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This is perhaps the most objective and diabolical gift of schizophrenic crony capitalism to contemporary India and the world, playing a jarring orchestra with a political apparatus in nexus, across most parties, subsumed and consumed by the most brazen seductions of relentless greed. So who will tell the IPL’s sleazy story when all narratives have been subverted?
Amit Sengupta Delhi 

Even the element of surprise has become a cliché. So what is so astonishing about the grotesque gutter, the filthy quagmire and the shimmering cesspool that is the IPL that suddenly the collective conscience is in sudden jeopardy of a hysterical heart attack? So why are we screaming and shouting and beating our heads on the wall when it was there so graphically transparent, etched as writing on the wall?

Surely, amidst the entrenched, monolithic and hegemonic shadows of crony capitalism and corruption of pampered corporates in India, IPL has been the most definitive and transparent symbol of the new political economy, as stark as legitimised pornography. Indeed, in this ‘legitimacy crisis’ of both the neo-liberal Indian State and brazenly unethical capitalism, it was the carnivorous flower which bloomed in full flow and glorious glow, even while the entire political and financial establishment and its seduced satellites, including most of the corporate media, chose to imbibe the insatiable magic potion of hallucinatory catharsis, their deep pockets becoming deeper by the day.

So what is the threshold of thick-skinned degeneration for a corrupt society, wilfully and deliberately sinking, sinking, drinking the dirty waters of the shimmering cesspool? So how low will they sink before they discover the quagmire and the gutter?

In a country rocked by tens of thousands of farmer suicides, drought and starvation, mass malnourishment of children and infinite wastelands of stark poverty, where 70 per cent plus people leave on Rs 20 a day, here were cricketers and their sleazy bosses playing with many, many millions, on our face, defying every principle of sensitivity or sensibility, showcased as the Great Big Orgasm of the new economic superpower

All the signs were there like the hoardings of insatiable desire, moving in complex networks of big business and big betting, with sundry sleazeballs, fat cats and mafias calling the shots; but IPL was a holy cow which no one would dare to touch. Why? Because the addictive mix of perverse money and perverse fantasies became a criminal synthesis of organised complicity. And it all started with the sublime game of cricket itself turning into a perversion in this pathological prostitution of sixes and fours, whereby all nuances and subtlety, intelligence and refinement, rigour and purity, were happily sacrificed at the altar of big money and glamour, as instant as buy two get one free.

In a country rocked by tens of thousands of farmer suicides, drought and starvation, mass malnourishment of children and infinite wastelands of stark poverty, where 70 per cent plus people leave on Rs 20 a day, here were cricketers and their sleazy bosses playing with many, many millions, on our face, defying every principle of sensitivity or sensibility, showcased as the Great Big Orgasm of the new economic superpower. Oh, what an orgasm! And how much more fake can it get.

Unsurprisingly, there was neither character nor essence in all those chasing this whoredom of unprecedented wealth, cheered on by white cheergirls, like the days when the debauched, feudal bourgeoisie would celebrate a festival of hideous hedonism even while millions died of starvation and plague.

Even now, the rats are not leaving the ship, and the ship is not sinking. How can it, when it is floating on a shallow gutter of abject, cold-blooded and clinical corruption?

This is perhaps the most objective and diabolical gift of schizophrenic crony capitalism to contemporary India and the world, playing a jarring orchestra with a political apparatus in nexus, across most parties, subsumed and consumed by the most brazen seductions of relentless greed. So who will tell the sleazy story when all narratives have been subverted?

This story is from the print issue of Hardnews: JUNE 2013