25 September, 2020

Agricultural Shots

The IPL stood for a new India. The mess it’s in turns the clock back.

Illustration by Sorit
Agricultural Shots

The effect of the IPL revelations must not be underestimated. At one stroke, it has made many in the West question the Indian narrative everyone was getting so comfortable with—the glittering country of Bollywood movies, the land of the Nano, the toast of Davos, and creators of a cricket tournament that is the most successful domestic contest in the world.

The IPL’s contribution toward reinforcing the ruling perceptions of this new India has been immense, which is best illustrated by my own experience as a journalist. When I arrived in this country 40 years ago, interest in Indian cricket was minimal. The only paper to bother about Indian cricket was The Daily Telegraph—that too, featuring brief reports of India’s Test matches. The idea that India, a land of squalor and poverty, could create anything so modern, shiny and astounding seemed impossible for the West to believe.

That picture had begun to change even before the IPL emerged, but it was the way this tournament captivated the cricket world...



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