ahitting the bulls eye when u indirectly naked the capitalist and economic system. the de-facto aristocracy due to unequual distribution of economy is the real loop hole . after all it was really marveleous reading u.

DillonT_Bra147 said...

I love readding, and thanks for your artical. ........................................

Dinesh said...

it is time to legalise corruption,Research was going on since many years but nothing came out but offlate oil has been discovered in andaman sea, and it was made public, in Jan 2010 after that no news about the development taking place, I am afraid it may be get privatised as you said in the article.

Venkatesh Sridhar said...

surprised you were so quick to add to the allegations made against Lalit Modi, when you yourself have the experience of having been alleged before for various reasons.

Don't you believe in "innocent till proven guilty"?

@$mit@ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
paul said...

This editorial is a bang on the heads of all supporters of privatisation and disinvestment.

'privatise all profits and nationalize all loses'- this one line tells the whole story.- hilarious but effective line to convey the message.

But, privatisation can be successful when it is properely regulated by the government. Developed countries have proved that, but corruption level is very low in those countries, but what about a country like India where corruption level is at an alarming rate.


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